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Top 10 Best Moving Container Companies

Michael LiCalsi — Writer for Top10
Top 10 Best Container Moving Companies
Whether you're moving across town or across the country, finding the right container solution can make all the difference.

Drawing on the knowledge of a 20-year moving industry veteran, we assessed 2024's top container moving companies.

We've identified ten providers that excel in offering flexible, budget-friendly solutions and secure transportation. These firms let you pack at your own pace while protecting your possessions during transit. Discover our expert recommendations below.

» Relocating soon? Check out this essential moving checklist + tips.

Our 10 Best Container Moving Companies in 2024:

Methodology: How We Reviewed the Best Container Moving Companies

Evaluation Process

Guided by Michael LiCalsi, a seasoned sales professional with two decades of experience in international and domestic moving, our team of experts examines each service and ranks it based on several critical factors.

Our reviews are based on practical, real-world applications and user feedback. We then compare each platform's key features to help consumers make an informed choice.

Evaluation Criteria

We analyzed services and features to find the best container moving companies. Our evaluation criteria included:

  • Range of services: We checked what each company offers, like packing, storage, home delivery, car shipping, and customs clearance.
  • Geographical coverage and network: We looked at how far each mover reaches, the countries they serve, and if they have local offices or agents where you're moving from and to.
  • Pricing and quotation transparency: We checked how clear and detailed each company's prices and estimates are, including if they offer detailed, no-commitment quotes with cost breakdowns and set prices.
  • Customer service and support: We looked at the help each company offers, like pre-move talks, personal coordinators, and regular updates. We also checked which channels you can get support from.
  • Insurance and claims handling: We investigated each company's coverage options, checking protection levels, deductibles, and claim filing and resolution processes. We highlighted policies with comprehensive safeguards and assessed the ease of claims.
  • Reputation and accreditation: We checked the services' standings within the industry, evaluating their certifications, accreditations, and awards. We also considered their history, experience, and regulatory compliance.
  • Consumer reviews and feedback: We reviewed customer testimonials, ratings, and comments on independent review sites and platforms to identify positive and negative feedback patterns.

A Closer Look at Our Best Container Moving Companies: Our Quick Reviews

1. Colonial Van Lines

Dependable and customizable storage solutions to suit your needs Visit Site

  • Best for - Innovative modular system for long-distance moving
  • Contact methods - Phone, contact form, live chat, email
  • Temperature controlled - Yes
  • Full-service moving - Yes
  • Sizes - 6’x8’x8’11”

Colonial Van Lines has delivered long-distance and interstate moving services since the early 2000s. The company also has its own mobile storage solution, the Colonial Cube, which you can self-pack or have movers assist with loading. Plus, these containers are padlocked, and you keep the key.

Why we chose Colonial Van Lines: Colonial is transparent about its service charges, allowing you to approve all costs upfront. Its spacious, climate-controlled facilities keep prized possessions safe and even accommodate large items like trampolines and commercial equipment.

Client perspective: Neil (38) from Philadelphia said that "[his] things were transported directly from a storage facility, so it was already packed, and the driver just had to load it onto a truck and bring it to California."


  • Instant live chat available on the website
  • Intuitive mobile app
  • Excellent customer reviews with a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot


  • Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii excluded from storage services
  • Possibility of delays for delivery


Versatile containers with major discounts Visit Site

  • Best for - Short-term, on-site storage
  • Contact methods - Phone, chat, text, contact form, email
  • Temperature controlled - No
  • Full-service moving - No
  • Sizes - 8', 12', 16'

PODS, or Portable On Demand Storage, is ideal if you’d like an unrushed experience when self-loading and unloading a container. There are three different container sizes, and it has flexible pickup and delivery windows.

Why we chose PODS: PODS offers free delivery and up to 15% off rent for customers moving locally (under 50 miles) who purchase at least three months of holding. Plus, if you're a service member, you get a 10% discount on the first month’s storage, delivery, and the cost of long-distance transport.

Client perspective: David (43) from Florida says the company delivered their POD in pouring rain. The driver made sure absorbent pads were in place, and they were happy with the placement.


