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The Best Moving Containers of 2023

Two storage pods in parking lot
AlterYourReality / Getty Images

Planning a move and need extra storage? Moving container rental might be your best option. Moving containers are portable storage units used to transport or store your household items. Here are a few of the best moving container options of 2023.

Top moving container companies

Container companyBest forSizes availableWeight limit range
U-PackLong-distance moves12,500 lbs
1-800-Pack-RatAny length of move34,000 – 6,000 lbs
PODS®Budget option for multiple size containers34,200 – 5,200 lbs
U-Box® by U-HaulWell-known moving and storage company 12,000 lbs
SMARTBOXMoving flexibility12,000 lbs
Go Mini’s®Local moves33,000 – 8,000 lbs

How we evaluated moving container companies

This list was compiled after conducting extensive web research on pricing, availability, storage options, convenience, and business ratings and reviews. 


Best for long-distance moves: U-Pack

Pros:

  • Quick delivery
  • Over 240 locations
  • Transportation and fuel included in pricing 
  • Storage options available

Cons:

  • Only one size option available
  • No locks on the cubes 

U-Pack container size

CapacityAverage cost per single cubeContainer dimensionsWeight limit
1-2 rooms$2,5006’3″W x 7’H x 8’4″L2,500 lbs

U-Pack makes the top of our list for long-distance moves. U-Pack has been in business for 22 years, has more than 240 locations nationwide, and has a 3.5 out of 5 rating on Consumer Affairs.

U-Pack will deliver your unit within 3-5 days from when you order. You have three days to pack your cube on the front end of your move and three days to unpack at your destination. You can reserve as many cubes as you need but you’ll only pay for the ones you use. They pick up the extra cubes for you at no additional cost.

U-Pack also offers storage options if you need more time. U-Pack will deliver your unit to its secure service center until you are ready for it to be delivered to your new location. All U-Pack ReloCube® units are constructed of weatherproof steel frame with aluminum siding.

How much does a U-Pack moving container cost?

As of September 2022, the average cost of a U-Pack moving container is around $2,500. Use the U-Pack instant price quote calculator to determine how much your particular move will cost.


Best for any length of move: 1-800-PACK-RAT

Pros:

  • Good variety of container sizes
  • Storage options available
  • Scheduled delivery

Cons:

1-800-PACK-RAT moving container sizes

ContainerCapacityContainer dimensionsWeight limit
8ft1-2 rooms7.2’W x 7.8’H x 8.5’L 4,000 lbs
12ft2-3 rooms7.75’W x 7.5’H x 12’L6,000 lbs
16ft3-4 rooms7.75’W x 7.5’H x 16’L6,000 lbs

1-800-PACK-RAT makes our list for every length of move: short, medium, and long distances. With more than 60 locations worldwide and over 16 years in business, 1-800-PACK-RAT is a solid option for your move. 

1-800-PACK-RAT schedules deliveries at your convenience seven days a week. They deliver your storage unit to your final destination or store your unit at one of their secured warehouse storage facilities available throughout the United States until you’re ready for delivery. 1-800-PACK-RAT has a 3.1 out of 5 rating on Consumer Affairs.

How much does a 1-800-PACK-RAT moving container cost?

Average prices range from $750 for short-distance moves to $3,500 for long-distance moves. Calculate the cost of your move by using their quote calculator.


Best budget option for multiple size containers: PODS® 

Pros:

  • Affordable pricing 
  • Many locations
  • Good variety of container sizes

Cons:

PODS® moving container sizes

ContainerCapacityContainer dimensionsWeight limit
8ft1 room8′ H x 7′ W x 8′ L5,200 lbs
12ft2-3 rooms12′ L x 8′ W x 8′ H4,700 lbs
16ft3-4 rooms16′ L x 8′ W x 8′ H4,200 lbs

Arguably the most well-known company serving the “you pack, we deliver” target market, PODS® has been in business for over 21 years, with more than 230 locations in the United States as well as the United Kingdom and Australia. PODS® services any length move, including their international locations.

When you get the pod, you can load it, keep it on your property, or store it at a PODS® storage center. PODS® will also pick up the moving container and transport it for you. All PODS® containers are made of aluminum and steel waterproof materials.

