What To Know Before Renting a PODS Moving Container

Written by: StorageUnits.com Editorial Team - Updated: Jan 27, 2023

 

A popular name in the moving industry, PODS is known for providing a flexible solution for moving and storage needs. While they offer many options to fit nearly any moving situation, it might be challenging to determine if PODS is the right service for you. After all, if you want your move to go as seamlessly as possible, there's much to consider. Here, we've broken down the essentials of what you need to know before renting a container — like size, price and what other companies offer that might fit your needs better.

 

What Is a PODS Moving Container?

PODS stands for “Portable On Demand Storage.” A PODS moving container is a weather-resistant portable storage unit with a steel frame and high-tech polymer wall panels. Each moving container has a roll-up door conveniently designed for ground-level access, making moving your belongings a breeze. With the advantages of keeping your PODS container on your property for long-term storage or storing it at a local PODS Storage Center, this company has options to meet any storage need. In addition, those planning a move can choose to have their PODS moving container shipped to their new residence — whether they are moving around the corner or across the country.

How Big Are PODS Moving Containers?

PODS moving containers come in three sizes to accommodate various needs — 16-foot, 12-foot and 8-foot.

Large Container — 16-foot

The large container can accommodate a 1,200-square-foot space or a home with three to four rooms. This option is an excellent solution for moves requiring temporary storage and is a popular choice for those needing the most space. With some planning or help from a team of professional movers, a 16-foot container can be a great solution for those moving a more significant household from point A to point B.

The dimensions for this container are 16’ x 8’ x 8’, equating to 835 cubic feet.

Medium Container — 12-foot

The medium container is designed for moving a 500 to 800-square-foot space or a home with two to three rooms. This container is a popular option for apartment moves or those with significant storage needs. Although this container is not available for cross-country moves, it is an excellent option for local moves or temporary storage.

 The dimensions for this container are 12’ x 8’ x 8’, equating to 689 cubic feet.

Small Container — 8-foot

The small container is best suited for spaces 500 square feet or smaller. About the size of a walk-in closet, this container can accommodate the moving needs of a college student or apartment resident. A popular option for small or partial moves, the small container may also be used for shipping furniture. Larger households often pair it with the 16-foot container for more significant moves. 

The dimensions for this container vary, with some earlier models measuring slightly smaller at 7’2″ x 7’3″ x 8’4″. The updated model’s measurements are 8′ x 7′ x 8′, equating to 402 cubic feet of space. 

How Much Do PODS Moving Containers Cost?

The cost of a PODS container varies based on various factors — whether you’re using it for moving or storage or making a long-distance or local move. While PODS offers some quotes that can be completed online, they encourage giving them a call to get a closer estimate. 

Moving Costs

Those looking to utilize a PODS container for a move can enjoy several perks. Whether you’re making a trek across the country or moving across town, PODS does the driving for you. In addition, PODS customers benefit from the convenience of storing their container in their driveway — making unpacking less of a headache for anyone wanting to take their time. However, since PODS containers are rented by the month, they might prove to be an expensive option for anyone who plans to unpack quickly. 

The table below lists an estimated cost for a local move up to 30 miles. Please note that these numbers are approximate — those seeking an exact quote should reach out to the company directly.

Container Size Monthly Fees 
(Container Storage & Insurance)
One-Time Charges
(Delivery, Moving, and Pickup Fees)
Total for a Single Month’s Rent (including fees)
16-foot Container $239 $317 $556
12-foot Container $219 $317 $536
8-foot Container $199 $317 $516

Long-distance moves will incur a higher cost. Additional fees include transportation, storage and a higher insurance rate. The figures below represent an approximate quote for a move up to 1000 miles. 

