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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. More on about us page

All About U-Pack

If you're planning a relocation in the near future, you have two major options as to how you can go about it. The first is to hire national movers who will do all of the work for you. The second one is a more do-it-yourself approach where you will have to pitch in on the dirty work.

And for people who are fond of doing self-moves, one of the most popular services that you can get is called U-Pack.


U-Pack was first established in October of 1997. It's basically a nationwide moving service with a slightly different methodology compared to full service movers. Although they both cater to households and residential relocations, U-Pack's appeal is more inclined to DIY movers. These are the people who want to cut their moving costs by doing some of the physical work themselves.

So How Does it Work?

The basic principle behind U-Pack is this:

  1. U-Pack sends an empty trailer or moving container to your home
  2. You then pack your own belongings and load them inside
  3. Once you're ready, U-Pack arranges the delivery of the truck or container to the new location
  4. Upon arrival at the new location, YOU unload your belongings

So you see, compared to full service movers, there's a lot more customer participation with U-Pack.

How Do They Charge?

Full service moving companies charge people in a variety of ways. Some charge by the hour, while others compute the total charge based on the weight of the shipment.

U-Pack works differently by using the volume or space that your load occupies. In other words, they measure how much space your stuff occupies inside the container or truck. There are no additional charges for fuel, tax, highway tolls, or standard liability coverage.

The unit of measurement they use is called a Linear Foot.

A linear foot is used to measure your loading space in the trailer - simply a foot (12 inches) in length. For each foot in length, you have the full width (8 feet) and height (9 feet) of trailer space for loading. In summary, a linear foot is 1' x 8' x 9'.

Also See: What is Linear Foot?

What are the Advantages of U-Pack?

Let's take a look at the other positive aspects to using U-Pack:

  • Instead of confusing estimates, U-Pack computes for the total cost based on the actual measurement of the shipment. The price is determined in front of you on the day of the move itself.
  • Just like most moving companies, they offer a tracking system that helps you monitor the status of your shipment.
  • In terms of cost, U-Pack's services are significantly cheaper than traditional movers.

Are there any Disadvantages to Using U-Pack?

Now it's time to analyze the possible disadvantages of doing a self-move with U-Pack:

  • Additional cost

    Some of the additional costs incurred in a self-move include the cost for packing materials (boxes, tape, wrappers, fillers) and equipment (dollies, trays, etc.)

  • Space

    If you're living in a condo or high-rise apartment in the city then getting U-Pack may not be the best option for you because space is very limited in your area. U-Pack's setup is better suited for suburban or countryside dwellers that have sufficient space in their front or back yard.

  • Loading

    Loading your belongings inside a truck or container can be a real challenge especially if you don't have people to help you out. You could end up damaging your goods or worse, risk injury to yourself and others. If you're living with children then this danger is significantly greater.

  • Packing

    With U-Pack, the name says it all. You have to do the packing process yourself. And while putting clothes inside a paper box may not seem like a challenge, don't forget that you also have furniture, appliances and other breakable items that need to be packed properly.

  • Time

    One of the best advantages of hiring full service professional movers is that they save you time by doing ALL of the work for you. In the case of U-Pack, you'll have to devote countless hours in packing, loading and neatly arranging your belongings. This is time that you could have used instead on other more productive tasks that need your attention.


Items that You Cannot Transport with U-Pack

Just like traditional moving companies, there are also several items that are prohibited from being shipped in commercial movers like U-Pack.

Your shipment should not include anything that is flammable, poisonous, corrosive or perishable. These items include, but are not limited to, the following:


Fuels / Oils


Paints / Varnishes


Liquid Bleach

Matches / Candles

Perishable Goods

Live Plants


Fire Extinguishers

Propane Tank, empty or full


Paint Thinners

Aerosol Cans

Cleaning Chemicals

Firearms or Ammunition

Food in Glass Jars

Pressurized Tanks




The Verdict?

If you're willing to do a lot of extra (physical) work for the sake of cutting costs then you should probably include U-Pack in your options. However, if what you're after is a fast, efficient and painless move that limits the risk of damage to you and your belongings, then you'd be better off getting the services of all-around professional movers.

To find the best full-service moving companies in your area, just fill out one of our short forms and get your cost-efficient quotations right away.

New Content Update: If you are looking for a reputed national moving company for your relocation, then this list of nationwide movers will be useful to you!