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Pack-Rat® Moving

February 25th, 2016 - 8:01 AM

How does Pack-Rat Moving stack up?

Pack-Rat, also known as 1-800-Pack-Rat®, is a moving and storage company that is similar to other portable storage companies. They deliver a container to your home, give you time to load, and then pick it up – kind of like U-Pack®, but different. By looking at Pack-Rat next to a comparable moving service, you can see the differences clearly.

pack-rat storage

What’s different about Pack-Rat?

At first glance, Pack-Rat may seem very similar to other moving companies; however, the contrasts are in the details. Take a closer look at how 1-800-Pack-Rat compares to other similar services like U-Pack, PODS®, and U-Haul U-Box.

Service areas

Currently, Pack-Rat serves 55 markets in 30 states. They also service Washington D.C. and Ontario, Canada. While they have facilities in larger cities, such as PhoenixChicago, and Portland, they’re unable to offer delivery in many rural locations or in most areas of Canada. There are several states without Pack-Rat availability – AlabamaAlaska, and Hawaii to name a few.

For reference, other DIY moving services like PODS® don’t have nationwide coverage either. For that, you need a company like U-Pack.

If you live in an area that’s unserviceable by Pack-Rat, check with U-Pack. U-Pack has a nation-wide service area, including Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and Puerto Rico. With nearly 250 service centers (with at least one terminal servicing every state) most areas are covered directly. A U-Pack quote will verify service to your location.

Container size

Because Pack-Rat offers three different sizes of containers – the 12 ft. Pack-Rat, 16 ft. Pack-Rat, and an 8 ft. Pack-Rat (available in most markets) – you'll have to figure out which one is best for your move. Regarding space, the 12 ft. Pack-Rat container holds about 1-2 rooms' worth of furniture, and the 16 ft. holds 3-4 rooms. The 8 ft. would hold about 1 room's worth of furniture. The stress comes from choosing the right size. If you choose the wrong size, you may run out of space.

Similarly, PODS® containers are close in size, coming in at 7’, 12’, and 16’. U-Haul only offers one size U-Box, a 96” x 60” x 90” container. Since many people often don’t realize how much they have until they start packing, choosing the right container size can be very stressful.  Similarly, most people downsize as they’re preparing to move, so if you book a container that is too big for what you end up needing then you’ll be paying to move empty space.  No one wants to waste that kind of money!

If it's flexibility you're looking for, U-Pack offers it. U-Pack allows you to reserve as many containers as you think you'll need but pay only for the ones you use. U-Pack has two types of moving equipment: moving containers and moving trailers. The ReloCube containers are all one size: 6’ x 7’ x 8’ (LWH). They fit into one standard parking space for easy parking and hold the contents of about one room. The flexibility comes because you can use one container or several – and you only pay for the ones you actually use. So that means that if you have three delivered on moving day and only end up using two, you only pay for two. For that matter, if you’re a Tetris® master and only use one Cube then you’ll only pay for one!

U-Pack also offers a 28’ moving trailer that is incredibly flexible. You load your belongings inside, and you can use as little as 5 linear feet or up to the entire trailer. You pay for the space you use.  And don’t worry about trying to figure it all out ahead of time. Since U-Pack doesn’t require pre-payment, you don’t have to worry about trying to get a refund later for unused space.  Just take note of how much or little you use on moving day and pay thereafter. It takes the hassle out of choosing a 1-800-Pack-Rat container.

The time it takes to complete your move

One of the biggest factors that may impact your decision for a moving company is the time it takes to complete a move. With Pack-Rat, it can take up to 30 days from start to finish. Pack-Rat typically gives you 10 days to load and 10 days to unload (leaving the container parked at your location on each end). Transit time is estimated at 10 days from the time they pick up your container until it gets delivered to your home. If you store your items at a Pack-Rat location, it could also take about 10 days to deliver your items to your home after you call to say you’re ready to have your stuff brought to your new home.

PODS® is comparable to this month-long transit time, and U-Haul’s U-Box delivery time depends on where you’re moving to and from.

If you want to get things moving along a little faster, U-Pack gives you three days for loading and three days for unloading. In lots of areas, you can even have your container picked up within 24 hours or the same day as arrival. Many U-Pack customers find that three days is plenty of time for loading and unloading (without dragging it out). Transit times average 2-5 business days for most moves, which means your move will likely be completed in just a week or two. You can get settled in quickly instead of waiting for your belongings.


One of the common factors between Pack-Rat, PODS®, U-Haul U-Box and U-Pack is storage. With all of the companies, you can store your belongings for as long as you need. However, storage rates will vary. Something to keep in mind: unlike some moving companies, U-Pack does not remove your items from the moving container for storage (or any other reason).  How you load is how the items stay until you unload at your destination.

Getting a Quote

To compare prices for moving and storage, you’ll need to get quotes. To get a price for a move with Pack-Rat, you’ll give them the details either online or by phone. If you give the details online, you’ll then call Pack-Rat for your cost. Either way, you’ll need to speak with a representative to get a price quote.

With PODS®, the process works the same way. You can call, or give details online and then call. Either way, you have to call them to get your rates.

If you prefer to get a quote without talking to someone or want a quote after hours, U-Pack can give you a quote online. If you prefer to talk to a U-Pack representative, you can always call 800-413-4799 and get your quote over the phone.

Pack-Rat Moving, PODS®, U-Haul or U-Pack Moving – which works best for you?

Make your own pros and cons list from the details above, and consider which service fits your needs. When it comes to flexibility, transit time, and ease of service, you may find that U-Pack comes out ahead. Start planning your move with U-Pack by getting a free moving quote.

If you have more questions about moving with U-Pack, leave us a comment. And if you have questions about moving with Pack-Rat, we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.