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How much does portable storage cost?

March 18th, 2016 - 10:18 AM

What are storage unit prices like?

If you like the idea of using a portable storage container for your upcoming long-distance move, you may be wondering how much they cost. Sure, they're convenient, easy to load/unload, and of course, you can store your belongings directly inside. But we know cost is important, too. Ultimately, each person's moving and storage needs are different, and those factors also affect your move costs (where you're moving to/from, how long you need to store, how much you're moving, etc.) While some storage units can be really affordable, others can be a bit pricey. Today, we'll help you narrow down which portable storage option and cost structure is best for your move.

how much does storage cost


How much does storage cost?​

Because portable storage containers come in all shapes, sizes, and construction (i.e., what they’re made out of), it can be difficult to compare them as apples to apples. You’ll have to consider the services and features that are most important to you. Because of the individual nature of portable storage units, the only way to determine costs for your situation is to get and compare quotes. To  give you a ballpark idea, we’ve done some homework for you. Take a look at some sample moves below to compare services and costs. We’ll start with a moving quote from U-Pack® first, then compare to other portable storage options like PODS®, U-Haul®, and Pack Rat®. Keep in mind that your price may vary depending on your area and the time of year you’re moving.

Take a look at portable storage costs

How much does portable storage cost? For this example, we got quotes for moving a typical 2-bedroom home across the country, from Denver to Atlanta (that’s around 1,400 miles) for the end of April 2016.

U-Pack®

U-Pack is a self-moving company where you do the packing and loading, and then your belongings are delivered right to your new front door. We have two different types of moving equipment: ReloCube containers and moving trailers. Here’s the breakdown for a sample move (with storage unit rates) from U-Pack:

  • Total cost for 3 ReloCubes: $2,927 (about 918 cubic feet)
  • Total cost for 2 ReloCubes: $2,170 (about 612 cubic feet)
  • Your U-Pack quote includes fuel, taxes, tolls, the driver, liability coverage, and 3 business days  on each side for loading/unloading
  • If you need to add storage, the rates for this sample are $105 per Cube per month
  • Construction: Weatherproof metal

Keep in mind that unlike other portable storage options, U-Pack offers another equipment type: the U-Pack Moving Trailer. For this example move, the trailer option costs $2,091 for 13 linear feet of trailer space (a typical 2 bedroom home). If you use less space than 13 ft., your rate is adjusted so that you only pay for the space you use. And, you can store your belongings directly in the trailer, just like you can with the ReloCube. The cubic capacity of the full trailer is approximately 1,944 cubic feet. You can store in the trailer - rates vary based on location and time of year.

One of the perks of U-Pack is that you can have as many Cubes delivered as you think you’ll need, but you only pay for the ones you use. So if you reserve three, but end up only needing two, there’s no charge to return the unused portable storage container.

PODS®

  • Total cost for a 16 ft. container + a 7 ft. container: $4,131.79 (about 1,106 cubic feet)
  • Total cost for one 16 ft. container: $2,735.65 (about 813 cubic feet)
  • Quote includes taxes, fuel, the driver, coverage, and 1 month for loading
  • Optional monthly storage: $229.99 per month for the 16 ft. container, and $159.99 per month for the 7 ft. container
  • Construction: Metal

PODS advertises 30 free days of storage, but that actually means you have 30 days to complete your move. If you use 7 days to load, and it takes 8 days for transportation, then the rest of the time is available for storage and unloading. If you need more storage, it comes at a separate storage cost.

U-Haul®

  • Total cost for 3 U-Boxes: $2,966.85 (about 771 cubic feet)
  • Total cost for 2 U-Boxes: $2,349 (about 514 cubic feet)
  • Construction: Plywood

We found the U-Box quote a little difficult to interpret.In case you run into the same issue, we’ll try to simplify to help it make more sense.

The quote above (for 3 U-Boxes) includes delivering the portable storage containers to your address, 12 furniture pads per container, shipping them from Denver to Atlanta, delivering them to your destination address, $5000 in liability coverage, and keeping the U-Boxes for one month (to use however you want – storage, moving, etc.).

For this move, if you need the three portable storage containers for more than one month, you’ll be charged the “per month” storage cost rate of $209.85 (on your specific quote, you’ll see it described as the “per month” charge at the top of the quote).

Of course, if you have difficulty figuring out the cost of your particular move, the best thing to do is contact U-Haul directly.

Pack-Rat®

  • Total cost for 16 ft. container + 8 ft. container: $4,317.04 (about 1,364 cubic feet).
  • Total cost for one 16 ft. Pack-Rat® container: $2502.87 (about 1,013 cubic feet). The Pack-Rat® quote includes fuel, taxes, lock and key, 20 moving blankets, transportation, content protection for the first 30 days.
  • Optional monthly storage: the 16-foot container is $209.00 plus tax per container after 30 days; the 8-foot container is $179.00 plus tax per container after 30 days.
  • Construction: Metal

Pack-Rat works similar to PODS®, where the first 30 days of your move and storage are included.

How much will portable storage cost for my move?

Ultimately, the answer to that depends on your quotes. You can get an online quote from U-Pack, or if you prefer talking to someone, call 800-413-4799. You can get a U-Haul quote online or over the phone. With both PODS® and Pack-Rat, you’ll have to enter information online and then call.

Either way, when it comes down to the cost of these example moves, U-Pack is the best value. Customers love the flexibility to use the space they need but pay only for the space they use. They also really like the sturdy construction and weatherproof design. And, with more equipment options, you can choose the one that's best for your move.

If you have any questions about moving and storage costs with U-Pack, a moving consultant would be happy to help! Just call or leave a comment below.

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