Comparing PODS® Competitors

Finding a service like PODS® 

If you’re researching companies for a long-distance move, you’ve likely seen advertisements for PODS®. They’re a popular choice for people wanting portable storage, but they’re not the only option. See what companies offer similar services and find the right fit for your move.  

Person looking at miniature houses with a magnifying glass to find the differences between PODS and their competitors.


What you get with PODS® compared to other companies

Several movers in the U.S. offer portable storage containers and comparable services for out-of-state moves. We’ll look at the service area, equipment options, moving services and quote process for these four compared to PODS®: 

  • U-Pack®
  • U-Haul®
  • 1-800-Pack-Rat®

Service area 

PODS® services mostly metro areas in 44 states, while U-Pack and U-Haul offer assistance in all 50 states. But it’s important to note that not all U-Haul locations will have the U-Box® container.  

The other companies have smaller coverage areas — SMARTBOX serves 24 states, and Pack-Rat has locations in 33 states. 


PODS® offers three sizes of metal portable storage containers — 8’, 12’ and 16’. You’ll find the same offerings from Pack-Rat, but the equipment's exact dimensions and weight limits will vary. Also, both movers only offer their 12’ containers for local moves. 

The remaining companies offer smaller containers, but it’s important to note that only U-Pack’s ReloCube® is metal — U-Haul’s U-Box® and SMARTBOX containers are made of plywood. 

Here is a chart to show how each company’s containers compare. 

Provider Container Size(s) Cubic feet Weight Limit (lbs.) Container material Door type
PODS® 16' 835 4200 Metal Roll-Up
  12'* 689 4700 Metal Roll-Up
  8'** 402 5200 Metal Roll-Up
U-Pack® 6'x7'x8' (LWH) 308 2500 Metal Double swing doors
1-800-PACK-RAT® 16' 830 6000 Metal Double swing doors
  12'* 620 6000 Metal Double swing doors
  8' 404 4000 Metal Double swing doors
U-Haul U-Box® 8' 257 2000 Wood Single swing door
SMARTBOX® 8' 280 3000 Wood Single swing door

*12’ containers are only available for local moves. **According to their website, some older PODS® containers might be 7’.  

Moving process and storage options 

Each moving service will deliver the equipment, pick it up and drive it to your new home, but the storage options and transit times are a bit different.  

Storage and use 

PODS®, Pack-Rat, U-Haul and SMARTBOX include the first 30 days of use in the price — whether you need that long or not — and the time starts the moment the equipment is delivered. Additional storage is paid monthly and can be at your home or a company facility. Monthly storage (for a separate fee) is available for U-Pack ReloCubes at a local service center for as long as you need. 

Transit times 

PODS®, U-Haul and SMARTBOX’s websites don’t list average shipping times and will provide an estimated delivery date when you request a quote. According to Pack-Rat’s website, their transit times are up to 10 business days or up to 14 business days for moves exceeding 1,500 miles.  

U-Pack transit times are typically 4-6 business days. U-Pack also allows three business days for loading and three more for unloading, which is separate from the transit time.  

Getting a quote 

Getting a quote with PODS®, Pack-Rat and SMARTBOX starts online, but you’ll have to provide an email address and phone number right away. Plus, you might have to call to get the final price. 

With U-Pack and U-Haul, you can get a free instant quote online, and you won’t have to call or provide contact information if you don’t want to. 

Which PODS® competitor is best for your move? 

When it comes to service, equipment and ease of use, U-Pack is the clear winner. We offer equipment comparable to PODS®, service more areas and have an easier quoting process. Plus, we won’t charge for storage you might not need.  

Get a free, no-obligation quote online or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant. If you have questions about how U-Pack compares to PODS®, let us know in the comments. We’re always happy to help. 

PODS® is a registered trademark of PODS® Enterprises, Inc.  1-800-Pack-Rat® is a registered trademark of 1-800-Pack-Rat, LLC. U-Box® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. 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.