Deliver Empty Container to Your Location $159
Contents Protection While in Transit Fee $50
Monthly Rental of a 16’ Container in a Storage Facility $289 
Contents Protection $10,000 Value – Monthly Fee $49.95
Return Filled Container to Storage Center $0
Transportation Mileage $2,592.04
Redeliver Container to Your Location $159
Pickup Empty Container From Your Location $0
Cost of Move and First Month of Container Rental $3,298.99
Monthly Rate after First Month $338.95

Storage Costs

Typically, renting a PODS container for storage is more straightforward and less expensive than renting a container for moving purposes. Rates can vary based on geographic location, timeframe and season, size and number of containers needed.  Whether you plan to store the container in your driveway or at a PODS facility can also affect rates.

The table below includes average figures for storage needs. Remember that your figures may differ based on the factors above. Therefore, you should request all direct quotes from the company.

 
Container Size Monthly Fees (Container Storage and Insurance) One-Time Charges (Delivery and Pickup Fees) Total for a Single Month’s Rent (Including Fees)
16-foot Container $239 $198 $437
12-foot Container $219 $198 $417
8-foot Container $199 $198 $397

Pros and Cons of Using PODS Moving Containers

PODS provides its customers with various perks that can’t be ignored when renting a container for moving or storage. The containers are optimally designed to protect belongings with a weather-resistant design and ample insurance coverage. Since PODS handles all transportation, customers who want to avoid dealing with the hassle of driving might enjoy renting from this company.

While PODS moving containers are a great solution for short-term storage or a local move, the company is notably more expensive for long-distance moves or long-term storage. Although PODS claims to be very flexible when scheduling delivery and pickup dates, some users have found this to be a frustrating experience due to errors in logistics. Overall, PODS is a great option if you are okay with paying a little extra for their containers’ convenience factor or quality.

 
Pros Cons
Does all of the driving for both local and long-distance moves Relatively expensive for long-distance moves or long-term storage
Insured to protect $10,000 worth of belongings Some users report difficulty scheduling delivery/pickup dates
Weather-resistant with a steel frame and polymer wall panels

How to Load a PODS Moving Container

Since PODS moving containers are transported on a semi-truck rather than a traditional moving truck, the container allows for more flexibility regarding what you can load and when you can load it. A PODS container is loaded best by stacking boxes first, then distributing more oversized furniture throughout the rental. Those loading the container should arrange the furniture to make the best use of the limited space, like placing a dining table so it can accommodate boxes or using an empty bookshelf to house smaller items. 

PODS provides professional movers for an extra cost. Since movers are well-versed in loading these containers, their customers can be confident that their container is being used as efficiently as possible. They also offer a contactless option for anyone keeping social distancing in mind. 

Alternative Moving Container Options

Although PODS moving containers are a popular option for moving and storage needs, other companies often provide a similar service — at a fraction of the cost. 

1-800-PACK-RAT

1-800-PACK-RAT offers a price match with PODS, so while it might not be less expensive, it is a great option to consider if you’re looking for an alternative. Containers come in three sizes — 16-foot, 12-foot, and 8-foot — and have traditional doors, which might be a perk if the roll-down door on PODS containers is something you’re looking to avoid. 

Although 1-800-PACK-RAT serves most of the United States, it currently does not have locations in Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana or North and South Dakota. 

Zippy Shell

Zippy Shell is an excellent option for those needing to make a move with short notice. Scheduling your container is quick and efficient, but unlike PODS, Zippy Shell customers only have two to three days to load their container before it is moved to its new destination. Their street-legal trailers make it easy for your container to fit wherever you need it to go — whether in your driveway or temporarily on a city street. 

Zippy Shell has a limited service area, but they will refer you to 1-800-PACK-RAT if they cannot accommodate your move or storage needs.

U-Box

A sibling of the popular moving company U-Haul, U-Box offers portable storage and moving containers at a relatively affordable rate. Containers come in one size and are $159.95 to rent. Depending on how many containers you need, U-Box might be significantly more affordable than other options. Of course, if you use less space, you can always get your money back with the company’s handy price adjustment tool. 

Similar to PODS, U-Box serves most areas of the country. However, their containers are made of plywood, so they don’t offer the inherent protection of weather-resistant containers.