  • Containers can be rented for any length of time
  • 5,000 - $300,000 cover for contents and container-only protection
  • At-home and facility storage options


  • No full-service solutions—you have to pack and load
  • Quotes may be inconsistent

3. American Van Lines

Full-service storage solutions in Florida, Texas, and North Carolina Visit Site

  • Best for - Secure storage vaults
  • Contact methods - Phone, email, contact form, fax
  • Temperature controlled - Yes
  • Full-service moving - Yes
  • Storage box sizes - 16’x8’x8’, 12’x8’x8’, 8’x7’x8’

American Van Lines (AVL) provides short and long-term, temperature-controlled storage nationwide. Each fire and stormproof facility houses over 1,000 vaults. Plus, you get the first month of warehousing free. All operations are fully licensed and insured for your peace of mind.

Why we chose American Van Lines: With 24/7 monitoring and a specialty in handling fine arts and antiques, you can trust AVL with your most precious belongings. It also has flexible scheduling, including guaranteed pickup and delivery dates (for a fee). And, each vault gets sanitized after every use.

Client perspective: According to Dona (63) from Florida, American Van Lines' crew "were friendly, careful, quick and efficient. [The company] explained everything clearly at every step of the process. [AVL] wrapped everything in blankets and boxed all of the small items."


  • Featured on Newsweek's 2024 Best Customer Service list
  • Price-matching policy
  • Nationwide coverage in all 48 contiguous states


  • Requires 10%–50% deposit in advance
  • No up-front pricing available

4. 1-800-PACK-RAT

Affordable, DIY container packing and storage options Visit Site

  • Best for - Month-to-month storage
  • Contact methods - Phone, email, contact form
  • Temperature controlled - Yes
  • Full-service moving - No
  • Storage box sizes - 8', 12', 16'

1-800-PACK-RAT's containers can accommodate your temporary storage needs during home staging, remodeling, or disaster recovery. You can rent the units monthly and load them at your own pace. The company serves 31 states, including DC, and can help you find local movers and warehouse solutions.

Why we chose 1-800-PACK-RAT: Its all-steel containers are designed for protection, security, and moisture resistance, minimizing shifting during transport. Additionally, you'll get a free no-cut security lock and $10,000 in contents protection if you book a long-distance move.

Client perspective: "This is the second time I've used Pack Rat," says Kim (35) from Virginia. "The drivers did a great job placing the pods in convenient locations to make packing and unloading easy for the movers."


  • Provides downloadable moving checklists
  • Seasonal discounts and promotions available
  • Space calculator helps you plan your move


  • Possible hefty fuel surcharges
  • No international moving available

5. U-Haul U-Box

A vast network of retail locations for your convenience Visit Site

  • Best for - Practical interstate moves
  • Contact methods - Phone, email, live chat
  • Temperature controlled - No
  • Full-service moving - No
  • Storage box sizes - 95"x56"x83.5"

You can use U-Haul's U-Box containers to store your belongings until you're ready to move into your new space. It lets you load at your own pace or get assistance from its personal team. You can reserve Moving Help per hour. Plus, you won't be charged a fee if you need to change dates or cancel.

Why we chose U-Haul U-Box: U-Haul lets you store items in a U-Box on your property or at its facilities. It transports your goods by truck with gentle ride suspension for safe shipping. While in storage, your possessions are kept in a secure U-Haul facility.

Client perspective: Lindsay (28) from Los Angeles found U-Haul's reps "to be professional, knowledgeable, and supportive. [She] absolutely would use the company again, especially for its boxes."


  • Offers damage coverage
  • U-Boxes can be hauled locally and internationally
  • Competitive prices


  • No temperature-controlled option
  • U-Box only comes in one size

6. U-Pack

Relocation solutions that fit your budget and life situation Visit Site

  • Best for - Transparent pricing model
  • Contact methods - Phone, email, fax, mail, Facebook messenger
  • Temperature controlled - No
  • Full-service moving - Yes
  • Storage box sizes - 7'x7'x10', 7'x7'x15'

U-Pack is an affordable long-distance moving solution for various lifestyles. A single ReloCube, delivered door-to-door, averages $2,600, which covers equipment, delivery, transportation, and liability coverage. Its rates are based on space, and you control the price as you load.