How much does a PODS® moving container cost? 

Average costs range from around $680 for a local move to $3,500 for a long-distance move. Use their cost calculator to determine the cost of your move.


Best well-known moving and storage company: U-Box® by U-Haul

Pros:

  • Many locations
  • Affordable containers
  • Multiple delivery options

Cons:

  • Only one size container available
  • Plywood containers

U-Box® moving container size

ContainerCapacityContainer dimensionsWeight limit
One size1 room7.5’W x 5’H x 8’L2,000 lbs

The most ubiquitous of moving and storage companies, U-Haul has been around since 1945 with more than 2,000 locations nationwide. Their latest offering is a service for moving containers called U-Box®. Suitable for long-distance moves, U-Box® offers multiple delivery options. 

Load and unload at your own pace, U-Box® picks up and drops off at your beginning and ending destinations, including international locations. They will also store your goods until you’re ready to have them delivered. Each container is constructed of heavy-duty plywood with a weatherproof covering.

 U-Haul has a 3.9 of 5 rating on Consumer Affairs.

How much does a U-Box® moving container cost?

On average, the cost of a long-distance move is around $3,000. Use U-Box® easy to use cost calculator to determine the cost of your move.


Best for moving flexibility: SMARTBOX

Pros:

  • Large variety of moving options
  • Flexible storage options
  • Affordable containers 

Cons:

  • Wood containers
  • Only one size container available
  • Fewer locations

SMARTBOX moving container size

ContainerCapacityContainer dimensionsWeight limit
One size1 room7.5’W x 5’H x 8’L2,000 lbs

SMARTBOX has been in business for over 21 years and is located in over 41 metro locations nationwide. Suitable for local and long-distance moves, SMARTBOX offers loading and unloading flexibility by renting their units by the month.

SMARTBOX is ready to assist with a variety of different moves, including commercial and military moves. Each SMARTBOX container is constructed of wood covered by a weatherproof canvas.

How much does a SMARTBOX moving container cost?

On average, the cost of a local move is around $600 and the cost of a long-distance move is around $2,400. Use the SMARTBOX easy to use free quote estimator to determine the cost of your move.


Best for local moves: Go Mini’s®

Pros:

  • Good variety of container sizes
  • Storage options 
  • Personalized service 

Cons:

  • Only available for local and military moves
  • Limited availability 

Go Mini’s® moving container sizes

ContainerCapacity Container dimensionsWeight Limit
12-foot container1-2 rooms 8’ W x 8’ H x 12’ L3,000 – 4,000 lbs
16-foot container3-4 rooms 8’ W x 8’ H x 16’ L4,000 – 6,000 lbs
20-foot container5-6 rooms 8’ W x 8’ H x 20’ L6,000 – 8,000 lbs

Go Mini’s® has been in business for over 17 years, with locations in more than 200 locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. They also have 79 franchise locations in the United States. 

Each GO Mini’s® container has a galvanized steel exterior that is coated with a baked paint that prevents the containers from sweating. 

Load at your own pace, keep the container for as long as you want, then they pick it up to deliver to your new location or store at one of their facilities.

How much does a Go Mini’s® moving container cost?

On average, the cost of a local distance move is around $600. Use the Go Mini’s® instant quote estimator to determine the cost of your move.


Tips for packing a moving container

Make your move even more manageable by following these packing tips:

  • Use as many of the same size boxes as possible to ensure you maximize the container space.
  • Don’t overload your boxes.
  • Make sure your boxes have sturdy bottoms, and we recommend you reinforce all bottom closures with duct tape for added stability.

The bottom line

Whether you’re moving or just need some extra storage, moving containers offer cost-efficient and flexible moving options. Different moving container companies offer different sizes and moving options, so always remember to check if a container company will support the kind of move you need. 

Frequently asked questions

How much do moving containers cost?

Although container costs vary based on size and move, we have seen on average prices range from $560 for a local move to over $3500 for a long-distance move.

Are storage containers better than self-storage units?

It depends on your needs, the amount of storage time and space, and your budget constraints.

Does the container lock?

It depends on the moving container company. In general, most container companies have locks on their moving containers. 


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