2021 SMARTBOX Moving & Storage Review

Bottom line: SMARTBOX is an expensive moving container company with transparent pricing and a pay-for-what-you-use policy.
Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
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Published on December 22, 2020
5 min read

SMARTBOX is an expensive moving container company. Its average price is about 15% higher than other moving container companies, and the company is available in only 23 states. But it’s not all bad. SMARTBOX’s strengths include transparent pricing, a pay-for-what-you-use policy, and a college student discount.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet College student discounts
Pro Bullet Transparent pricing
Pro Bullet Weatherproof covers
Pro Bullet Pay-for-what-you-use policy
Con Heading
Con Bullet High prices
Con Bullet Poor customer reviews
Con Bullet Limited availability

See where SMARTBOX ranks on our Best Moving Container Companies list.

How much does SMARTBOX cost?

SMARTBOX costs approximately $3,020 for an average move. Costs range from about $1,450 for a small local move to around $5,540 for a medium-sized cross-country move. SMARTBOX’s prices are about 15% higher than the industry average.

SMARTBOX moving container pricing

100 miles
450 miles
1,750 miles
2,050 miles

1-room apartment





2-room home





3-room home





Data as of 11/16/2020. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for three home sizes across four distances.

Move.org collected 154 quotes from the industry’s leading moving container companies. We compared estimates for four home sizes across six distances. While SMARTBOX says it offers moving container services for five-bedroom homes, we couldn’t get quotes for this home size from the company.

SMARTBOX cost factors

Several factors affect your SMARTBOX costs:

  • Home size. SMARTBOX uses square footage to estimate how many containers you need.
  • Distance. It generally costs more the farther you travel.

Want a moving company with lots of discounts?

SMARTBOX coverage options

SMARTBOX offers coverage during transit but doesn’t have any insurance options for storage. SMARTBOX includes $10,000 worth of protection for long-distance moves (it doesn’t provide coverage for local moves), and you can purchase up to $70,000 worth of coverage per container for an additional fee.

SMARTBOX coverage amounts

Declared value











Data as of 9/15/2020. Amounts are for long-distance moves and cover only items damaged in transit. Individuals should review their rental contract—including addendums—for a complete description of the policy’s terms, conditions, and exclusions.

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How SMARTBOX is responding to COVID-19

SMARTBOX is still open for business. The company is also offering the first 30 days of storage at no cost (up to a $99 total value) for college students displaced by campus closures. The offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, and you must use the promo code “Campus2020.”

SMARTBOX features and services

Local and long-distance moves

SMARTBOX provides moving container services for local and long-distance moves (although it’s available in only 23 states). SMARTBOX has one container size, and can deliver up to eight containers at once. Each SMARTBOX container includes weatherproof vinyl covers to protect against damage.

The company calculates the number of containers you need based on square footage. A studio apartment requires only one moving container, while a three-room home needs up to four containers. Customers should contact SMARTBOX directly to obtain estimates for homes with more than three rooms.

SMARTBOX moving container capacity

Sq. ft.
# of containers


Under 600


1 room



2 rooms



3 rooms



Data as of 9/15/2020. SMARTBOX container recommendations are estimates.

Portable storage

SMARTBOX lets you keep your portable storage containers at its warehouses or your home. Your estimate includes the first 30 days of storage costs (beginning the day your container arrives at your new home). Fees vary widely by location (each SMARTBOX franchise sets its own prices). Monthly costs to leave your containers at a SMARTBOX facility range from $49 to $109 per container while storing things at your home ranges from $59 to $159.

SMARTBOX monthly storage costs

SMARTBOX warehouse
Private residence

Price range



Data as of 9/15/2020. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change.

Things to know about SMARTBOX

SMARTBOX has transparent pricing

SMARTBOX makes it easy to understand how much you pay. Many other container companies break down your final costs into multiple line items across several payments and often have costs not included in your initial estimate. SMARTBOX gives you a single clear total (tax included). It’s easily the company’s biggest selling point.