Why we chose U-Pack: It only charges for the space you use, and you get to keep any remaining balance from your relocation allowance. The company offers a $25 discount for booking online. Plus, it picks up any unused containers for free.

Client perspective: James (32) from Texas had an "excellent moving experience," relocating from a five-bedroom house in Western New York to Central Texas. "The pricing was very competitive, and U-Pack gave [him] ample time to carefully pack everything to ensure a secure delivery."


  • Free instant quotes
  • User-friendly website with moving resources and helpful videos
  • Discounts available for students and military members


  • You only get three business days to load/unload the containers
  • Charges a fee for canceling within a week of your service date

7. Zippy Shell

Convenient, portable storage at affordable rates

  • Best for - Budget-conscious consumers
  • Contact methods - Phone, email, contact form, live chat
  • Temperature controlled - Yes
  • Full-service moving - Yes
  • Storage box sizes - 10"x7"x7", 16"x7"x7"

Zippy Shell is a nationwide moving service with portable containers, flexible storage solutions, and relocation options. It boasts 66 franchises in 32 states. The company has secure, climate-controlled facilities and connects you with professional full-service movers.

Why we chose Zippy Shell: The service's prices consistently beat the competition, making it a great choice if you're a budget-conscious mover. Plus, Zippy's containers are designed to be street-legal, eliminating the need for a large yard. This makes them perfect for urban areas with limited space.

Client perspective: Georgina (25) from Florida had a seamless moving experience relocating from Tennessee to Florida. "From scheduling to loading, everything was great! Zippy Shell was outstanding from the first contact through pick up, storage, and delivery."


  • Full-service moving assistance
  • Secure off-site storage solutions available
  • Three insurance options


  • Getting an initial quote can be time-consuming
  • Up-front payment is required before container delivery


Innovative storage planning

  • Best for - Keeping your items level in transit
  • Contact methods - Phone, contact form, live chat
  • Temperature controlled - Yes
  • Full-service moving - Yes
  • Storage box sizes - 8'x8'x12', 8'x8'x16'

UNITS is a franchise-based portable container provider with a unique ROBO-UNIT delivery system. You can self-load/unload or receive assistance from reliable local movers. The company provides two secure, weather-resistant storage solutions: on-site containers and climate-controlled facilities.

Why we chose UNITS: The ROBO-UNIT system keeps the box level during transport, even in tight spaces, minimizing the risk of items shifting after loading. UNITS also has a user-friendly 3D storage calculator where you can drag and drop items into a virtual container.

Client perspective: Claude (28) from North Carolina says UNITS is "such an easy company to deal with." [Its reps] will keep you updated on delivery, and it's simple to schedule drop-off and pickup."


  • $10,000 base-level insurance coverage for long-distance moves
  • Excellent customer service and 24/7 support
  • 30-day free storage


  • No instant online quotes—requires customer contact
  • Fewer container sizes than competitors


DIY-friendly containers for college students Visit Site

  • Best for - Space-efficient storage
  • Contact methods - Live chat, contact form
  • Temperature controlled - Yes
  • Full-service moving - No
  • Storage box sizes - 8"x7"x5"

SMARTBOX provides affordable local and long-distance moving and on-site and warehouse storage options. Its discounts for college students and military members make it a convenient choice if you're looking for a straightforward container solution.

Why we chose SMARTBOX: SmartBox has a flexible renting model where you can reserve multiple units but only pay for the ones you end up using. Additionally, it works around your timeline, keeping the containers for as long as needed. Plus, the website has a space estimator to help you plan.

Client perspective: Ezra (48) from Louisiana says SMARTBOX "showed up on time and had everything done quickly." The company "packed up [their] entire apartment, including disassembling [their] bed frame and rolling up the mattress, moved everything into the house, and made sure everything was where it needed to be. They were professional and courteous."


  • Free quote tool on the website
  • Complimentary weatherproof covers on-site and during transit
  • You can purchase packing materials directly through SMARTBOX


  • Single container with a maximum capacity of 3,000 pounds
  • No wheels on containers—requires a forklift

10. MovingYourself

Reliable truck rentals with professional drivers

  • Best for - Budget-friendly long-distance moving
  • Contact methods - Phone, contact form
  • Temperature controlled - No
  • Full-service moving - No
  • Storage box sizes - 52' moving truck

MovingYourself fills a niche between traditional moving truck rental companies and full-service relocation services. The company delivers a truck to your home and gives you two to three days to load it. You only pay for the space you need while still benefiting from professional drivers.

