U-Pack ReloCube gets our vote for the best moving container company. It’s got low prices, nation-wide availability, and a pay-for-what-you-use policy. But since U-Pack only handles long-distance moves, call PODS if you’re planning a local move.
U-Pack vs. PODS Review 2021
The bottom line
Compare U-Pack and PODS top features
Data as of 8/10/20. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.
Best pricing: U-Pack
U-Pack is more affordable than PODS thanks to its pay-for-what you-use-policy and transparent prices. PODS isn’t unreasonably expensive though—its rates are only slightly above average compared to competitors.
PODS does bake 30 days of storage time into your rental price (U-Pack’s rates include just three days). With U-Pack, you don’t have to put down a deposit when you book a moving and storage container; you’re simply charged when the truck arrives to pick up your packed containers.
Compare U-Pack ReloCube and PODS pricing
6 ft. 3 in. x 7 ft. x ft. 4 in. (ReloCube)
7 ft. x 7 ft. x 8 ft.
Interior space (cu. ft.)
Weight limit (lbs.)
Capacity (rooms of furniture)
Total moving estimate
Data as of 9/18/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
U-Pack makes it a cinch to get a quote. You enter your home size, arrival and destination zip codes, and move date, and its online quote generator gives you a price.
The chart above illustrates a 2,072-mile move from Salt Lake City, UT, to Washington, DC, using U-Pack’s ReloCube and PODS’s 7-foot container.
U-Pack’s quote was $567.87 cheaper than PODS’s estimate (including taxes and fees).
While the ReloCube and the 7-foot container have the same room capacity, the PODS container can handle more than double the weight of the ReloCube. For the average load of household goods, this may not matter all that much. But if you’re packing your motorcycle and woodworking equipment, you may get close to U-Pack’s 2,500-pound limit.
The PODS 7-foot container has a bit more interior space than the ReloCube, which is something to keep in mind if your container will be packed to the gills.
One thing that sets U-Pack apart when it comes to pricing is its pay-for-what-you-use policy. The policy allows you to reserve as much space as you think you’ll need—and you’ll never be charged for extra cubes or empty moving trailer space you don’t use.
If you order three ReloCubes but fill only two, you’ll pay for only two. If you use all three, you’ll pay for three. With PODS, you’ll pay for a full container—even if it’s half-empty. And since PODS’s containers are larger than U-Pack’s, it’s more difficult to mix and match them to fit your exact load size.
Although PODS’s 7-foot container has a higher weight limit and slightly more interior space, U-Pack is a better deal price-wise. We think U-Pack’s ReloCube makes the most sense for the average mover.
Some moving and storage companies provide locks with your container (so you can keep your stuff in and thieves out). Sadly, neither U-Pack nor PODS include locks in your reservation—you’ll have to buy your own.
Best availability: U-Pack
Both U-Pack and PODS have nationwide service, but U-Pack covers all 50 states, while PODS falls short by a few. If you’re moving to or from Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, or West Virginia, go with U-Pack.
Both moving companies also offer moving services outside the United States. U-Pack is available in Canada, and you can hire PODS in the UK, Canada, and Australia.
Best customer experience: U-Pack
U-Pack has a slight edge over PODS when it comes to customer experience. Both companies have websites that are easy to navigate. They also have the same impressive customer review score of 3.8 out of 5 stars (those are the highest scores of any moving company on our Best Moving Container Companies list).
U-Pack pulls out the win because it offers instant online quotes. PODS typically requires you to visit with a company rep (although it does provide online quotes if your move is less than 50 miles).
Only U-Pack allows you to reserve online. With PODS, you’ll need to have a convo with a PODS rep if you plan to move more than 50 miles.
Best range of services: PODS
U-Pack offers more services than PODS, but PODS outshines U-Pack when it comes to container sizes, no-tilt loading, and local moves.
Compare moving services: U-Pack ReloCube vs. PODS
Data as of 9/17/19.
PODS has more moving and storage container sizes than U-Pack: a 12-foot moving POD for local moves as well as 7-foot and 16-foot containers for both local and long-distance moves. This is especially handy for larger moves when you prefer to pack everything in one container rather than sorting and splitting your stuff across two or three cubes.
U-Pack does have moving trailers (basically, moving trucks), which are useful for large household moves.
So if you’re moving a family of five, U-Pack’s trailers can easily make your move happen. And if you want a smaller container or multiple containers, ReloCube offers a happy medium.
Another perk of PODS is its hydraulic no-tilt system for loading and unloading containers from its trucks. This keeps your boxes of Christmas lights, antique dressers, and anything else you packed from shifting in transport.
One more spot where U-Pack falls short: it doesn’t service local moves. While we’ve been able to get quotes for trips within a single state, U-Pack won’t move you across town. If you need a moving and storage container for a local move, PODS has you covered.
Depending on where you live, you may need a temporary street parking permit for your PODS container. U-Pack’s ReloCubes fit in a standard parking spot, so it shouldn’t be a problem finding space unless you’re ordering a whole bunch.
(If you’re reserving a trailer from U-Pack, you’ll need more space. Plan accordingly.)
Best coverage: U-Pack
In the same way you need auto insurance before you hit the road, you’ll want insurance on your moving containers and household belongings before you send them on their way.
Between U-Pack and PODS, U-Pack offers more comprehensive coverage plans. Plus, U-Pack includes two protection plans in the cost of every move. PODS includes $10,000 worth of content protection in every long-distance move, but its coverage prices aren’t as spelled out as U-Pack’s. PODS’s deductibles sit somewhere in the ballpark of $100, but it’ll depend on the specifics of your move.
Let’s break down both.
U-Pack’s coverage plans
Catastrophic Liability: This plan covers the value of everything from your futon to your flip flops while your container is en route. If there’s a fire, theft, or accident, U-Pack will reimburse you $3.00 per pound per item. For ReloCubes, you’re covered up to $7,500 total. For moving trailers, the policy pays out up to $60,000.
Carrier Negligence: If your items are damaged as the result of a U-Pack screwup after you’ve packed and loaded your container, U-Pack will reimburse you for each item at $0.10 per pound.
U-Pack also offers supplemental coverage plans at an additional charge:
U-Pack supplemental coverage plan
Coverage plan cost
Amount covered per pound per item
Maximum coverage (ReloCube)
Maximum coverage (trailer)
PODS’s coverage plans
Container Only Insurance: This covers the moving and storage container itself while it sits on your driveway or street. Thunderstorm? Don’t worry about hail denting your container. Fire? Don’t worry about that either. PODS won’t make you pay for dents, dings, or other damage.
Content Protection Insurance: This policy covers damage to the container and your stuff inside. The only catch is that it doesn’t cover flooding or water damage. Obviously, we prefer insurance policies that cover everything, but we say this is still better than container-only insurance or nothing at all.
Our pick: U-Pack ReloCube
Although PODS offers three container sizes, our recommendation boils down to price. U-Pack’s Relocube is significantly cheaper than a PODS moving container, and you won’t have to sacrifice high-quality equipment, good customer service, or wide availability for affordable rates.
What really puts U-Pack ahead is its pay-for-what-you-use policy, which helps you save money by not paying for empty space in your moving and storage container. Plus, with more locations than PODS, U-Pack can cover your move from just about anywhere.
Like U-Pack’s pay-for-what-you use policy?
To compare U-Pack and PODS, we gathered over a hundred quotes, analyzed customer reviews, and posed as customers to investigate each company’s customer service. We also compared company features like portable moving container sizes, coverage options, and service locations.
Other moving container company picks
Don’t think U-Pack or PODS is the right fit for your move? Here are some other top portable moving container companies that are worth looking into:
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