Moving Made Simple: Moving Containers vs Moving Companies

By: Nik Watson Last Updated: Apr 23, 2024

  • Share article:

Weigh the pros and cons of moving containers and full service moving companies to make smart relocation choices and ensure a hassle-free move.

Moving Made Simple: Moving Containers vs Moving Companies

Moving is scary. It requires careful planning and decision-making to move from your old home to your new one.

There are so many questions and nuances surrounding the idea of moving. In this article, we’ll tackle one of the biggest questions about moving: Should you use moving containers or a full-service moving company for your move?

There are pros and cons to each, but hopefully, by the end of this article, your decision will be clear.

What is a Moving Container?

A moving container is a portable storage unit or pod that is weatherproof and can be rented for moving or storage.

These containers come in various sizes to accommodate different volumes of items and are typically made of durable materials like steel or wood.

Benefits of Moving Containers

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Moving Containers are more cost-effective than hiring professional movers. You can save a lot of money on labor and packing costs of professional movers by packing your own belongings and using a moving container.
  • Flexibility: Moving Containers offer flexibility in packing and loading because they can pack their belongings at their own pace. If you like more control over the moving process, this is for you.
  • Security: Most moving container companies provide secure storage options during transit. Owners keep the key to their containers, which adds an extra layer of security and peace of mind.

Examples of Moving Container Companies

  • Zippy Shell: Lowest Moving Container Prices in the Country
  • 1-800 Pack Rat: All-Steel Containers & Best for Security
  • U Pack: Long-Distance Moving
  • Smart Box: Local Moving

What is Full Service Moving?

Full-Service moving is hiring a professional moving company to handle every facet of your move. The moving company takes care of all your worries, from packing and loading to transportation and unloading.

This option is suited well for individuals lacking the time or energy to tackle the packing process on their own, or those with large or valuable items that need specialized care.

They come to your home, pack your belongings, transport them to the new location, and unpack everything for you. Sounds great, right? It really is, although it’s on the pricier side.

Benefits of Full-Service Moving

  • Convenience: With professional movers handling every aspect of the relocation process, from packing to unloading, you can focus on other important tasks or simply relax and prepare for your new home.
  • Time-Saving: Full-Service Moving saves your valuable time by streamlining the entire moving process. Instead of spending weeks packing and organizing your belongings, professional movers can complete these tasks efficiently. This service allows you to move into your new home as soon as possible.
  • Expertise & Experience: Professional movers have been trained to move all types of items like bulky furniture, fragile items, and valuable possessions. You can rest assured they will safely deliver your items.

Examples of Full-Service Moving Companies

Differences between Moving Containers and Full-Service Moving

Choosing between moving containers and full-service moving depends on your individual needs and budget.

Here are some of the key differences between the two:


Moving containers tend to be cheaper than full-service moving companies, since the moving companies handle everything from start to finish. The cost typically includes labor, transportation, packing materials, and other services for moving companies. On the other hand, moving containers can have additional costs like storage and transportation fees.

2. Convenience

While moving containers offer flexibility in packing and loading, they do require more time and labor from the customer. Full-service moving offers the maximum convenience and time-saving benefits. Opt for a full-service move if you want to be stress free while moving and don’t care about price,

3. Safety

Using moving containers presents more risks compared to hiring a professional moving company because you are responsible for packing your belongings. You may lack training in moving specific items and you might not have adequate insurance coverage for your possessions.

4. Flexibility

Moving containers provide greater flexibility in scheduling and timing. Individuals who like to be hands-on can pack and load their belongings at their own pace, and can have more control over the arrangement of items. Full-service moving does lack the flexibility of a moving container because customers must abide by the moving company’s schedule and expertise.

5. Storage

Many moving container companies offer storage solutions as part of their services. Individuals can keep the container on-site for as long as needed. Some full-service moving companies offer storage options for short-term or long-term, but at an additional cost.

6. Level of Involvement/Labor

Using moving containers involves more hands-on participation from the customer which requires much more time and effort. But, with full-service moving, the professionals handle every aspect of labor. This includes packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and even unpacking.

How to Choose the Right Moving Option for You

Choosing the right moving option for you depends on a number of factors:

  • Budget
  • Distance of your move
  • Preferred level of involvement
  • Size of your belongings

Here are some tips to help you decide:

  • Assess your Budget: Full-service moving is more expensive, but it offers more convenience and less stress/labor. Moving Containers are more affordable, but you’ll need to hammer out the work yourself.
  • Consider the Distance: Take into account the distance of your move, as this may influence the practicality and cost-effectiveness of your moving options.
  • Evaluate your Level of Involvement: Decide how involved you want to be in the moving process, whether you prefer a hands-off approach with full-service movers or more control with a DIY moving container.

Frequently Asked Questions

On average, the cost of renting a moving container typically ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 for a local move and $2,000 to $7,000 for a long-distance move. The actual cost can vary depending on several factors like the size of the container, the distance of the move, the duration of the rental, etc.

The cost of full-service moving can vary depending on numerous factors, such as the distance of relocation, how much space your belongings take up, etc. Typically, full-service moving expenses range from $1,000 to $10,000 or higher, depending on the specifics of your move.

Yes, there may be additional fees associated with a full-service moving company like packing, long carry fees, stair fees, etc.

To get a more accurate estimate, request quotes from multiple moving container companies and ask about additional fees. Calling a moving container company is the best way to get the most accurate estimate.

Weigh all of your options carefully and do your research. If you want a more budget-friendly option go with a moving container. If you want to take the stress out of moving, choose a professional moving company.

Choose the Right Moving Service

Relocating can undoubtedly be a source of stress, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you.

By understanding the differences between moving containers and full-service moving companies, you can decide the best option for you and your family. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, but we hope through this article you’ll be able to make an informed decision to make your move as efficient and stress-free as possible.