Planning a move can be stressful, not to mention expensive. U-Pack and its shipping partner ABF have become one of the premier names in the self-service side of the moving industry. Since 1997, this provider has serviced client moving needs in all 50 states and beyond. Along with the wide availability and easy-to-understand service profile this mover offers, U-Pack can provide some of the lowest prices in the country. Read on to learn more about U-Pack and why it is one of the best long-distance movers available. Here, you’ll find:
- Which kinds of moves U-Pack is best-suited for
- What past customers thought of their moves with U-Pack
- How much your U-Pack move should cost
Our U-Pack Review
U-Pack enjoys a well-earned reputation for reliability and quality among other self-service moving companies. While the container sizes and services this company offers lag behind some other providers, none of the competitors in this space can match ABF U-Pack for its consistently low pricing.
Some points of concern or contention from U-Pack customers are common among all moving companies. Miscommunication on home size versus container needs is fairly common, regardless of which container or truck rental company you use for your particular move.
U-Pack’s lack of hidden fees, straightforward and readily available customer service, and quick delivery times make for easy moves. We highly recommend going with U-Pack if you’re looking to stage a DIY or semi-DIY relocation.
Pros & Cons of U-Pack
- Flexible and straightforward pricing
- Reliable delivery windows
- Solid liability coverage options
- No deposit is required for booking
- No local moving option (under 150 miles)
- No climate-controlled storage
How Much Does a U-Pack Move Cost?
U-Pack’s cost is low relative to other container companies. Generally speaking, container moves are an intermediate cost option. Full-service moves cost the most by far while moving truck rentals from providers like U-Haul are the lowest-cost options.
You won’t find many more convenient or speedy options for interstate moving. We’ve included some sample price points for moves of varying sizes from U-Pack. Whether moving a studio apartment or a four-bedroom home, U-Pack’s ReloCubes or trailers should be of assistance.
U-Pack Average Costs
|<250 mi||500 mi||1,000 mi||2,000 mi|
|2 BR||$600 – $1,600||$1,200 – $2,200||$1,600 – $2,600||$2,100 – $3,100|
|4 BR||$800 – $1,800||$1,800 – $2,800||$2,800 – $3,800||$4,100 – $5,100|
For some perspective, we’ve included pricing for U-Pack’s main competitor, PODS, and general cost information for full-service moving.
PODS Average Costs
|<250 mi||500 mi||1,000 mi||2,000 mi|
|2 BR||$700 – $1,700||$1,300 – $2,300||$1,700 – $2,700||$2,200 – $3,200|
|4 BR||$900 – $1,900||$1,900 – $2,900||$2,900 – $3,900||$4,200 – $5,200|
General Average Costs (Full-Service)
|1 BR||2 BR||3 BR||4 BR|
*Local not provided by U-Pack
As with any move, your U-Pack price will have key determining factors. These include:
- Total mileage: Long-distance moving costs are typically determined by the total distance covered and the shipping weight of your household goods. While shipping weight isn’t a determining factor for cost with U-Pack moves, they can provide accurate shipping weights for military moving purposes. You’ll have to ask for this when you get a quote.
- Space used: While your given credit card will be billed before delivery, no charges will be applied until your driver arrives on-site to determine how much of your trailer (or how many containers) you used.
- Adherence to load times: U-Pack provides three-day loading and unloading windows for all moves. If you fail to load or clear your container or trailer in the allotted time, you could be faced with added fees.
- Storage requirements: Storage in most locations will cost $150 per ReloCube per month. If you have a larger home and need storage, then you should ask for multiple ReloCubes rather than a trailer. Trailers cannot be stored long-term at U-Pack service centers.
What Services Does U-Pack Offer?
U-Pack’s more limited array of services appeals to more independently-minded and budget-conscious customers. You’ll have to arrange for your own moving labor if you book through this mover, which U-Pack’s website provides some resources for.
Again, U-Pack only services moves of 150 miles or more. Their ReloCube unit can store or move the equivalent of most studio apartments, while their 27-foot trailer can move most three-bedroom homes. See these moving container company recommendations for further guidance.
Read more: Cheapest Moving Companies.
Storage with U-Pack or with any provider can be expensive. That said, this provider’s 240 locations each provide ample storage space. This is a worthwhile consideration if you have an unconventional timeline leading up to your final move-in to your new home.
