PODS was the first company to establish portable storage, and if their reviews are anything to go by, they continue to impress consumers with its many convenient services.
Part of the "you-pack, they-move it" type of moving service, the way PODS works is they deliver one or more of their PODS containers to you for you to load, then they move it to your destination (or a storage facility). Afterwards, you unload it whenever you are ready - be it the next day or even the next year.
This service can simply be combined with movers booked through HireAHelper for a Hybrid™ Move, whether it be local or long distance, and costs a fraction of a bona-fide Full Service move. The one major downside is a result of its popularity; you'll have to schedule delivery in advance, especially in the spring and summer when lots of people are relocating and reservations are often made a year out.
Under 50 mi.
Under 50 mi.
|16'||8'||8'||1,200 sq. ft. or smaller||3 to 4 rooms|
|12'||8'||8'||500-1,000 sq. ft.||2 to 3 rooms|
|7'||7'||8'||500 sq. ft. or smaller||Dorm or small apartment|
Author: Francesca Di Meglio
Updated: Tuesday, August 11th 2020
One of the most practical ways people use portable storage containers is for - you guessed it - storage. PODS is great if you are in between moves, renovating your home, or downsizing or dividing up your things.
To get started, go online and size up what your options are by what you need. You obviously want to figure out the least amount of storage containers needed, as adding more containers raises the price in a hurry. If you need a little assistance, it's never a bad idea to call: 888-371-9441.
Local moves are pretty convenient with PODS.
After you book your container, it will get delivered to you when you schedule it with the company. You can keep a PODS container on your property as long as you'd like, billed monthly. With a lock and key your stuff is secure - which PODS doesn't provide for free, but you can rent one for around $8-10 . You can access your container whenever you want.
No place to park the container? No worries, you can have PODS pick up the loaded container and keep it at one of the company's 230 secure storage centers. You pay a monthly fee for as long as you hang on to the container. Of course, you can rent more than one container at a time, if necessary.
HireAHelper recently used a PODS container for storage during a remodeling project. Overall, the account was easy to use and even attractive to look at. We had no problem figuring out how to review the order, checking delivery times, and finding out when the next payment was due. Another plus is the fact that the driver called a couple of times to confirm drop off.
Here's something that isn't so obvious though: you definitely need to be home when the container is delivered. The driver ended up telling us the container couldn't be parked where we originally planned. The PODZILLA Lifting Machine, the giant contraption used to move PODS containers for you, can't handle tight 90-degree turns, and needs to be able to extend out fully from the container to unload it (so 16', in this case). As a result, on the fly, we had to change where we parked the container.
Local moves are pretty convenient with PODS. You first call the PODS representative and discuss the particulars of your move. The rep will help you determine the size and number of containers you will need. Then, you schedule delivery of your container(s) at the point of origin.
The next step is to pack up and load your stuff into the container. It is in your best interest to do this in a timely manner or you risk spending more on rental fees. Also, you have to find out about the regulations regarding parking such containers in your old and new neighborhood because you'll be responsible for fines should you get one. Talk to the rep about logistics to ensure you'll have enough room for the container to be loaded for delivery whenever you are ready. Finally, once you've unloaded all your stuff and cleaned out the container(s), you call for pick up of the container at your final destination. That's the process!
To find out more about a local move, I input info on PODS website to receive an online quote for my own very local move from Fort Lee, New Jersey to the next town over, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. For a small-ish home, my quote from PODS was for $576.78, which included one big, 16-foot container, which has enough space to house three to four rooms.
PODS is more likely one of the most affordable and convenient choices for those making a local move or a move out from a smaller place. But then again, as with any option, the price is going to scale up considerably the greater the size and distance of your move, as you'll have to add more containers, doubling your quote. Still, the convenience factor might make up for the price increase. And no matter what, it's going to be a fraction of the price of a Full Service move.
In general, PODS can be a convenient option for those making a long-distance move. The process isn't too much different than a local move.
The first step is to call to have the container or containers delivered to your original site. Then, you load the container with your stuff and call for it to be delivered to your final destination. On delivery day, you may be given an hours-long window of time in which the container should arrive.
