What to Expect When You Move with Zippy Shell — Crystal’s Move

Joe Roberts
Researcher & Writer
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Published on October 11, 2021
5 min read

Zippy Shell is one of our favorite moving and storage container companies, and we’ve found that it’s your cheapest option for a container move out of a mid-size home. We’ve also praised Zippy Shell for its well-designed containers and delivery flexibility, but how does moving using a Zippy Shell container actually feel?

To find out, we helped one family with their long-distance Zippy Shell move. We’re pleased to report that the company gave the family the move they wanted, and it lived up to its reputation of being affordable, punctual, and professional.

Keep reading to get all the details and learn exactly what to expect from a Zippy Shell move.


Meet the Shepherds

Crystal Shepherd is a curriculum coordinator at a virtual academy. She has been married to her husband, Derek, for 24 years, and together they have three sons. In Crystal’s words, the whole Shepherd family is “geeky,” and they love everything from Star Wars to Tolkien.

Sharing memorable experiences with the whole family is important to the Shepherds. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they were unable to visit their extended family in Ohio. To fix this, they decided to move from North Carolina to Ohio to be closer to their loved ones.

Zippy Shell meet the Shepherds

Crystal Shepherd with her husband and three sons.

In addition to moving their household belongings with Zippy Shell, the Shepherds also shipped one of their cars using Sherpa Auto Transport. If you’re looking for an auto transport company, read our report of the Shepherds’ Sherpa shipment to learn how it went (spoiler alert: it went well).

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MOVE.ORG MOVING GRANTS: THE 411

At Move.org, we offer financial assistance to individuals and families who are moving in exchange for details about their experience. Their candid reviews help us provide unique, real-life perspectives about the moving process.

Visit our Moving Grant hub to find out which companies we’ve worked with and to apply for funding for your next move!

Why Crystal chose Zippy Shell

Before she hired Zippy Shell, Crystal requested online quotes from two other moving container companies: 1-800-PACK-RAT and PODS—both of which we highly recommend. Unfortunately, neither Zippy Shell nor these other companies give instant online quotes. Each required a phone call before they gave Crystal a quote, so it was difficult for her to quickly compare prices.

Luckily, Zippy Shell—the first company she called—was able to give her a price that worked for her budget. Zippy Shell’s wallet-friendly price paired with its positive online reviews convinced her to simply hire the company instead of shopping around more.

Getting moving quotes over the phone can be a real pain in the neck, so it’s understandable that Crystal just went with the first quote she got, especially since the quote was affordable. That said, if you have the time to get quotes from multiple companies, you really should. It’s the only way to know you’re getting the best price available.


Crystal’s move at a glance

Moving companyZippy Shell
Move dateJuly 6, 2021
Service typeContainer move
Start locationNashville, North Carolina
End locationHuntsville, Ohio
Quoted cost$2,200 + $189 storage cost
Actual cost$2,200 + $189 storage cost

What to expect with Zippy Shell—Pricing

First off, at $2,200 plus $189 for in-transit storage, Crystal’s move with Zippy Shell cost a bit less than the average price for container moves of this size and distance. Again, since Crystal didn’t get quotes from multiple container companies, it’s impossible to know if Zippy Shell’s price was the best available. But we can say for sure it was a great price anyway.

Additionally, we love that Zippy Shell’s quote matched the move’s final cost perfectly. It’s not uncommon for moving companies to charge hidden fees and rack up additional costs after you get your initial quote, so Zippy Shell’s commitment to its quote speaks volumes about the company’s trustworthiness.

The trouble with last-minute rentals

Unfortunately, the Shepherds ended up needing a second moving container at the last minute, but the company wasn’t able to provide them one at an affordable price. To be fair, this isn’t really a mark against Zippy Shell. Getting any kind of moving service with little notice is usually going to be fairly expensive.

Here’s the takeaway: it’s cheaper to book multiple containers months in advance than it is to book only one and then order another at the last minute. Before you book, take careful measurements of everything you’re moving and use the sizing resources Zippy Shell provides to determine exactly how many containers you need.

Zippy Shell truck loaded

Crystal's Penske truck loaded with everything that wouldn't fit in the Zippy Shell container.

Luckily for the Shepherds, they were able to score a cheap moving truck for $523.26 from Penske—one of our favorite truck rental companies—a week later. This allowed them to return to their old home, load up all of their remaining belongings, and complete their move without breaking the bank.


What to expect with Zippy Shell—Customer service

Container moves don’t involve an actual moving crew unless you pay extra for loading help. Because of this, most customers only interact with their container company’s booking agent, container drop-off crew, and delivery driver, so the company only has a few chances to get its customer service just right.

Fortunately, Zippy Shell’s service was impeccable on all three counts.

Crystal appreciated that the booking agent was “helpful and friendly” and didn’t try to upsell her, that the container’s drop-off driver was professional and on time, and that the delivery driver that took her container to her new home was friendly and punctual.

Zippy Shell container

Crystal's Zippy Shell container behind the driver's truck.

Overall, Crystal gave her Zippy Shell experience four out of five stars, and she said she would move with the company again.


What to know about Zippy Shell’s containers

Zippy Shell’s moving containers are one of our very favorite things about the company. They’re designed with three distinct features that make them ideal for moving:

  1. Cage interiors
  2. Barn-style doors
  3. Loading ramps

The cage interiors of Zippy Shell containers are their most unique feature. They allow customers to secure their belongings to the sides and roof of the container to prevent them from shifting and jostling during transportation 

The barn-style doors are less unique but just as important. Instead of rolling up inside of the container like a moving truck door, they swing outward like—well—barn doors. This means that stuff you put inside the container won’t obstruct the doors, and they won’t take up any of the container’s valuable interior space while they’re open.

Zippy Shell inside container

The inside of Crystal's container. Note the container's loading ramp and steel cage construction for tying down its contents.

And, since Zippy Shell containers have wheels, they sit higher above the ground than typical moving containers. This makes their loading ramps essential for carrying heavy loads up into them without breaking your back.

The last thing to know about Zippy Shell’s containers is that they aren’t very big. The company’s 15-foot containers—its largest size—measure only 15.7 x 6.4 x 6.4 feet inside, making them smaller than PODS’ largest containers.

This isn’t a huge issue if you account for it ahead of time, but Crystal’s predicament that we talked about earlier illustrates the importance of triple-checking that all your stuff will fit inside the container(s) you book.

Info Box
Other things to know about moving containers

There’s a lot that goes into a container move, and some of it you probably aren’t expecting. For example, packing a moving container isn’t as straightforward as it might seem, and you might need to pay for storage. Get the full scoop before you book your move by reading our guide to container moves.


Our take

In the end, Crystal’s Zippy Shell move left little to be desired. The company’s customer service was top-notch, the price was below average, and the Shepherds’ belongings arrived at their new home undamaged and on time.

The only word of warning to take from the Shepherds’ experience is that you should carefully measure all your belongings to ensure you’re getting enough containers when you book. If you need to rent a second or third container on moving day, it will cost more than if you’d booked it beforehand. Use our guide to inventorying your home to get help sizing up all your stuff.

Ready to book your move with one of the best container companies in the biz? Get a quote from Zippy Shell!

If you want to learn a little more about Zippy Shell’s containers, pricing, or services, check out our full review, or see how it compares to other container companies we recommend.

Joe Roberts
Written by
Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts is a professional writer with a degree in writing studies and over four 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.