Best Portable Moving Companies in 2024

We requested quotes from these industry leaders so we could better understand how user-friendly (or not) each process is. We then analyzed their websites, along with hundreds of customer reviews to get the full picture.

With the price of everything from eggs to airline tickets skyrocketing these days, you may have wondered how you’ll manage your next big expenditure. If you have a move in your future, the cost is probably top of mind. 

One way to bring down the cost of a move is to consider moving and storage containers, or “pod companies” as they are sometimes called. Probably the most famous among them is PODS, a company that delivers storage pods to your house for you to fill. The pods are later picked up by the company, and transported to your new home at a lower cost than traditional moves. The pods can also be stored at a secure facility.

Key features of the top five portable storage containers

Eventually, you’ll have to do deeper research on the companies that make it to your shortlist. However, to get you started, we thought it would be helpful to pull out some key features from company websites, customer reviews, and our custom quotes. To help narrow your search, here’s an overview of details we think are particularly important to point out about our top five.

Click Here to get Our Portable Storage Container Quotes Worksheet



PODS - Best portable storage overall

  • Flexible scheduling: PODS has a flexible policy for scheduling delivery and pick-up times. (Companies like ZippyShell, for example, have stricter policies that allow just three days to load and one day to unload.) 
  • Smooth pickup and delivery process: Customers reported courteous, professional drivers and streamlined pickup and delivery of the pods.
  • More variety with container sizes: PODS offers the widest range of container sizes to accommodate different storage needs.
  • Secure storage: PODS containers are both secure and weather-resistant.
  • Local and long-distance moving: PODS can accommodate anything from a local move to a long-distance relocation, and includes door-to-door delivery.
  • Nationwide availability: PODS operates in most cities throughout the United States, but has limited availability in rural areas.
  • Moving calculator: PODS also offers this helpful tool, which makes getting an accurate quote easier. 
  • Years in Business: 25

Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A+ rating, 1.07/5 average of 574 customer reviews

Overall, the online quote process for PODS is smooth and efficient, offering insights into the appropriate container sizes for your specific needs. After specifying your time frame, you’re given three container sizes and plenty of detail, which means you can easily self-select without the need for further assistance. Plus, PODS offers a moving calculator to further streamline the process and ensure your quote is as accurate as possible.


Map Placement of all USA based PODS Locations

Image Credit: – Data Source:


UNITS - Best for storage options

  • Service centers are locally owned and operated: Customers have the option to visit the facilities and make arrangements in person.
  • Flexible pricing: Although the company’s pricing is higher than average, it offers more flexible packages than competitors.
  • Strong reviews: UNITS had the best overall customer reviews of all the companies we researched.
  • Sturdy construction: Containers are made of sturdy steel and are weather-resistant.
  • Flexible scheduling: UNITS provides flexible scheduling for both delivery and pick-up.
  • Moving calculator: This handy tool helps you decide the size and number of containers you’ll require.
  • Secure storage: Containers are equipped with secure locking mechanisms.
  • Nationwide availability: UNITS operates across the United States

Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: Not BBB Accredited

Requesting an online quote for a local move is straightforward, with the process completed through a brief online form. However, the lack of guidance in determining the appropriate storage size you need is a drawback compared to their competitors. Once you submit the required information, a formal quote is emailed to you but it offers no additional details beyond what the online service provides. And if you’re looking to get a quote for a long-distance move, you’ll need to call and speak with a representative.


USA Map showing UNITS locations

Credit: UNITS


UPack- best for long distance moves

  • Pay for what you use: U-Pack charges based on the space you use, not the entire container. This can lead to cost savings if you don’t need a full container.
  • Flexible loading and unloading: Unlike some other companies, U-Pack doesn’t rush you through loading and unloading. You have the flexibility to load and unload at your own pace.
  • No deposit or upfront fees: U-Pack doesn’t require a deposit or upfront fees, making it easier to budget.
  • Transit options: U-Pack offers both containers and trailers (for larger moves).
  • Nationwide availability: With coverage across the United States, U-Pack can accommodate long-distance moves or storage needs virtually anywhere in the country.
  • Experienced customer service: U-Pack’s reviews were among the best we saw, and indicated a strong commitment to customer service. 
  • Years in Business: 27

Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A+ rating, 4.29/5 average of 204 customer reviews

U-Pack offers a hassle-free online quote process, making it incredibly convenient for those who prefer to avoid phone calls. With an editable quote feature, you can make simple adjustments to compare various pricing options and locations without needing to start the process all over. And, for moves that fall outside of their service area, U-Pack’s recommendation of PODS as an alternative shows their commitment to providing customers with comprehensive options no matter the company.