No matter the moving company you use, there is always a chance of damage or other mishaps during your move. U-Pack provides a couple of different coverage options, which rival those offered by several van lines. These include:
This comes with your initial quote and incurs no added fees. It covers fires, theft, trailer overturn, collision, and similar such instances during the move. This provides $3.00 per pound per item for any lost or damaged goods, with a $60,000 maximum for trailers and a $7,500 maximum per ReloCube.
Carrier negligence covers loss or damage to goods at a base rate of $0.10 per pound per item and takes effect if your driver is solely responsible for any loss on your part. You can purchase additional coverage for this with one-time fees at the start of your move.
- $75: Increases your coverage to $1.00 per pound, per item, with total limits of $20,000 per trailer and $2,500 per ReloCube.
- $125: Bumps your total coverage to $2.00 per pound, per item, with limits of $40,000 per trailer and $5,000 per ReloCube.
- $175: A maximum of $3.00 per pound, per item, with a $60,000 limit on a trailer and $7,500 on a ReloCube.
Service Area & Availability
U-Pack services moves in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and parts of Canada. With more than 240 service centers in the U.S. alone, you’re likely within the range of one of its many locations. If you’re in the following areas, you’ll be able to schedule assistance for your moving or storage needs with this provider:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- British Columbia
How To Schedule With U-Pack
Getting an instant quote and booking with U-Pack is fairly easy when compared to many other moving service providers. You won’t have to enter any personal or contact information to get preliminary pricing information. Simply enter your move origin and destination points, home size, and preferred moving date, and an instant figure will be generated for you here.
We recommend getting your quote from U-Pack at least six weeks before your planned move date. Doing this will help you ensure container or moving trailer availability. You’ll be assured of an easy-to-understand price point before booking, which U-Pack’s bare-bones service offerings will even further guarantee.
When you book, you won’t be required to pay a deposit of any kind. This alone makes U-Pack stand out among the best moving companies in the business, as most other providers will require an up-front fee of at least a couple hundred dollars upon booking. That said, you’ll have to put down credit card information to reserve your container or trailer. Cancellation fees range from $50 for canceled moves within a week of moving day to $150 for same-day cancellation requests.
Whether you opt for a U-Pack move or not, you should be absolutely certain of what you’re purchasing before you sign any moving contracts. Here, we’ve listed a few registrations and insurance policies to look for from your movers:
- FMCSA registration: Movers who handle interstate or cross-country moving have to maintain minimum federal registration through the FMCSA. This will also require active USDOT and MC numbers, whether a self-service or full-service moving company. You can look up such providers’ registration status and complaint history through this link.
- State registration: Movers also have to be registered within their home state. Each individual state has its own registration requirements, which you’ll have to check for yourself. This could range from basic business licensing to compliance with a statewide governing body.
- Workers’ compensation: This insurance is universally required in the moving industry. It provides protection in the event of a mover injury during your relocation.
- Insurance coverage: All movers must provide minimum coverage for lost or damaged goods. This released liability coverage is included in your base move price and provides $0.60 per pound per item in reimbursement. Most moving companies will also offer valuation options for higher-value items. This varies with container companies, however. U-Pack’s carrier negligence coverage supersedes this at a rate of $0.10 per pound, per item.
Before you schedule with U-Pack, you’ll have to go over a few things; the two most important items on this portion of your moving checklist should be making a thorough inventory list and ensuring that you have adequate parking space for your trailer or units.
If you’re unsure of how your home size translates to space within one of the vessels U-Pack provides, then consulting this guide should help. For parking, clearing a 40-foot long space with eight feet of width and 14 feet of overhead clearance is recommended.
U-Pack Customer Reviews
Before you book with any moving company, you should look into customer reviews. These will give you far better insight into any mover’s conduct than any free quote or estimate could. Reviews from multiple sources, including Yelp, Google, social media, Trustpilot, and BBB, will all be valuable during the research phase of your move.
Here, we’ve included some actual reviews from recent U-Pack customers.
Donna’s move near the West Coast featured banner service from beginning to end.
“I’m really glad I chose UPack to move my things for several reasons:
1) they’re very transparent with the total cost of the move, so there are no surprises after the fact.
2) They were understanding and accommodating when I needed extra time during the move before delivering my things.
3) There is a lady that has been working at UPack for like 16 years, I think she said, and she was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable when I asked her my long list of questions. I wish I could remember her name, but I wanted to say here that she was amazingly helpful and reassuring when I was under a lot of stress trying to get everything organized for the move. She was wonderful.