While the price is slightly more expensive than other, similar options, PODS are more widely available than the competition. That means if you can live without some of the nicer qualities of the PODS containers, it's worth shopping around, but only if you actually have nearby options.
There is where the flexibility of moving containers shiine. You can use them for on-site or off-site storage, so you can take your time to load and unload as you travel to your final destination by car, plane, whatever! If you can't keep the container at your place, then you can have it moved to a PODS storage center near you.
The risk of hanging onto the container regardless of where it is stored is you will have to pay a monthly rental fee. If you're trying to keep your budget in check, you should load and unload as quickly as possible, and be on top of scheduling pick-ups and deliveries. (You should also be there when your containers get delivered because there may be logistical issues regarding where to park the container, or even how to properly use it.)
To get my long distance move quote (about 1,100 miles), I planned to transport a 3-bedroom home from Fort Lee, New Jersey (New York City area) to Kissimmee, Florida (Orlando area), two places with which I'm familiar. I ordered the rental about two weeks before the move date. I tried to reserve the rental for a Saturday, which is the most popular moving day of the week. This is a fairly hefty distance and date demand, and so was my quote: $5,452.08. More on how that breaks down below.
By keeping the particulars of the long distance and local moves about the same for each order, I made it easy to compare the differences.
The quotes I received are based on this information.
Prices vary based on the distance of the move and the size and number of the containers you need.
My real quote for a short distance, single PODS move:
What about for multiple PODS going long distance? For my move from New Jersey to Florida, I was quoted $5,452.08 in three payments:
These payments include:
You can keep the containers for as long as you'd like to load, store your stuff, or unload. But you will pay more for each month of storage. You will be charged $399.98 for the second month of storage should you keep the containers that long, and you'll pay $359.98 for any month after that (so about $150 then $155 per 16' container). I paid an extra $8.50 each for two locks, one for each container. It would take PODS six days excluding Sundays and holidays to arrive in Florida from New Jersey once I was ready for delivery.
Included in the price is coverage up to $10,000. This protects you in the event of fire, lightning, burglary, PODS negligence, etc. You can invest in more coverage if you'd like:
You must purchase additional coverage in advance of your initial container delivery date. This insurance does NOT cover any damage that happens to your goods during normal transit. It only covers your goods in transit if there's an accident, like if the container were to get hit by a tornado or broadsided by a semi-trailer. There's good news though! If you book movers through HireAHelper to load and unload your container, your goods will be covered during normal transit by our $0.60/lb insurance, for free. You can also pay extra for additional coverage.
You will spend a lot for a long distance move of a big house.
This was an expensive option for a long-distance move of a big house because I had to rent two of the largest containers. In addition, the long distance just added to the bill and would have emptied my pockets compared to other options.
Last second availability is a problem, especially if you procrastinated.
Weekends are secured a year in advance, said a customer service representative. I had to settle for a Monday delivery date that was a week later than I had hoped. The online rep also warned me that spring and summer were the busiest time of year for movers, as well as PODS®.
PODS has a lot going for it.
There are major convenience factors, especially the chance to load and unload at your leisure and the ability to store your stuff on property while transitioning to a new home or renovating one. It is the most flexible company there is for its cancellation policy. The equipment is sophisticated and durable, yet easy to use. And the customer seems to be at the forefront of the company's priorities.
The equipment is durable and easy to load.
PODS containers have aluminum skin panels with a steel frame, and the company promises they are weather resistant and able to withstand 110 mile-per-hour winds when partially filled, which is good news for those of you in hurricane country.
Each PODS container has a translucent roof that allows light to illuminate the inside of the container. A light-weight steel roll-up door makes it easy to open and close. If you can't quite fill the container, you can turn to the eyehooks and tie-downs that are provided to secure the load, according to the website
You have all the time in the world to load and unload.
Unlike U-Pack®, you don't have a set number of days to pack up your stuff and get moved in. They charge you extra only after every 30 days. This is really convenient if you have to get out of one place, but can't quite move into the new one or if you are renovating a home.
(PODS) insurance does NOT cover any damage that happens to your goods during normal transit. It only covers your goods in transit if there's an accident, like if the container were to get hit by a tornado or broadsided by a semi-trailer.