Map of USA showing UPack locations

Credit: U-Pack


ZippyShell best for most transparent pricing

  • Low prices: ZippyShell boasts some of the lowest prices on the market. (ZippyShell merged with 1-800-PACK-RAT in 2018, and shares many features, including pricing structure).
  • Transparent pricing: ZippyShell offers especially transparent pricing that helps customers understand what is due immediately, what will be due in the future, and what services can be added on for an additional cost.
  • Moving calculator: Another example of their commitment to price transparency.
  • Container with air-flow: Most containers have solid walls, but ZippyShell’s unique mesh steel shell prevents mold and mildew by letting air flow freely. 
  • Nationwide availability: ZippyShell serves locations across the United States, especially in urban areas.
  • Years in Business: 21

Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A+ rating, 1.95/5 average of 373 customer reviews

Zippy Shell’s online quote process can be confusing due to the integration with its sister brand, 1-800-PACK-RAT, when serving areas beyond its reach. Although the pricing breakdown is detailed, the process lacks clarity in container selection, potentially leading customers to reserve the wrong sizes. However, Zippy Shell does stand out for its transparent pricing model, offering clear information on immediate costs, future payments, and additional service options.


Map of USA showing ZippyShell locations

Credit: ZippyShell


Pack-Rat best for container quality

  • Excellent materials: 1-800-PACK-RAT characterizes its containers as “the most weatherproof, corrugated steel containers on the market.”
  • Low prices: With identical prices to ZippyShell, 1-800-PACK-RAT some of the lowest prices on the market.
  • Moving calculator: Helps customers get the process started by estimating how many containers they need.
  • At-home storage flexibility: Some companies only allow short periods of at-home storage container rental. 1-800-PACK-RAT allows you to store containers on-site as long as necessary. 
  • Good (not great) availability: Customers report less coverage with 1-800-PACK-RAT than some competitors.
  • Years in Business: 27

Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A+ rating, 1.95/5 average of 373 customer reviews 

The online quote functionality for 1-800-PACK-RAT is the exact same process as Zippy Shell because it’s a sister brand. More differentiation is needed to distinguish the two as separate companies when it comes to which one will handle a move outside of their service area. The process is straightforward, with clear language and transparency around pricing as well as container placement, ensuring a customized experience.


Map of USA showing all of Pack-Rat's locations

Credit: 1-800-Pack-Rat

Questions to ask when selecting your moving container company 

Each company will have upsides and downsides, so in the end it’s about choosing which moving pod company lines up most directly with your specific needs. So how do you figure that out? Start by making sure you understand the answers to these key questions:

➡️ What is included in each quote (and what is not?) Some companies include all fees upfront, and others spread charges out over time.

➡️ Does the company operate in my area? This is an easy way to narrow down your options. 

➡️ What do reviewers say about the company? 

➡️ Do I need help packing up the pod? (Normally this process is DIY, but some companies offer professional movers) 

➡️ What size containers are offered? More variety could mean better value, but remember that some companies only charge for the space you use (rather than for the whole container regardless of how full it is.)

➡️ Do you plan to store the container in a driveway (like during a renovation), or at a secure warehouse facility? 

➡️ Do you need an extra-heavy duty container to store delicate items? Or would a standard metal container do the trick?

Portable Moving Container Quotes Worksheet

The downloadable worksheet is a table that you can use to compare different portable moving container companies when getting quotes. It includes the following information:

  • Moving from and to addresses
  • Delivery and pick-up dates
  • Whether or not loading/unloading services are needed
  • How many bedrooms you are moving
  • Additional rooms (kitchen, living room, garage, attic, basement)
  • How long you need storage
  • Space for company representative name, moving quote, what is included in the quote (delivery fee, gas, miles, etc.), loading/unloading services quote, amount due before or upon delivery at moving from and to locations, quote expiration date, container size recommended, number of containers needed, number of days allowed for loading, storage location (on-site or storage warehouse), and notes.

By using this worksheet, you can easily compare the prices, services, and features of different portable moving container companies. This will help you choose the company that is the best fit for your needs.

Here are some additional tips for using the checklist:

  • Be sure to fill out all of the information on the checklist. This will help you get the most accurate quotes from portable moving container companies.
  • When comparing quotes, be sure to pay attention to the total cost of the move, not just the base price of the container. Be sure to factor in the cost of delivery, pick-up, storage, and any other services you need.
  • Read the fine print of the quotes carefully. Make sure you understand what is included in the price and what is not.
  • Ask the companies any questions you have. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a better price.


The first big step for any potential customer in the moving/storage industry is getting a quote. We started by requesting two quotes (one local move quote and one long distance move quote) from these industry leaders so we could better understand how user-friendly (or not) each process is. We then analyzed company websites, along with hundreds of customer reviews to get the full picture.

With our research in hand, our team sat down to analyze all the factors that influence customer experience when it comes to working with a moving container company. We focused on four main criteria: 

  • Prices
  • Services offered
  • Quoting Process
  • Customer reviews
  • Availability

* Although we obtained quotes from each portable moving container company as part of our methodology, we didn’t rely on the quoted amounts for categorizing these companies. This is because pricing for moves isn’t standardized; it varies based on individual needs. Instead, we focused on factors like delivery fees and monthly storage rates, which were provided consistently across the quotes. However, even these standard rates didn’t influence our categorization of each company.