What Is the Average Cost of Moving Containers?

Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on December 09, 2021
7 min read

At a glance

The average cost of a moving container is about $3,000—although prices vary depending on how far you’re traveling and how much stuff you have. Even the time of year makes a difference. We looked at the best moving container companies to see which ones are most affordable in certain situations. Overall, U-Pack is our favorite company because of its low prices, wide availability, and positive customer reviews.

U-Pack is our top pick


How much do moving containers cost?

We collected 120 quotes from our best moving container companies and looked at two main variables:

  • Home size (1–5 rooms)
  • Distance (100–2,050 miles)

We ended up with the average costs—and found ways to help save you money.

Average cost of moving containers by home size

# of bedrooms
Average cost

1

$2,000

2

$2,570

3

$3,220

5

$4,500

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

Price Tag
How much to move with a container?

The average cost to move using moving containers is about $3,000. Our research finds that U-Pack has the best overall prices, while PODS is best for short distances and 1-800-PACK-RAT is best for midsize homes.


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Key takeaways

Your move could be more or less than the average

The average cost of shipping a container is about $3,000 per move. However, because prices vary widely by home size, move distance, and container company, your move could cost more or less than the average.

Each company is the cheapest for something

Not every move is the same. You could be moving a 1-bedroom apartment or 5-bedroom home over 100 miles or all the way across the country. Our research identifies when each company has the lowest cost for moving containers:

  • U-Pack has the lowest overall prices.
  • PODS has the lowest prices for short distances.
  • 1-800-PACK-RAT has the lowest prices for midsize homes.
  • U-Box has the lowest prices for long distances.

The price goes up as home size increases

The average cost of a moving container goes up as home size increases. The more rooms in your home, the higher your price:

Average cost of moving containers by home size

# of bedrooms
Average cost

1

$2,000

2

$2,570

3

$3,220

5

$4,500

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.


What’s the average cost of moving containers per mile?

The average cost of moving containers is about $2.50 per mile.

Shorter moves are less expensive overall, but they have a much higher per-mile cost. A move of 1,750 miles drops to as low as $1.60 per mile, while moving 100 miles is more than 10 times higher with a cost of $16.50 per mile.

We looked at six approximate distances in our research:

  1. 100 miles
  2. 475 miles
  3. 1025 miles
  4. 1750 miles
  5. 1850 miles
  6. 2050 miles

Moving container transport cost (100 miles)

The average cost per mile for a move of 100 miles is about $16.50. PODS is the least expensive company we found with a price that is almost $600 below the average.

Average moving container transport cost (100 miles)

Company
Average cost
Amount above or below average

$2,020

$300 higher

$1,160

$560 lower

$1,980

$260 higher

$1,770

$50 higher

Not offered

NA

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

Moving container transport cost (475 miles)

The average cost per mile for a move of 475 miles is about $5.60. U-Pack is the least expensive company we found with a price that is nearly $700 below the average.

Average moving container transport cost (475 miles)

Company
Average cost
Amount above or below average

$2,770

$190 higher

$2,930

$350 higher

$2,530

$50 lower

$2,730

$150 higher

$1,920

$660 lower

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

Moving container transport cost (1,025 miles)

The average cost per mile for a move of 1,025 miles is about $3.10. U-Pack is the least expensive company we found with a price that is $600 below the average.

Average moving container transport cost (1,025 miles)

Company
Average cost
Amount above or below average

$3,470

$260 higher

$3,830

$620 higher

$2,990

$220 lower

$3,090

$120 lower

$2,610

$600 lower

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

Moving container transport cost (1,750 miles)

The average cost per mile for a move of 1,750 miles is about $1.60. U-Pack is the least expensive company we found with a price that is nearly $900 below the average.

Average moving container transport cost (1,750 miles)

Company
Average cost
Amount above or below average

$3,290

$490 higher

$2,870

$70 higher

$3,200

$400 higher

$2,830

$30 higher

$1,930

$870 lower

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

Moving container transport cost (1,850 miles)

The average cost per mile for a move of 1,850 miles is about $2.10. U-Box is the least expensive company we found with a price that is $850 below the average.

Average moving container transport cost (1,850 miles)

Company
Average cost
Amount above or below average

$4,580

$670 higher

$4,570

$660 higher

$3,910

Same as average

$3,060

$850 lower

$3,420

$490 lower

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

Moving container transport cost (2,050 miles)

The average cost per mile for a move of 2,050 miles is about $1.70. U-Pack is the least expensive company we found with a price that is $300 below the average.

Average moving container transport cost (2,050 miles)

Company
Average cost
Amount above or below average

$3,590

$90 higher

$3,610

$110 higher

$3,510

$10 higher

$3,590

$90 higher

$3,190

$310 lower

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.


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What’s the average cost of moving containers per bedroom?

The average cost of moving containers is about $1,090 per bedroom.

