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Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice.


Whether it’s for a home renovation, building project, or a long distance move, portable storage companies are the ones that’ll help save your day. Right from loading all the bulky items into a moving container to transporting them to your desired location, portable storage companies can take care of everything for you.


When speaking of storage companies, PODS is one of the best storage and moving companies for customers. They have been in the industry for a long time and so the quality of their service and costs are certainly as good as their competitors. If you think that PODS is way over your budget, there are several other moving companies you can consider. To help you decide, here’s everything you need to know about PODS Competitors or top alternatives to PODS.

PODS As A Moving And Storage Company

PODS or Portable Demand On Storage has been in the moving and storage industry since 1998. At present, they offer their services in almost 46 states of America, along with parts of Canada, Australia, and also the UK. Depending on the type of your move, you can choose between a large container (16 feet), medium container (12 feet), and small container (8 feet) to store or move your items to a new location. You can seek their services for both local and long distance moves.

Upsides: PODS offers you easy scheduling for your pick-up and delivery dates for your moves. In addition to that, the company also gives you access to your items in storage, all you have to do is ask them over the phone and they will add or retrieve any items you want.

Downsides: There’s no doubt that PODS is a reliable moving and storage company, so you can rest assured that they will protect your items from rain and hail. But when it comes to high or freezing temperatures, PODS cannot help save your items as they don’t necessarily follow climate-controlled standards. If you’re hiring PODS, be prepared to load and unload your items in the containers yourself. That’s because the company doesn’t provide you with movers for helping you with your belongings.

Pricing: PODS offers you three types of moving containers – 8’, 12’, and 16’. As per their official website, the starting price of their containers is $149 on a monthly basis. Your other costs like delivery charges and pick-up charges will cost you around $74.99. To get an insight into your overall storage costs, you can go visit their website, fill in your essential details like ZIP code, kind of storage container you need, location, etc, and get a free quote from them.

Top Alternatives To PODS

1. 1-800-Pack-Rat

If there’s any other storage company that can be considered the closest competitor to PODS, that would be 1-800-Pack-Rat. One of the things that make this company stand out from its competitors is their free insurance and 30 days of storage facilities that they provide at their base price. Just like PODS, 1-800-Pack-Rat can help you with both local and long distance moves. They have moving containers of sizes 8’, 12’, and 16’, if you’re looking for storage facilities. When it comes to packing space in their storage containers, 1-800-Pack-Rat provides you 30 more cubic feet of storage space as compared to PODS.

Upsides: One of the reasons why 1-800-Pack-Rat comes out as a strong competitor for PODS is that they sometimes have discounted prices for their services. So, if you’re on a tight budget, hiring 1-800-Pack-Rat can certainly suit your budget. Another advantage of hiring them is that they have corrugated steel containers that are weatherproof to protect all your items.

Downsides: Unlike PODS, 1-800-Pack-Rat operates in only 30 states of America. They can help you only with national storage, the company doesn’t offer you any services internationally. Many of their customers have also complained that their final cost is quite confusing and higher than their expectations. It can be because of the hidden costs that the company adds to your bills making the payment structure tricky to understand.

Pricing: Unlike PODS, 1-800-Pack-Rat doesn’t provide you with any approximate estimates for their storage services. So, you’ll have to get in touch with them via email or over the phone. One of the things you can do is check their website and get a free quote from the company. All you have to do is give them details like your delivery location, date, storage location, and email address.


2. U-Pack

Another affordable storage and moving company is U-Pack. They have their ReloCube moving containers in which they store your items and can deliver your items on the scheduled delivery date. If you’re looking for a portable storage solution, U-Pack can be one of your best options as they provide you with equipment to load and unload your items. The company also offers online quotes to give you an insight into your storage costs so that you can compare them with the prices of other companies.

Upsides: U-Pack stands out as a storage company for its policy of paying for the space you use. So, you’ll only be paying for the ReloCube containers that you’ll be using. And if you’ve asked for any other additional containers, you can just return them without worrying about their payment. That’s one of the reasons why U-Pack has a majority of positive reviews wherein customers have been satisfied with their service.

Downsides: One of the biggest downsides of U-Pack storage services is that they only provide off-site storage to customers. So, you can’t store your items in their ReloCube containers at your house. Also, they only provide their services for long distance moves.

Pricing: U-Pack’s pricing is different from traditional storage companies whose pricing is solely based on the product’s dimensions. U-Pack on the other hand takes into consideration the number of Relocubes you accommodate in a storage container. Along with that, several other factors like size, location, etc influence the total storage cost. The lowest cost for a small size container can be as cheap as $100 per month, whereas moves that involve long distances can cost you in the range of $1,500 to $3,000 as per their website. You can get a moving quote on the company’s website to understand your approximate storage costs.


3. Zippy Shell

Zippy Shell is a moving and storage company that operates in the U.S, Australia, and certain parts of Europe. You can hire the company for your local and long distance moves. The company is known for their unique cage design storage containers that assure you of safe transportation of your items. All of their storage containers are temperature-controlled, so you don’t have to worry about your items getting damaged. One of the perks of hiring them is that you get customized moving solutions that will suit both your budget and schedule.

Upsides: Zippy Shell provides 30 days of storage to their customers for every long distance move. The company makes it easy for you to schedule and reserve your moving container which they deliver to your location. All of their storage containers are made of metal and have a cage-like design to ensure that none of your items fall off or get damaged during the move.

