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Compare Portable Storage Companies

Solutions for Moving and Storage

Portable storage containers are an excellent option for DIY customers who like the idea of ease and convenience. But with so many options available, selecting the right one can be a challenge. To help you choose the best company to fit your needs, take a look at the things that set each of these companies apart.

Comparing Popular Portable Storage Companies

Most of the services you’re familiar with work similarly: the moving and storage container is delivered door-to-door, and you load and unload. It’s simple. But, when you’re coordinating a long-distance move, things like timing, storage options and cost are super important — and how they’re handled is unique to each company. Here’s what you can expect:

What You Need to Know About How Portable Storage Works

While you’re checking out portable storage options, there are some important things to consider:

Locations and Service Area

Most portable storage companies offer service throughout the U.S., but in some cases only to and from larger metro areas. For example, while U-Haul has locations in most cities, U-Box containers may not be available everywhere. U-Pack services multiple locations in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Container Construction

Most of the containers are made of metal; however U-Box and SMARTBOX containers are made of wood and topped with a covering.


Several of the companies give thirty days to complete a move, and that usually includes time it takes to load, move and unload the equipment. In cases where the transit time takes up 10 of those days, the entire process could come close to taking a month. U-Pack is different here — you have up to three business days to load and unload, and with transit times that average 2-5 business days, you can get quick delivery if you need it.

Additional Storage

If you need to store your belongings, most companies offer monthly storage in-transit at a local service center. Some also offer on-site storage at your location.


Most companies require a deposit or down payment before the containers arrive. Others separate the cost into payments along the way. For example, PODS® breaks it down into three installments: delivery, transportation and removal of the containers. U-Pack does not require a down payment or deposit. Reserve with a credit card and pay after your equipment is loaded.


If you’re unsure how many portable storage units you’ll need, choose a company that offers flexibility. Both U-Pack and SMARTBOX allow you to pay only for the containers you use, regardless of how many you reserve. Most other companies charge a fee for returning an unused container — so having an extra delivered will cost you.   

Comparing Portable Storage Costs

With so many variables at play, it’s also important to understand what goes into the total cost of a portable storage container. Rates vary for each company, and are often based on things like container size, the number of containers used, your locations and when you’re moving. PODS®, 1-800-Pack-Rat and SMARTBOX require you to call for a final quote. However, U-Pack offers moving quotes online, or if you prefer to speak with a helpful moving consultant, you can contact us by phone too! Call 877-453-7274 or click to check rates for your move.



PODS® is a registered trademark of PODS Enterprises, Inc. U-Box® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. 1-800-Pack-Rat® is a registered trademark of 1-800-Pack-Rat, LLC. SMARTBOX® is a registered trademark of SMARTBOX Solutions, Inc. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.