Why we chose MovingYourself: The company's founder has 30+ years of experience in the industry. It holds all the required licensing, including registration from the US Department of Transportation (USDA). Plus, the service helps customers save up to 50% compared to traditional services.

Client perspective: Stuart (44) from California says, "MovingYourself was very professional and continually responded to every inquiry [he] had during [his] entire moving process. The trailer was dropped off on time and was delivered to [his] new home on time."


  • Support for military and long-distance relocations
  • Protection for fragile items with loading ramps and bulkheads
  • Resources on website provide moving checklists and packing tips


  • Doesn't deliver local moving service
  • No packing supplies offered

Compare the Best Container Moving Companies:

Best Container Moving Companies
Best For
Contact Methods
Temperature Controlled
Full-Service Moving
Storage Box Sizes
Colonial Van Lines
Innovative modular system for long-distance moving
Phone, contact form, live chat, email
Short-term, on-site storage
Phone, chat, text, contact form, email
8', 12', 16'
American Van Lines
Secure storage vaults
Phone, email, contact form, fax
16’x8’x8’, 12’x8’x8’, 8’x7’x8’
Month-to-month storage
Phone, email, contact form
8', 12', 16'
U-Haul U-Box
Practical interstate moves
Phone, email, live chat
Transparent pricing model
Phone, email, fax, mail, Facebook messenger
7'x 7'x10', 7'x7'x15'
Zippy Shell
Budget-conscious consumers
Phone, email, contact form, live chat
10"x7"x7", 16"x7"x7"
Keeping your items level in transit
Phone, email, contact form, live chat
8'x8'x12', 8'x8'x16'
Space-efficient storage
Live chat, contact form
Budget-friendly long-distance moving
Phone, contact form
52' moving truck

What Are The Benefits of Moving Containers for Relocation?

Load at Your Convenience

Having a container delivered to your home gives you the flexibility to load it at your own pace. Take a few days to fill it up, and then simply call for pickup when you're ready.

You can load it yourself or hire hourly movers to assist with heavy items. Ultimately, it's one of the best ways to save money and time when moving.

Direct and Customizable Delivery

Services like these PODS Alternatives offer containers that are directly transported to your destination without any stops. This ensures faster delivery than a traditional moving truck.

Plus, you have exclusive use of your storage space. This lets you customize it to accommodate your specific relocation style.

Expert Guidance

The best moving and storage companies have knowledgeable sales reps to help you choose the right container. Certain companies even provide calculators on their sites to help you estimate the space you need. Many providers also use freight forwarders, facilitating a direct, non-stop journey for your belongings.


Containers are a cost-effective option for short-term off-site storage compared to traditional moving company warehouses. They provide secure, weather-resistant units without extra fees for movers' handling and transportation.

This makes it an affordable temporary storage solution. Plus, you'll usually find budget-friendly moving supply tips and strategies on companies' sites to help save money during your relocation.

How Much Do Moving Containers Cost?

The cost of moving containers largely depends on their size. Smaller eight-to-10-foot units from companies like U-Haul typically start around $3,000 to $5,000 for a local move, while larger 16-to-26-foot containers can range from $4,000 to $8,000.

Additionally, longer distance relocations over 100 miles will generally cost an additional $1,000 or more than shorter local moves. Extra services such as packing, loading/unloading, storage, or insurance can add several hundred to thousands of dollars to the total price.

Moving Container Sizes

Unit sizes vary by provider and typically range from seven to 16 feet long. An eight-foot unit is often suitable for smaller homes, while larger residences may require one to two 16-foot containers.

It's best to consult directly with the moving company for guidance on selecting the right storage box for your specific needs.

Moving Containers vs. Full-Service Movers

When it comes to moving your belongings, you have two main choices: You can either rent a container or hire a full-service relocation service.

Moving Containers

With this option, you rent a unit from a company. Its drivers deliver it, you pack it, and they transport it to your new home or a holding facility. However, you have to unpack before the rental period ends.