Downsides: Unfortunately, Zippy Shell operates in only 28 states of the U.S. One of their biggest disadvantages is that they’ve not mentioned the sizes of their storage containers on their website. The company has also had inconsistent reviews, majority of customers reporting about the rental fees not being included in the moving quote.

Pricing: Zippy Shell does not provide any approximate storage costs on their website. But you can get a free quote on their website by filling in the necessary details for your storage needs. Don’t forget that you may also need to pay your delivery charges, which will include the pick-up of the container and the re-delivery which differs for different locations.


4. U-Haul

Need a portable storage solution for PODS? U-Haul is one of the best alternatives out there for both moving and storage solutions. You can choose from their small, medium, and large storage units to store your items when relocating to a new location. Just so you know, all of their storage units are climate-controlled. So, you can rest assured that your items are safe from weather and humidity. U-Haul is also best known for their vehicle storage facilities.

Upsides: You can get a customized storage service from U-Haul; for example, you can choose to pack and load your items yourself and seek their help for getting a trailer to move your containers. One of the best things about U-Haul is that they don’t charge you any deposit or admin fee.

Downsides: One of the biggest downsides of U-Haul is their comparatively poor customer service. Even when the company boasts of reasonable prices for their services, it’s not always reflected in their customer feedback. Many people have reportedly stated that getting in touch with the company’s agent is difficult.

Pricing: The average cost for a single container from U-Haul will cost you around $50 to $100. Along with that, you’ll also have to pay the delivery charges to the company. Do keep in mind that these delivery charges will differ depending on your location and the size of the container.


See also: U-Haul Competitors – Top Alternatives to U-Haul


SMARTBOX provides professional storage services for your local and long distance moves. Their storage containers are 8’ deep, 7’ tall, and 5’ wide to offer safety and security for all your items. In addition to that, all their storage containers are weatherproof, so that your items are protected from harsh weather conditions. The company offers you a 30-days rental wherein you can seek long-term storage services that come at an additional cost.

Upsides: SMARTBOX is known for not charging any hidden fees to their customers. Unlike PODS, you won’t be charged for moving containers that you won’t be using. They also offer discounts to college students and military personnel.

Downsides: One of the biggest downsides of SMARTBOX is that they have only one storage container. So, it won’t necessarily meet the needs of all kinds of moves. The company is also known to have poor customer reviews for the company’s unavailability over the phone.

Pricing: The average monthly price for a storage container from SMARTBOX will cost you around $89. Along with that, you might also have to pay other fees like $99 as your delivery charges and $99 for drop-off.


PODS v/s Competitors: Which Company Is Right For You?

We want to remind you that every move is different from each other, so you’ll have to choose a moving company that best suits your needs. That’s why it’s best if you start planning your move early and book your movers well in advance. You can compare the prices and services of at least 3-5 moving companies and then decide which company works best for you.

Here are some things to consider before hiring a storage company:

Choose The Right Sized Storage Container

Before you hire a storage company, you first need to get an idea of the right sized container for your items. One of the best things to do is to make a home inventory of your items. That’ll give you an idea of what things you want to take along with you to your new location and what needs to be in a storage container. We suggest you find out about the different types of storage containers in 3 or more storage companies and see which one can store all your items in the most reasonable manner.

Consider A Climate-Controlled Storage Container

If you have items made of wood, then there are chances that they might get damaged because of humidity or moisture. That’s why it’s best if you look out for storage companies that have climate-controlled containers. Keep in mind that not all storage companies offer climate-controlled containers, so make sure that you enquire about the same in advance.

Check For Discounts

If you want the best deals on storage containers, then you can always ask the storage company whether they have any discounts. Most companies offer discounts to college students, military members, etc. So don’t forget to check out for any offers and discounts before hiring a storage company.

Ensure The Security Of Your Items

If you want your items to be safe and secure, you should check out the security systems of storage containers. You can ask the company about what kind of locks they use, security systems like video surveillance cameras, etc. The storage company can charge you a little extra for security and other equipment, so see to it that you revise your contract thoroughly before hiring a company.

Summing Up

When it comes to storage services, PODS certainly has trustworthy and reliable storage units and containers for you. That being said, there are other companies like 1-800-Pack-Rat, U-Pack, Zippy Shell, U-Haul, SMARTBOX, and many more that also offer storage services for you. So figure out the size of the container, date, and time for a storage service, and then check out for a company that’ll meet your needs.



What Other Companies Are Like PODS?

1-800-Pack-Rat, U-Pack. Zippy Shell, U-Haul, and SMARTBOX are some other companies similar to PODS. While each of them offers similar services, you can choose the best one for you as per your specific needs and budget.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Move Long Distance?

Here are some of the cheapest ways to move long distance:

  • Plan a DIY move
  • Donate or sell items that you don’t need
  • Rent a freight trailer
  • Plan a hybrid move
  • Pack your belongings yourself
  • Rent a storage container for your move

Are PODS Better Than A Moving Company?

This would depend on the kind of services you need. If you’re planning a budget-friendly move, then hiring PODS over a professional moving company might definitely be a cheaper option. However, if you’re planning a last-minute move or if it’s a hectic move where you would require help, it’s better if you reach out to a moving company for all the assistance that you need.

Also See: How to Pack PODS and Other Moving Containers