What Is the Average Cost of Moving Containers?

At a glance

The average cost of moving containers ranges from $594 for a single container for a local move (under 100 miles) to $3,063 for three containers traveling long distance (around 1,000 miles).

So why moving containers?

Most conventional moving options are either stressful or expensive (and sometimes both). Renting a truck, packing it, and driving it yourself can save you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars, but it can be exhausting physically and mentally.

On the other hand, hiring full-service movers to pack and transport your belongings is convenient, but it can quickly exceed your budget if you aren’t careful.

If you’re looking for a middle ground, we suggest working with a moving container company.

With this third option, you rent as many moving containers as you think you’ll need, you pack them yourself (or hire packers at an extra cost), and the container company picks them up and ships them to your new destination. Obviously, this isn’t as convenient as the full-service treatment, but it’s much cheaper—and it’s more convenient than a DIY move.

How much do moving containers cost on average?

Distance (miles)Route1 container2 containers3 containers
80San Antonio, TX to Austin, TX$594$1,105$1,349
578Portland, OR to Sacramento, CA$839$1,430$1,421
912Pittsburgh, PA to Omaha, NE$1,617$2,754$3,063
Distance (miles)
80
578
912
Route 1 container 2 containers 3 containers
San Antonio, TX to Austin, TX $594 $1,105 $1,349
Portland, OR to Sacramento, CA $839 $1,430 $1,421
Pittsburgh, PA to Omaha, NE $1,617 $2,754 $3,063

Data as of 7/23/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

We requested quotes from three of our favorite moving container companies. Keep in mind that containers come in different sizes, so comparing one company to another is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.

However, we gathered prices for container sizes across the same three routes and looked at the cost per cubic foot to ensure that the numbers we presented were comparable.

We also want to stress that moving container prices vary based on a number of factors:

  • Location (origin and destination)
  • Move distance
  • Number of containers
  • Seasonality

This means that the prices we’ve listed aren’t predictions of what your move will cost. Instead, they’re meant to give you a rough idea of what you can expect to pay for a container move.

To help you choose the moving container company that’s best for your situation and budget, we’ve broken down the benefits and price factors of three major players: PODS, U-Pack, and U-Haul’s U-Box.

How much do moving containers from different companies cost?

Between PODS, U-Pack, and U-Haul, we’ve found that PODS gives you the most loading space for your money.

  • PODS charges roughly a third of a cent on average per cubic foot of loading space per mile of travel.
  • U-Pack’s rates average out to almost a cent per cubic foot per mile.
  • U-Haul charges a full cent on average per cubic foot per mile.

We also want to note that the farther you ship your containers, the more value you get out of them. To illustrate, our research showed that the cost of three containers for an 80-mile move is always much higher per mile than the cost of shipping three containers 912 miles.

How much do 7-ft. PODS containers cost?

Distance (miles)1 container2 containers3 containers
80$504$996$1,256
578$791$1,556$1,816
912$1,287$2,522$2,782
Distance (miles)
80
578
912
1 container 2 containers 3 containers
$504 $996 $1,256
$791 $1,556 $1,816
$1,287 $2,522 $2,782

Data as of 8/27/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

How much do 16-ft. PODS containers cost?

Distance (miles)1 container2 containers
80$638$1,257
578$1,214$2,380
912$1,949$3,814
Distance (miles)
80
578
912
1 container 2 containers
$638 $1,257
$1,214 $2,380
$1,949 $3,814

Data as of 8/27/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Unlike the other moving container companies on this list, PODS offers multiple container sizes. This makes PODS the best option for anyone moving a lot of furniture and household goods since it’s cheaper to ship a single 16-foot PODS container than it is to ship multiple smaller containers that add up to the same amount of loading space.

Additionally, all of PODS’s containers are roomier than those offered by the other companies on our list. We did the math, and even though renting a PODS container is more expensive than renting one from another company, PODS actually has the lowest cost per cubic foot of loading space.

Even though PODS might seem a little pricier, you actually get more bang for your buck than you would with a different moving container company, and the company gives discounts if you order multiple containers.

Ready to get moving?
If PODS sounds like a dream come true, hop over to their site to request a quote!
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PODS container specifications

Each 7-foot container from PODS measures 7 ft. x 7 ft. x 8 ft. and has roughly 392 cubic feet of loading space. The 7-foot container has a weight capacity of 5,200 lbs.—the highest on our list.