Renting a container gives you more control over the process, and it's usually more flexible because you can use it to store your belongings during the relocation.

However, you do need a designated space to park the box, potentially requiring a permit for street parking.

Full-Service Movers

Services like International Van Lines handle every aspect of your move. They provide all the supplies, so you won't need to gather any moving materials. This also means less time and effort required on your part, as the movers handle the packing, transporting, and unloading process.

However, this option tends to be more expensive than a DIY option with a container. Additionally, you'll have less control over the process.

How to Choose the Best Moving Container Company

Consider Your Needs

If you're mainly moving clothes and small personal items, opt for services like U-Haul or U-Pack, which have closet-sized storage units. If you're relocating with furniture, try 1-800-PACK-RAT or Zippy Shell. These providers have local movers that can help you load the unit.

For long-term storage or full-service assistance like packing, loading, and transport, companies like American Van Lines or Colonial Van Lines are solid choices. These services have secure indoor storage and excellent customer support.

Additionally, if you're concerned about your budget, try services like PODS, where you can get seasonal discounts, or 30-day free storage like at UNITS.

Safety and Security

Moving companies usually take steps to safeguard your belongings and home during the relocation process. They protect railings, banisters, and floors to avoid damage when removing items from upper levels.

The service should wrap furniture in its own blankets or heavy plastic, particularly if a different team will handle the pieces at the destination. Fragile items can be secured with packing peanuts or paper to prevent breakage.

Discuss what your moving company will and won't move, as some companies restrict hazardous materials, perishables, or sentimental objects. Understanding these limitations and verifying that appropriate safety measures are in place will give you peace of mind during your move.

Flexibility and Convenience

When selecting a company, consider its flexibility in terms of delivery, pickup, and storage options. Some providers let you keep the container for an extended period, giving you ample time to pack and unpack at your own pace.

This is particularly useful if you want to downsize or need to make repairs to your new home before moving in.

Additionally, look for a company that offers convenient scheduling and easy-to-use online tools for booking and tracking your container. The ability to manage your move digitally can save you time and hassle during an already stressful process.


If you're environmentally conscious, consider choosing a moving box company that prioritizes sustainability. Some companies use eco-friendly materials for their containers, such as recycled steel or bamboo flooring.

Others may have initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint, like using biodiesel fuel in their trucks or partnering with local recycling centers.

Licenses and Certifications

Reputable companies should have a valid USDOT (US Department of Transportation) number, which is required for interstate moves. Additionally, look for services with a ProMover certification from the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), which signifies their commitment to ethical business practices and quality service.

6 Moving Tips to Consider

Here are a few key tips to keep in mind regardless of whether you choose a moving container or a full-service mover:

  1. Start early: Don't wait until the last minute. Start organizing and decluttering several weeks or even months in advance. This will make packing much easier. Create a timeline and checklist to stay on track.
  2. Label everything: Clearly mark all boxes with their contents and the room where they belong. This will streamline unpacking at your new home. Consider using color-coded labels for each room.
  3. Protect fragile items: Use plenty of packing materials to cushion fragile items like electronics, glassware, and art. Invest in bubble wrap, packing paper, and sturdy boxes.
  4. Pack an essentials box: Keep a container of the things you'll need right away, like medications, toiletries, and a change of clothes. Include important documents, chargers, and basic tools in this box.
  5. Secure parking/access: Confirm you have a suitable spot to park your container and access for loading. Get any necessary permits or permissions in advance.
  6. Take out insurance: Consider purchasing additional insurance coverage for your move, depending on the value of your belongings. Assess the options provided by your moving company and your existing homeowner's or renter's insurance policy.

Move With Confidence

Hiring professionals helps with the stress of moving because they do the heavy lifting and packing. However, moving day is still hectic when everyone has to load and unload the truck quickly.

Container companies offer a solution. They store and transport your belongings securely so you can focus on settling into your new home and enjoying a smoother relocation.

» Heading off to university? Try these packing and storage tips for students.

Michael LiCalsi — Writer for Top10
As a Top10 writer, LiCalsi applies his real estate and relocation expertise to thoroughly explore moving services. He offers practical advice rooted in first-hand experience to help simplify moving complexities. His writing aims to clarify the moving process with straightforward, actionable tips.