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January 30th, 2017 - 2:44 PM

Comparing U-Pack® to SMARTBOX®

If you’ve been searching online for portable storage options, you may have come across both U-Pack ReloCubes and SMARTBOX containers. They seem pretty similar — both companies offer long distance moving and storage options. However, there are several key factors that set them apart. How do you decide which one is best? Take a look at what makes each company different, and then get quotes to see how price compares for your move.

U-Pack SMARTBOX comparison

Understand your options

Equipment types

Perhaps the biggest difference between U-Pack and SMARTBOX is their containers. While similar in size, they are constructed very differently.

U-Pack moving containers (called ReloCubes) are ideal for moves where ground-level loading is important, parking is an issue, or when you only have a small amount to move. Each Cube measures 6’ x 7’ x8’ and can hold 2,500 pounds of household goods — and you only pay for the containers you use. They’re weatherproof with sturdy metal construction, and it’s easy to secure your belongings inside since each container has logistics tracking for tying down items.

Note: U-Pack also offers a 28’moving trailer. They are great for moves of any size, since you pay for the space you use (down to a 5 foot minimum). Read more about moving in a U-Pack trailer.

SMARTBOX Portable Storage and Moving containers are 8’ x 7’ x 5’ and can hold up to 3,000 lbs. They differ from ReloCubes because they are made of wood and topped with a canvas covering. SMARTBOX containers are also 56 cubic feet smaller than a ReloCube. This may not seem like much space, but when you’re loading furniture and boxes, every foot matters.

Service options

U-Pack services all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, and specializes in long-distance moving. If you need to add storage to your move, it’s easy! We’ll keep your items in the equipment you loaded them in and store it at a service center near your origin or destination. U-Pack service works like this:

  • The moving equipment is delivered to your home
  • You get three business days to load your belongings
  • U-Pack picks up your stuff and moves it to your new home
  • You get three business days to unload
  • When you’re finished unloading, we pick up the empty equipment

Most moves arrive in just 2-5 business days, but you can see the estimated transit time for your move by getting a free moving quote.

SMARTBOX does local and long-distance moving and storage, but they only offer service in 23 states and Washington, D.C. When you move with SMARTBOX, you have a total of 30 days to complete your move. That covers loading, transportation time, unloading and some storage (if you need it).  Additional storage is available at your location or at a SMARTBOX service center. Because 30 days is the minimum amount of time, you may have difficulty getting your items sooner.

Boxes and moving supplies

U-Pack has a comprehensive Box Store that offers moving kits, moving boxes, specialty boxes, and moving supplies like blankets and packing tape. You can get everything you need for a successful move all in one place, and items arrive fast with FREE shipping. If you’re unsatisfied with your box purchase, the U-Pack Box Store also offers hassle-free returns.

SMARTBOX uses a third-party provider for moving boxes. At the time of posting, it doesn’t appear that their provider carries a full line of moving boxes and moving supplies. SMARTBOX did say they could sell customers small and medium moving boxes over the phone.


Both U-Pack and SMARTBOX include the moving containers, fuel, transportation and door-to-door delivery costs in your quote. Both also offer “pay for the space you use” pricing options, but they differ some in the reservation process.

U-Pack allows you to lock in your rate when you reserve your move. To reserve, you simply put a credit card on file, but nothing is charged until your move is in transit — no down payment or deposit required. SMARTBOX allows you to lock in your rate with a 15 percent deposit.

Compare rates for your move with a U-Pack moving quote.

Side by side comparison

When you look at the services side-by-side, they’re very similar. However, the sturdy metal construction of U-Pack containers, paired with affordable rates, make it a great choice for your move. Get a quote online or call a helpful moving consultant at 800-413-4799 for help planning. If you have any questions about how U-Pack compares to SMARTBOX Portable Storage and Moving, leave us a comment below.

SMARTBOX® is a registered trademark of SMARTBOX Solutions, Inc.