Storage for the first month that you have a container is built into your original quote. So for two containers, it would cost me $399.98 for the second month and $359.98 for any month after that (so about $150 and later $155 per 16' container). So, yes, you have lots of time, but you'll get the most bang for your buck by wrapping up everything within a month, which is still plenty of time.
You have flexibility about scheduling your reservation.
You have until the day before your scheduled container drop off to cancel the reservation and still get a full refund. Modifying the reservation can happen pretty much anytime, but PODS prefers you get in touch about five (5) days in advance.
On-site storage is nice.
One of the great benefits of choosing PODS is the possibility of using the containers for on-site storage. This is super convenient for anyone who might not be able to move right away. It is also ideal for those who are renovating a home.
Someone else does the driving.
You don't have to worry about hauling your stuff in a big truck or driving that thing to far-away lands, such as Florida. Someone else does it for you, and it's one less worry during your move.
PODS is the O.G. of moving container companies. Its veteran status, "you-pack-they-drive" model, and durable containers make it appealing to those on the move. It is also a practical option for those in need of storage.
While the price is slightly more expensive than other similar options, PODS are more widely available than the competition. That means if you can live without some of the nicer qualities of the PODS containers, it's worth shopping around, but only if you actually have nearby options.
You can't afford to procrastinate. People are signing up for PODS at a quick pace and the slots fill up, especially for weekends in the spring and summer, the most popular times for moving. If you're moving a long distance with lots of stuff from a big house, you will likely find other DIY options more affordable. Still, moving containers like this one make it possible for you to hack a full service move without breaking the bank - or your back!
Overall the POD container itself was excellent. I had some trouble with their website updating our order and getting customer service to fix it. They were always kind, but I had to call 4-6 times to be sure our information was correct because it was not updating on their website. I also had a very hard time proving that we did not need to pay for City Service in Chicago because there was space at the loading doc. In the end, the POD was delivered and our belongings were protected and without much damage (mild scratches to a few items were mostly due to the loading moving company not using the ratchet straps we provided correctly).
PODS charged me for locks however they did not leave them when POD was delivered. I had to call and they wanted to give me credit, however, I could not leave the area to go purchase and leave the POD unlocked. Duh. I requested that they have them delivered before day ended and they managed to have them delivered. Pick up of the POD driver was an hour late and I received no notification that they were going to be late.
This was my first time using PODS, and there were parts of the process and billing that were not very clear at first. Once I figured out the system it was better. Generally, I had good customer service both on the phone and chat. Recently, the wait time has been very long, and that's frustrating when the move is imminent or in progress. All in all, the move went well and they were right on schedule for drop offs and pick ups. One of the PODS was in new and very good condition. The other seemed older, and it was difficult to work the lock mechanism. I chose PODS because I'm doing a two-part move, and one of the PODS is in storage for a year. We hired movers to both load and unload, but it was nice to have time after they left to take care of last minute items.
I liked being able to get price estimates and make arrangements on their website. Very convenient to have the POD dropped off and have the option of keeping it at our home or stored (for a major remodel). Driver showed up hours early to drop off; exactly on time for pick up. Drivers very nice and helpful. However, their customer support is understaffed. I needed to reschedule to a day earlier since they don't tell you the delivery time until the night before and I needed to ensure it would be onsite when our packer/movers arrived. No way to make changes in schedule on the website. I called twice and was on hold for more than 20 minutes and had to give up. One time wait time was 2 hours; just hung up. I tried the chat support and even saved the transaction but realized a few days later that the change did not go through. Finally got through to customer service by phone and the guy was super helpful and friendly and got things straightened out. Also, I reserved storage for their facility in our city. We went by the location and could only find one "employees only" door with PODs name on it. When driver came to pick up POD, we found out it was being stored in another town 30 minutes away. So website is out of date on theri storage locations. Theoretically, we can make arrangements to visit our POD if we need to retrieve anything but it is so hard to contact them that I dread it if I actually need to do this.
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PODS® is a registered trademark of PODS® Enterprises, Inc. (PEI). HireAHelper, LLC has no affiliation with PEI and PEI has not authorized the use of its trademarks.