How much does portable storage cost?

Details matter when pricing portable storage

Unlike traditional storage, where cost is based solely on the unit's dimensions, many factors determine the rate for a portable storage container. Depending on the size, location, services and other specifics, the price for portable storage containers can vary widely. Small ones used only on-site could be as affordable as $100 per month, but when you include long-distance moving, rates can be around $1,500-$3,000.

Learn more about the things that can make prices go up or down, so you know what to expect from portable storage quotes.

Take a look at real-life prices from PODS® and U-Pack to compare.

Person figuring out portable storage costs with a laptop, calculator and paper.


What goes into portable storage pricing

Each company will use these factors differently to determine rates:

Unit size

Different-sized containers will come with varying base rates. The tricky thing about many portable storage companies is figuring out what size container you need — you don't want to run out of space or pay for a container that’s too big. U-Pack® portable storage can be a great option if you want flexibility since you can have multiple ReloCube® containers delivered, but you only pay for the ones you use.


There are two ways that locations play a role in pricing. First, some areas have higher demand, which decreases availability and increases the rate. Second, if you're using the portable storage unit to move, the distance between the two locations will determine the transportation costs.

Seasonality and dates

There are peak seasons and dates for moving and storage (typically summertime and the beginning of the month), making it more expensive since demand is higher.


When comparing quotes, it's important to understand what services they include to make sure you're looking at similar options. Each company handles these things differently. Some, like PODS®, have itemized costs for each part of the move, while others, like U-Pack®, include everything in one quote.

Here are the services a portable storage company might offer:

  • Delivery. Most units will be delivered to your door, but the question is will you pay extra for it? For example, PODS® has a separate charge for delivery, and U-Haul® U-Box® considers it an additional cost unless you choose self-delivery. On the other end of the spectrum, U-Pack prices include door-to-door delivery where available.
  • Transportation. If you need to use a storage container in conjunction with a long-distance move, then expect the price to increase because of transit costs. This piece of the cost puzzle can vary depending on whether the company does their own transportation or not.
  • Storage time. Some companies, like PODS® and Pack-Rat®, include 30 days of use in their initial price. However, after transportation, loading and unloading time, that really equates to just a few days of “free storage.” If you need additional time before moving in, they charge a monthly storage fee. U-Pack offers storage if you need it, so you only pay for it if necessary.
  • Liability coverage. Most portable storage units include some level of liability coverage, or you can pay extra to increase it.
  • Loading/unloading help. Typically, this type of equipment is DIY, but you can often pay extra to have a moving crew help you load or unload.

Check your portable storage price with a free quote

The best way to determine your moving and storage costs is by getting quotes from different companies. Start with U-Pack while you’re here. Rates include the equipment, delivery, transportation and liability coverage, and you can add loading help or storage if you need it. Get a free moving quote online or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077.

Learn more about U-Pack ReloCube pricing, explore sample moves and get tips for getting the lowest rate possible.

Have questions about portable storage costs? Leave us a comment below, and we’ll be happy to help.



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. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.