The 16-foot container from PODS measures 16 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft. and has an interior capacity of about 1,024 cubic feet. Surprisingly, this larger container has a lower weight limit than the 7-foot option, maxing out at 4,200 lbs.

(This is likely because the structural integrity of a long object is harder to maintain than that of a short object made from the same material.)

PODS containers have steel frames and aluminum panels, making them sturdy, weatherproof, and secure. With PODS containers, you know that your belongings are safe from rain, snow, and burglars (as long as you lock them up).

If you want to learn more about PODS and its containers, check out our PODS Review.

How much do U-Pack containers cost?

Distance (miles)1 container2 containers3 containers
80NANANA
578$583$729$1,132
912$1,682$2,277$3,343
Distance (miles)
80
578
912
1 container 2 containers 3 containers
NA NA NA
$583 $729 $1,132
$1,682 $2,277 $3,343

Data as of 7/23/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

U-Pack’s containers (also called ReloCubes) are cheaper than PODS’s containers, but they’re also about 90 cubic feet smaller than PODS’s smallest option. Overall, PODS is a slightly better value, especially if you need a lot of loading space for all your stuff.

That said, U-Pack’s cost per cubic foot is much lower than U-Haul’s. This makes U-Pack a midrange option value-wise.

Megaphone

ATTENTION: LOCAL MOVERS

ATTENTION: LOCAL MOVERS

We didn’t list U-Pack’s prices for an 80-mile move because U-Pack only accepts long-distance moves (100 miles or more). If you’re moving locally, we recommend going with PODS instead.

ReloCube specifications

ReloCubes measure 6 ft., 3 in. x 7 ft. x 8 ft., 4 in., have about 305 cubic feet of interior space, and can carry 2,500 lbs.—more than enough to hold an average room’s worth of furniture and household items.

Like PODS’s containers, U-Pack’s ReloCubes are made of metal, making them both safe and sturdy.

To learn more about U-Pack and ReloCubes, hop on over to our U-Pack Review.

Get money

HOW TO SAVE MONEY WITH U-PACK

HOW TO SAVE MONEY WITH U-PACK

U-Pack has two delivery options: door-to-door and portal-to-portal. With door-to-door delivery, the company picks up your ReloCubes at your old home and delivers them to your new address.

With portal-to-portal delivery, you take your ReloCubes to the nearest U-Pack service center after you’ve filled them. U-Pack then ships them to a service center in your new town, and you pick them up.

Door-to-door delivery is much more convenient, but going with the portal-to-portal option can save you hundreds of dollars.

How much do U-Haul containers cost?

Distance (miles)1 container2 containers3 containers
80$640$1,062$1,443
578$770$1,058$1,317
912$1,551$2,406$3,066
Distance (miles)
80
578
912
1 container 2 containers 3 containers
$640 $1,062 $1,443
$770 $1,058 $1,317
$1,551 $2,406 $3,066

Data as of 7/23/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

With the least amount of loading space and the highest price per cubic foot, U-Haul’s U-Box containers have the worst value of any container on this list.

Despite these shortcomings, U-Box is available nationwide, and because it’s owned by U-Haul, it’s reliable. This means that U-Box is always a solid plan B (or C).

U-Box specifications

Each U-Box container measures 7 ft., 11 in. x 4 ft., 8 in. x 6 ft., 11 in., and the capacity is only about 257 cubic feet. On top of this, a U-Box container’s weight limit is a mere 2,000 lbs., so you’d need to rent at least three containers to move a small home.

U-Box containers are made out of wood, making them less sturdy than containers from PODS and U-Pack. The boxes also aren’t weatherproof, but U-Box provides a weather-resistant cover for every container.

If you want to learn more about U-Box, read our U-Box Review.

Recommended resources

Now that you know how to budget, we recommend that you research these topics to prepare for your move:

People also asked. . .

Got other questions about moving? Check out these guides to make sure you bring your A game on moving day:

About Joe Roberts

Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts is a professional writer with a degree in writing studies and over three years of copywriting experience. He previously worked at Overstock.com, where he wrote about furniture, home decor, and moving. Joe has moved all over Utah, so he knows his way around a moving truck—and he spends his time (and money) expanding his personal library so it will be even heavier next time he moves.