Smaller moves are less expensive overall, but they have a much higher per-room cost. A 5-bedroom home drops to as low as $900 per room, while a 1-bedroom apartment rises to an average of $2,000.

We looked at four home sizes in our research:

  1. One-room apartment
  2. Two-room home
  3. Three-room home
  4. Five-room home

Moving container transport cost (one bedroom)

The average cost for a 1-bedroom apartment is approximately $2,000. U-Pack is the least expensive company we found with a price that is $700 lower than the average.

Average moving container transport cost (one bedroom)

Company
Average cost
Amount above or below average

$2,870

$870 higher

$1,960

$40 lower

$2,110

$110 higher

$1,680

$320 lower

$1,280

$720 lower

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

Moving container transport cost (two bedrooms)

The average cost per room for a 2-bedroom home is approximately $1,290. U-Pack is the least expensive company we found with a price that is almost $400 lower than the average.

Average moving container transport cost (two bedrooms)

Company
Average cost
Amount above or below average

$2,870

$300 higher

$2,660

$90 lower

$2,740

$170 higher

$2,340

$230 lower

$2,180

$390 lower

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

Moving container transport cost (three bedrooms)

The average cost per room for a 3-bedroom home is approximately $1,070. 1-800-PACK-RAT is the least expensive company we found with a price that is $350 lower than the average.

Average moving container transport cost (three bedrooms)

Company
Average cost
Amount above or below average

$2,870

$350 lower

$2,970

$250 lower

$4,200

$980 higher

$2,940

$280 lower

$3,090

$130 lower

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

Moving container transport cost (five bedrooms)

The average cost per room for a 5-bedroom home is approximately $900. U-Pack is the least expensive company we found with a price that is $600 lower than the average.

Average moving container transport cost (five bedrooms)

Company
Average cost
Amount above or below average

$4,520

$20 higher

$5,060

$560 higher

Unable to obtain quotes

NA

$4,420

$80 lower

$3,890

$610 lower

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.


Average cost of a shipping container FAQ

How much does it cost to move with containers?

The average cost of moving containers is approximately $3,000 per move. Costs vary depending on factors such as home size, distance, and company. The least expensive moving container company is U-Pack (with an average cost of $2,610 per move).

How much is a storage container?

The cost for a storage container varies depending on the construction material of your moving container. Wooden containers are the least expensive (and least sturdy), while steel containers are the most expensive (and most reliable).

What goes into the cost for moving containers?

Moving container cost is influenced by several factors:

  • Size of your home
  • Distance of your move
  • Container construction materials
  • Storage time
  • Moving company

How do I find low-cost moving containers?

You can find low-cost moving containers by reading Move.org’s list of the cheapest moving container companies. Each company has the lowest prices for specific types of moves.

Average cost of moving containers by home size

Company
Average cost
Best for

$2,610

Lowest overall prices

$2,840

Long-distance moves

$3,160

Short-distance moves

$3,290

Midsize homes

Data current as of 5/4/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

How much does a PODS container cost?

The average cost of a PODS container move is approximately $3,160. Our research shows the PODS container is least expensive for 1-bedroom homes at a distance of 100 miles. This move costs only $820, while the average cost for the same move from our best container companies is $1,280.

Can I use a moving container as portable storage?

Yes, a moving container also doubles as a portable storage container. For example, you can use the container for storage if you’re renovating your house or doing a major home remodel.

A container company will typically charge automatically for portable storage. The notable exception is U-Pack, which only charges for temporary storage if you want it.

What affects container home delivery?

A moving container company can deliver a container to your home if it meets this criteria:

  • You have an accessible driveway or curbside parking.
  • Your city permits it.
  • Your HOA allows it.

Can I get help loading my moving container?

Yes, hourly moving labor companies can help you load and unload your moving container—even if you’re using it for temporary storage of your household goods. Check out our list of the best moving labor companies to learn more about hiring a part-time mover.


Methodology

Move.org follows a five-step process to identify the nation’s best moving container companies:

  1. Compare quotes. We collected over 100 quotes from seven of the nation’s largest moving container companies to identify pricing trends.
  2. Mystery shopping. We do a top-to-bottom analysis of each company’s website and even call posing as customers. It helps us get a feel for what real-life customers experience.
  3. Analyze reviews. We read dozens of reviews for each company to see what most impresses (and turns off) customers. We also ran the numbers for more than 7,000 total reviews to calculate an industry customer review average.
  4. Site visits. We invite industry experts and company executives to visit our headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT. We grill them on everything from pricing and customer reviews to insurance coverage and the latest industry trends.
  5. Annual review. Every year, we repeat the process to ensure that our list of the best moving container companies stays current. That means things like our top recommendations and industry prices may change from year to year.

Kurt Manwaring
Written by
Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the Move.org team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He brings a BS in sociology and an MPA (masters of public administration) to the Move team. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.