Previously, renting a truck or hiring a full-service moving company were the only two options for moving. In recent decades, however, portable storage units have revolutionized the moving industry. This hybrid moving option gives users increased flexibility at a lower cost than hiring professional movers. Great Guys allows you to obtain quotes from national container shipping companies quickly, so you can compare rates and find the option that works best for you!
Storage Units for Moving
With a storage container rental, the shipping company drops a storage container at your home or business, you fill it with your items or enlist the help of movers to do the loading. Then, the company picks up the storage unit and transports it to storage or its destination. While a convenient and affordable option for moving, these portable storage units are also ideal for a variety of applications including on-site storage during a home remodel, secure off-site storage during house construction, and even commercial storage for equipment, inventory, and materials.
These are some of the best reasons to try portable storage for your next relocation:
- Inexpensive: Portable storage offers a cheaper alternative to hiring full-service movers, especially for long-distance moves.
- Handy: You get the convenience of renting a truck without having to do the driving.
- Flexible: Move on your schedule instead of being locked into a single moving date.
- Obstacle-free: Many storage shipping companies offer, ground-level containers with no ramps for easier loading and unloading.
- Moving & storage: Ideal for those looking for a 2-in-1 moving and storage solution, no need to move your things twice. Skip the trip to the storage unit and let the shipping company pick up your belongings for you.
- Well-equipped: Most come equipped with tie-downs to keep appliances, furniture, and large items from shifting during transit.
Best Storage Containers and Storage Unit Rentals
The use of portable moving containers has exploded over the last decade as more consumers realize the convenience of this moving option. Below is our summary of offerings from some of the top companies that offer this service to residential consumers and enterprises. We work with a variety of companies to help you find the best long-distance container options, but we don’t have any formal partnerships with any of the companies mentioned on this page.
PODS ® (Portable On-Demand Storage)
One of the most recognized names in the portable storage industry, PODS offers on-demand, steel-framed storage containers for personal and commercial use. Whether you need storage for items while your home is under renovation, or you prefer to pack and load at your leisure for an interstate move, PODS offers customers flexible and economical moving and storage solutions. Arrange for delivery of your PODS unit to your home or business and load the box (or arrange assistance from one of the company’s preferred loading companies) on your schedule. Once it’s ready-to-ship, PODS sends a driver to pick up the container and transport it to your new location or place it in one of its secure storage facilities.
Currently, PODS operates in 58 states and provinces across the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia offering service to millions of customers.
PODS Container Sizes:
- 7’ x 7’ x 8’: Great for those moving a studio or 1-bedroom apartment.
- 12’ x 8’ x 8’: The mid-size container may only be used for local moves and accommodates a 2-3-bedroom home.
- 16’ x 8’ x 8’: Perfect for moving a 3-4-bedroom home.
Two Men and a Truck
Widely known as a traditional moving company, Two Men and a Truck now offers customers the convenience of on-site storage with its portable storage units. Often, during a relocation, renovation, or transition, customers need temporary storage space for their things. Usually, this means packing everything up and moving it to a self-storage facility. Instead, Two Men brings the storage to your front door. Schedule delivery of your portable unit and Two Men will drop off the container at your home providing on-site storage by the week or month. You can load the box yourself or request the help of Two Men’s capable moving crew to tackle the job for you!
Some Two Men franchises also offer a Value Flex option for long distance moving. The movers pack your items in a storage unit, drive it to a franchise in your new hometown, then deliver and unload the unit at your new residence. While not as fast as moving with a truck, the site promotes this option as a cheaper long distance relocation alternative and offers GPS-tracking on all shipments, so you know when to expect your delivery.
Two Men and a Truck Container Size
- 8’ x 16’ moving containers: Should accommodate the contents of a two-bedroom apartment or house.
1-800-PACK-RAT got its start in North Carolina but has expanded over the last two decades to include coverage across 97% of the United States and much of Canada. 1-800-PACK-RAT delivers a steel, weather-proof container to your residence or office, you load at your own pace, then arrange for pick-up. The company delivers your container to the new address, whether its local or long distance or you may arrange to place your container in a secure, climate-controlled storage facility. Need access to your unit in storage? Not a problem! Give the warehouse a heads-up, and they’ll place your unit in a safe, accessible location. For a full-service moving experience, PACK-RAT recommends hiring a third-party moving company. 1-800-PACK-RAT also offers customers a Contents Protection Plan to insure the contents of your unit for up to $75,000.
1-800-PACK-RAT Storage Sizes
- 8’ x 8’: Ideal for moving a small studio or 1-bedroom apartment.
- 8’ x 12’: Holds the contents of most 2- or 3-bedroom homes.
- 8’ x 16’: Great for 3-4-bedroom homes.
Back in the day, U-Haul revolutionized the moving industry by offering the first moving truck rentals, which finally gave consumers the freedom and flexibility to move on their own. Today, U-Haul is keeping up with the times by offering customers the option to pack and ship their belongings via U-Box. Now, instead of loading a U-Haul and driving it to the destination, customers can pack a U-Box shipping container, schedule pick-up, and let U-Haul do the driving. You also have the option to drive the unit yourself, load or unload at a local U-Haul facility, or arrange for professional movers to do all the lifting. Unlike the steel containers offered by several of its competitors, U-Haul’s boxes are made from plywood, offering your items more breathability and preventing mold or mildew. You may also use your U-Box for secure on-site storage or request storage at a U-Haul warehouse.