SMARTBOX has college student discounts

SMARTBOX goes the extra mile to make college more affordable. It gives students the chance to put more cash towards tuitions or books, and even works around class schedules for container deliveries. The company offers a $20 moving container discount for college students and staff:

  • Dormitory students
  • Faculty and staff
  • Individual students
  • International students
  • Off-campus students
  • Sororities / Fraternities
  • Study abroad students

For those college students moving one container’s worth of stuff, SMARTBOX is likely about $10 cheaper than the competition (after the discount).

Looking for moving container discounts?

You can find moving container discounts not only for college students but also for teachers, seniors, medical professionals, first responders, and others.

SMARTBOX has a pay-for-what-you-use policy

SMARTBOX charges you only for the containers you use. The company understands it can be hard to know exactly how many containers you need. Rather than charge for each storage container you order, SMARTBOX charges only for what you need. So if you order eight SMARTBOX containers (the max you can get) but use only three, you pay for only three. The SMARTBOX pay-for-what-you-use policy takes the stress out of determining exactly how many containers you need—and can lower your bill at the same time.

SMARTBOX has limited availability

SMARTBOX isn’t easy to find. While the company boasts a service area of 60 million people,1 SMARTBOX is available in select cities in only 23 states. The limited availability can make it tough to find a location in your area. You can also expect a long hold time (around 30 minutes) because SMARTBOX has fewer employees than national companies like U-Pack and PODS. It’s likely one reason the company gets low reviews compared to other moving container companies.

SMARTBOX serves all home sizes (sort of)

SMARTBOX says that it can provide quotes for all kinds of home sizes. The company provided us with quotes for small and midsize homes (one to three rooms) when we posed as customers, but we could never get quotes for larger homes (five rooms). For the home sizes we could verify, SMARTBOX’s lowest prices were for small apartments.

SMARTBOX prices by home size

Industry average
Amount above average

1 room




2 rooms




3 rooms




Data as of 8/10/2020. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for three home sizes across six distances.


What do customers who leave SMARTBOX reviews say?

Customers who leave SMARTBOX reviews say the company is not the best at delivering fast and efficient communication. Those who like the company often praise a problem-free moving experience. At the same time, those who leave negative reviews tend to mention how difficult it is to reach SMARTBOX representatives to deal with problems.

How does SMARTBOX work?

SMARTBOX works by delivering moving containers to your home. Once you load the containers with your belongings, SMARTBOX picks them up and delivers them to your new home or a temporary storage facility.

How much are SMARTBOX moving prices?

SMARTBOX moving prices are approximately $3,020 for the average move. Costs range from just under $1,500 for a small local move to more than $5,500 to move a three-bedroom home across the country.

How does SMARTBOX pricing compare to other companies?

SMARTBOX pricing is expensive compared to other companies. Its average cost of $3,020 is about 15% more expensive than other moving container companies.

What are the SMARTBOX dimensions for moving containers?

SMARTBOX dimensions for moving containers are approximately 8 x 5 x 7 feet. The company says you can fit belongings from one room with less than 600 square feet in each container.

What is SMARTBOX customer service like?

SMARTBOX customer service is friendly and professional, but its representatives are often difficult to reach. The company has a relatively low average customer review rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars.

Our recommendation

SMARTBOX is expensive—but it’s also transparent. The company doesn’t hide its pricing or reel customers in with low initial rates that last only one month. And the company’s pay-for-what-you-use policy helps you stay within your budget. On top of that, its discounts for college students and staff mean you can probably save a few dollars if you need only one container. For everyone else, SMARTBOX is more expensive and less available than other companies on our Best Moving Container Companies list.

Other moving container picks

Can’t find a SMARTBOX in your area? Try one of these container companies:


1. SMARTBOX Moving and Storage, “Service Areas,” 2015. Accessed November 16, 2020.

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.