4) All the people that answer the phone are courteous and helpful to the company that helps drop off and picks up the ReloCubes, those workers were friendly and courteous as well, and they also worked with me when I needed an extra day or two before they dropped off the ReloCubes.
Just great service all around, and I would use them again.”
U-Pack also services moves to and from Hawaii, with Mark’s relocation experiencing only a few difficulties:
“We moved to Hawaii from Washington state. U-Pack was a workable solution to save some cost. We hired recommended loaders from Moving Staffers. The pods arrived in Hawaii a week before the expected delivery date, and all goods were intact. The reason we haven’t given a 5-star rating is that it would have been much better if their pods were larger. They only have one size that can be shipped overseas. Unfortunately, we had to leave some things that wouldn’t fit.
Also, we tried to order more pods as our estimate left us short. U-Pack couldn’t accommodate us until a week later, which didn’t work for us.”
Iris needed U-Pack’s trailer option for a larger move:
“Great company! We moved from Seattle to Arizona and went with U-Pack as they had the best quote. The truck arrived in Seattle and Arizona on schedule. Excellent communication from the movers and kept us informed on when we should be expecting our truck. Highly recommend for long-distance moving!”
U-Pack moves are fairly easy to book and are less expensive than moves with other container companies. The lack of local moving service is a drawback, but this mover is able to provide quick deliveries on most long-distance service requests.
As some negative reviews have stated, finding additional containers or storage space last minute can be a hassle. We always recommend getting a professional moving quote prior to booking to help avoid this. Getting moving labor to help with loading and unloading may also be necessary to maximize your available space.
Frequently Asked Questions About U-Pack
Does the' "pay for what you use" pricing structure apply to ReloCubes?
No. Smaller ReloCubes will effectively come with flat-rate pricing based on your move distance. To take full advantage of U-Pack’s pricing flexibility, you’ll have to rent a trailer for a larger move. With these, you’ll only pay for the space that you use.
How long does U-Pack take to deliver my household items?
Most deliveries within the 48 contiguous states will take place between two and five business days after pickup. Most movers or shippers are able to cover around 400 miles per day when traffic, road conditions, and other factors are taken into consideration. Use this to calculate your estimated delivery.
What are minimum charges?
This is something you should be aware of if you hire movers to help with packing or unpacking your ReloCubes or trailer. Most moving companies will charge two to four-hour minimums for any kind of service. Even if you only need your movers to help with a single item, you’ll be stuck paying for this minimum fee. Read any contracts before signing them to be sure of your service profile and billing structure.
Is professional packing help needed for moving container moves?
It isn’t a necessity, but it is recommended if you think you’ll be struggling to fit your things inside a given space. Professional movers have the needed training to maximize your given space in any moving container or storage unit, so it may be worth considering, regardless of move size.
Today's Homeowner Rating Methodology
At Today's Homeowner, our primary goals are to be a reliable source of information and to be totally transparent to our readers. With that in mind, we’ve developed the following formula to render objective ratings – on a scale of 10 points – for the moving companies we review.
- Transparency (3.0): Communication and being fully straightforward regarding company policies and licensing are incredibly important. A given mover’s willingness to display these, to supply quick quotes, and to provide clearly-worded moving contracts all factor into the three points within this single rating criteria.
- Cost (2.5): A mover’s cost relative to industry averages, as well as accessibility to cost data play a role in the customer experience as much as anything else. We know that being sure of what you’re paying – and being confident that you’re not overpaying – will ultimately make for a positive move. We’ve weighted cost factors accordingly in our ratings.
- Customer Service (2.0): Establishing an easy line of contact with your movers during the booking process or during the move itself is a huge asset for any moving client. The stress of moving, in general, can be greatly eased by knowing you can talk to a licensed professional whenever you need to, which is why we’ve listed this as a key rating category. This is where customer reviews come into play; since the majority of complaints stem from poor customer service, feedback from BBB, Yelp, Google, and other review platforms factor into this criteria.
- Services Offered (1.5): This rates lower on our priority list than many would think, simply due to the fact that many movers provide a similar line of services. However, breadth of service offerings does still vary to a degree.
- Customization Options (1.0): Having the autonomy to fully customize your move should rate highly on any moving checklist. Here, we’ve taken moving package customization ability, as well as pricing for more involved add-ons. Steep pricing for such services can provide something of a soft barrier for clients looking to add to their move, and we’ve taken this into consideration.