U-Box Storage Unit Size
- 95” x 56” x 83.5” (approximately 8’ x 4.67’ x 7’): One of the smallest container options, most customers need more than one U-Box containers to hold their household goods. U-Haul recommends one container for a studio apartment, two for a 1-bedroom, three for a 2-bedroom, and so on. If you’re not sure how many containers you’ll need, U-Haul lets you reserve as many as needed, and picks up any spares free of charge.
Mobile Mini caters to businesses in an array of industries, including retail, construction, hospitality, education, and more, offering portable on-site storage solutions and office units. While primarily geared towards commercial consumers, Mobile Mini does provide storage solutions for residential customers as well. Have a mobile storage container delivered to your home, business, or job site for convenient storage of inventory, documents, tools and supplies, household goods, furniture, equipment, and more. Mobile Mini offers a wide range of sizes of its 100% steel, weather-resistant containers, making it easy for customers to rent just what they need. Additionally, Mobile Mini features patented locking systems to keep your goods safe and secure. Note, this service provider solely provides on-site storage and does not ship filled containers.
Standard Width Containers:
- 8’ x 10’ x 8’6”
- 8’ x 15’ x 8’6”
- 8’ x 20’ x 8’6”
- 8’ x 25’ x 8’6”
- 8’ x 40’ x 8’6”
- 10’ x 25’ x 8’6”
- 10’ x 18’ x 8’6”
SMARTBOX caters to all your moving needs, including local moves, long distance hauls, and short- or long-term storage. Choose the number of relocation containers you’ll need, then schedule a drop-off date. Once the box is on your property, you can take hours, days, or weeks to load it at your own pace. After you’ve packed and closed the units, call to schedule your pick-up. SMARTBOX transports the box to your new location, whether nearby or halfway across the country. Ideal for on-site storage, SMARTBOX also offers long-term storage solutions at its climate-controlled warehouse facilities. All containers are constructed from wood and covered with a waterproof canvas to withstand the weather conditions. With dozens of locations around the country, there’s sure to be a SMARTBOX facility near you.
- 8’ x 5’ x 7’: Works for a room and a half of storage
Zippy Shell operates franchises across the continental U.S., making it a convenient option for your local or cross-country move. Zippy drops off a moving container at your home, gives you up to three days to fill it up, then picks it up for delivery to your new home or storage. One of the best perks of using Zippy Shell is the company’s 30-day free storage policy, ideal for those who just need temporary storage between leases, during a home renovation or student move, or while waiting for their home closing. Unlike many of its competitors, the Zippy Shell delivers its containers on a trailer with wheels, so it’s easy to park in your driveway or parking lot.
Zippy Shell Container Sizes
- 10’ x 7’ x 7’: Recommended for a one- or two-room apartment
- 15’ x 7’ x 7’: Perfect for two or three rooms’ worth of belongings
Like Mobile Mini, ModSpace storage and temporary building solutions that cater to commercial enterprises. In addition to mobile offices, classrooms, and custom construction, this Pennsylvania-based company delivers heavy-duty, portable steel storage containers perfect for secure on-site storage of equipment, materials, and inventory. With 80 locations in major metro areas across North America, ModSpace likely has a place close to your office or site.
ModSpace Storage Sizes
- 20’ x 8’
- 40’ x 8’
MI-BOX Mobile Storage
MI-BOX is an excellent moving and storage choice for residential and commercial customers. The service drops your container at your home or business, gives you time to load it up, then picks it up for transport to your destination or a locally-owned storage facility. Alternatively, you can use these boxes for on-site storage at your property. MI-BOX containers come in four lengths, enabling you to choose what works best for your needs. These storage units feature a steel skeleton for better protection of your belongings, plus weather-resistant construction to keep your goods dry and safe from foul weather.
MI-BOX Mobile Storage Sizes
- 8’ x 8’: Ideal for dorm rooms or studio apartments
- 12’ x 8’: 2-3 rooms’ worth of furniture and household items
- 16’ x 8’: Works for a medium-sized apartment or 3-4 rooms of stuff
- 20’ x 8’: 4-5 rooms of goods
Cool Box offers insulated portable storage solutions from 21 locations across the Southwestern U.S., including cities in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. This family-run business offers free delivery and four free movements within 30 miles of each location during the rental. Cool Box provides transportation up to 100 miles from each rental site, making it the perfect solution for local or short distance moves. Request to have your box picked up and shipped directly to your new home or placed in temporary storage for free while you sort out other relocation logistics. If you forget something you need in the container, you may even access the stored box as required with adequate notice. Cool Box recommends scheduling your delivery or pick-up at least five days ahead to ensure availability.
Cool Box Container Sizes
Cool Box offers three different container sizes. All containers fit in a parking space:
- 7’ x 12’: Ideal for a one-bedroom apartment
- 8’ x 16’: Accommodates contents of a two-bedroom
- 8’ x 20’: Spacious enough for a three-bedroom home or apartment
UNITS Moving and Portable Storage
UNITS operates in over 500 cities across North America, offering customers convenient access to mobile storage solutions practically anywhere in the country. As with similar container moving options, users schedule a drop-off date, take their time packing the unit, then call for pick-up. You may also request professional moving assistance to pack, load, or unload the container. The company either ships the unit directly to your new home or places it in storage at one of its locally-owned, climate-controlled facilities. UNITS is the perfect solution for both in-town and across the country relocations on a budget.
- 8’ x 12’
- 8’ x 16’
When it comes to portable moving and storage solutions, there are lots of great options! To request a free quote on a container for your upcoming move, use the provided quote form at greatguyslongdistancemovers.com.
Best Moving Container Companies
- PODS ®
- Two Men and A Truck
- U-Haul U-Box
- Mobile Mini
- Zippy Shell
- Cool Box