Comparing PODS® Competitors

Seeking a PODS® alternative?

If you're searching for companies that offer services like PODS® to help with your out-of-state move, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re here because PODS® doesn't service your area, the cost exceeds your budget, or to make the best decision for your needs, we can help you compare PODS® to other similar options. Read about the differences below to find the right solution for your long-distance move.

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


Learn about 5 PODS® competitors

The companies we’re comparing to PODS® can all be found in the United States and provide similar services:

  • U-Pack® ReloCube® 
  • U-Haul U-Box®
  • 1-800-Pack-Rat®
  • COWs®

Here is a chart to show the basics of each company and how it compares to PODS®.

Provider Container Size(s) Cubic feet Weight Limit (lbs.) Container material Door type States with locations
PODS® 16' 835 4200 Metal Roll-Up 44
  12' 689 4700 Metal Roll-Up 44
  8'* 402 5200 Metal Roll-Up 44
U-Pack® 8' 308 2500 Metal Double swing doors 50
1-800-PACK-RAT® 16' 830 6000 Metal Double swing doors 30
  12' 620 6000 Metal Double swing doors 30
  8' 404 4000 Metal Double swing doors 30
U-Haul U-Box® 8' 257 2000 Wood Single swing door 23
SMARTBOX® 8' 280 3000 Wood Single swing door 23
COWS® 16' N/A N/A Metal Double swing doors 29
  8' N/A N/A Metal Double swing doors 29

*According to their website, some older PODS® containers might be 7’.

What does PODS® offer?

PODS® serves mostly metro areas in 44 states. Their moves span 30 days and that includes loading, transportation, storage and unloading. Longer storage time is available for an additional fee, but the 30-day rental is the minimum.

What you can expect with PODS® moving containers:

  • Three sizes – 8’, 12’ and 16’
  • Metal construction
  • Roll-up doors
  • Ground-level loading

What about the U-Pack ReloCube?

Similar to PODS® containers, the ReloCube is metal and sits flat on the ground for easy loading and unloading. It has double swing doors, measures 6’3” x 7’ x 8’4” and you can reserve as many as you need but pay only for the ones you use.

U-Pack moves are faster when compared to PODS® services — you get 3 business days to load, transit times averaging 3-6 business days, and then you get 3 business days to unload.

Unlike PODS®, U-Pack won’t charge you for storage if you don’t need it. But if you do need to store your things at origin or destination, it’s offered based on availability at the service center. Also, when it comes to service, U-Pack covers more locations — all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  

Is 1-800-Pack-Rat similar to PODS®?

1-800-Pack-Rat is similar to PODS® with the following features: moves covering 30 days, availability of additional storage time and the three sizes of containers (8’, 12’ and 16’). However, the biggest difference is serviceability — there are Pack-Rat locations in just 30 states and Washington, D.C.

What’s up with the U-Haul U-Box?

The 8’ x 5’ x 7’6” U-Box is made of wood rather than metal, which makes it significantly different when compared to the metal containers offered by PODS®. U-Boxes come with a tarp covering designed to protect the box from the weather.

Another difference is that the U-Box has more delivery options. U-Haul offers home delivery, self-hauling or you can pack onsite at a U-Haul location. Although U-Haul offers nationwide service, not all locations will have U-Box containers available.

How smart is SMARTBOX?

SMARTBOX offers only one size of equipment — a 5' x 7' x 8' container made of wood and topped with a canvas covering, so this container is different and smaller than a PODS® moving container. Like PODS®, SMARTBOX includes 30 days' rental, with long-term storage available for additional fees. SMARTBOX has a much smaller service area than PODS®, covering 44 metro areas across 23 states and Washington, D.C.

What are COWs?

COWs are “containers on wheels” that offer 8’ and 16’ metal moving containers with double swing doors. Their 8’ option is comparable to the smallest PODS® container. Unlike PODS®, COWs has locations in just 29 states, and their larger containers are available for local moves and storage only. Another key difference is that COWs are on small caster wheels, so ground-level loading is not possible.

Are you just starting research for your out-of-state move? Check out our portable storage overview.

Choosing a PODS® alternative

While each of these services offer moving and storage solutions similar to PODS®, there's a clear choice for your long-distance move. U-Pack offers the broadest service area and the most flexibility. With faster service and no upfront charges for 30-day storage you might not need, U-Pack makes the most sense. Explore more about how PODS® compares to U-Pack, then contact us at 844-362-5303844-594-3077 for your quote.

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. COWs® is a registered trademark of COWs-CONTAINER ON WHEELS. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.