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What is a Portable Storage Container

June 14th, 2017 - 3:36 PM

Portable containers for moving and storage

Maybe you’ve noticed portable storage containers in driveways across town. While these large boxes aren’t a new concept, they’re quickly gaining popularity due to their unique benefits. Moving and storage containers come from many companies in a variety of sizes, but what makes them different from other methods of moving? How do they work? Should you use one for your next move?

portable storage containers

What is a portable storage container?

Portable storage containers are sturdy boxes that get dropped off at a home for loading, and then get moved with belongings locked inside. Their ground-level design makes them easy to load, and their compact size is ideal for areas with limited parking. Most companies offer door-to-door service (while a few will allow you to tow them or load at a service center), so you don’t have to drive moving equipment across the country if you don’t want to. Many companies offer these containers, so the details of the containers and service may vary depending on which company you’re looking at.

What are they made of?

Some companies offer wooden boxes topped with vinyl tarps, while others use ones made of metal. Compare portable storage options here.

How do they work?

Typically, portable storage containers work like this:

  • The equipment is brought to your home
  • You load items inside, tying them down to secure them
  • You put a lock on the outside of the container
  • It’s picked up and delivered to your new home for unloading

While comparing options, make sure to ask how much time is available for loading and unloading and how long they anticipate transit to take.

What fits inside a container?

You may be concerned about items fitting inside because the containers seem smaller than a rental truck. However, these containers are designed to hold household goods, so typical items (even bigger ones) will easily fit.  If you look at loading the container like a live game of Tetris®, packing becomes simple — just place furniture upright along walls and stack things strategically to make them fit. You might be surprised at how much you can fit in a container! For example, take a look at how large items like sofas and king mattresses will easily go inside U-Pack containers, called ReloCubes®.

How many will I need?

Container size and the number of rooms in your home will determine how many you’ll need. A 16’ unit might be able to hold the contents of 3-4 rooms, while a ReloCube (6’ x 7’ x 8’) can hold one room. You can use multiple containers if needed, just ask how each company handles that. Some companies, like U-Pack, will allow you to reserve several containers, but only pay for the ones you use. Other companies charge for every container that gets delivered initially, regardless of whether or not they’re used. Be sure to go over those details when comparing options to avoid any unexpected charges.  

How much do they cost?

Portable storage container rates depend on the specifics of the move (origin, destination, household size and move date) and will vary from company to company.  To compare options, take a look at price comparisons to see how quotes vary. Check prices for your move by getting quotes online or over the phone. Comparing prices and service specifics can help determine if portable containers are the best option.

Have questions about portable storage containers?

If you still have questions about moving with portable storage units or want to know more about moving with U-Pack, we’re here to help! Give us a call at 800-413-4799 or leave a comment below.