Moving Container Cost Guide in 2023

Navigating the world of moving can be overwhelming, and one factor to consider is the cost of moving containers. In 2023, understanding the various factors that contribute to these costs can help you make a decision and potentially save time and money. This Moving Container Cost Guide will provide you with information to help you understand the costs associated with moving containers.

The cost of moving a shipping container typically ranges from $1-4 per mile, depending on the container size and the distance of the move. Beyond the cost per mile, other factors such as container type, transportation method, and additional services may affect the overall price. Knowing these factors can help you better estimate the expenses involved in your specific move.

As you research moving container companies and their offerings, it’s a good idea to gather accurate cost estimates for your needs. This guide will give you the knowledge to make these decisions with confidence, ensuring your move is smooth and cost-effective.

Understanding Moving Containers

Moving containers, also known as portable storage containers or shipping containers, are an increasingly popular choice for those looking to relocate. They combine the convenience of a moving truck with the storage capabilities of a storage facility, making them an excellent option for both short and long-distance moves.

When you opt for moving containers, you’ll typically work with a company that provides the containers, known as pods. These containers come in various sizes to accommodate different-sized moves. It’s important to choose the right sized container for your belongings to ensure a cost-effective and efficient move.

One of the benefits of using moving containers is the increased flexibility they offer. You can load and unload your belongings at your own pace without the need for professional movers. Additionally, if you have gaps between your move-out and move-in dates, your container can double as a temporary storage solution.

Portable storage containers are designed specifically for moving, which means they are built to withstand potential damage during transport. They are generally made of durable materials like steel or heavy-duty plastic, ensuring your possessions remain safe and secure throughout the moving process.

When deciding to use a moving container, arrange for delivery and pick-up in advance. The company will drop off the container at your location, and you’ll have a set period to load your belongings. After completing the loading process, the company will retrieve the container and transport it to your new location or a storage facility, depending on your requirements.

Moving containers offer a convenient, secure, and flexible alternative to traditional moving methods. Whether you’re moving locally or cross country, portable storage containers can save you time, money, and stress during the relocation process.

Determining the Necessary Container Size

When planning a move, it’s essential to determine the correct container size to fit your needs. Consider the space and belongings in your home to help you make an informed decision.

To identify the ideal container size, first, think about the number of bedrooms in your home. This factor is often correlated with the volume of items you have. Generally, a 16-foot container is suitable for a 3-4 bedroom home. However, if you have a smaller or larger house, you may require more or fewer containers.

When estimating the container size required, take into account the furniture, appliances, and personal belongings in each room. Make a list of your possessions and their approximate dimensions. By doing this, you can have a more accurate picture of the space needed for your items.

If you’re uncertain about which container size to choose, it’s a good idea to consult with moving professionals or container rental companies. They can provide guidance based on your specific situation and needs.

Keep in mind that it’s better to err on the side of caution and opt for a slightly larger container rather than a smaller one. Having extra space allows you to accommodate any last-minute additions or unforeseen challenges during the moving process.

In summary:

  • Evaluate the number of bedrooms in your home.
  • Consider the volume of belongings, including furniture and appliances.
  • Consult with professionals if you’re unsure about the necessary container size.
  • When in doubt, choose a slightly larger container to ensure enough space for your items.

By following these steps, you’ll be better equipped to choose the right container size for your move, ensuring a smoother transition to your new home.

Choosing a Moving Container Company

When choosing a moving container company, it’s crucial to consider factors like availability, cost, storage options, and container sizes. Here’s a list of moving container companies, along with their key features, to help you find the best fit for your needs:

  • Allied Express: This is a full-service solution where we do all the heavy lifting. you get a professional two to four-member crew of our expert movers to load up your belongings at your current home and unload them at your new home, OR we’ll load you up and store your belongings if you have temporary housing in your new city or just need temporary storage.
  • PODS: With nationwide availability in 44 states and Washington, D.C., PODS offers three different container sizes. They do not have tracking options but provide excellent all-around service, making them an ideal choice for various types of moves.

  • 1-800-Pack-Rat: This company is known for its ability to cater to both moving and storage needs. They offer steel containers designed to resist weather conditions, ensuring your belongings remain safe during the moving process.

  • Zippy Shell: If you’re planning a long-distance move, Zippy Shell is a top choice. Known for offering competitive pricing and unique container designs, this company allows you to easily pack, move, and store your items without hassle.

  • U-Haul: U-Haul’s U-Box containers are perfect for those on a budget. These affordable containers come in one size and may be picked up and dropped off at your convenience, making them a flexible and budget-friendly option.

  • SmartBox: For students and small moves, consider SmartBox, which specializes in convenient and cost-effective moving solutions. They offer one container size, and their pricing model is designed with smaller moves in mind.

  • UPack: UPack provides a simple and affordable alternative for long-distance moves. With flexible container delivery and pickup dates, along with a variety of container sizes, they can cater to various moving needs.

To ensure you choose the right moving container company for your specific situation, take some time to compare different options. Factors like container size availability, additional services, and overall pricing should be considered alongside customer reviews on platforms like Angi. By carefully evaluating each company, you can confidently select the best moving container service that fits your requirements and budget.

Cost Factors for Moving Containers

Type of Move and Distance

When calculating the cost of moving containers, the type and distance of the move will significantly impact the price. Local moves of fewer than 100 miles will typically cost less overall, but the price per mile may be higher. For long-distance moves across states or even countries, the cost will likely increase. The shipping cost for international moves may also be higher due to custom fees and potential tariffs.

Number and Size of Containers

The number and size of storage containers you need will directly affect the overall cost. Smaller containers are more affordable, whereas larger containers can handle more items but come at a higher price. Companies often offer different container sizes, such as 10-foot, 20-foot, or 40-foot containers. The bigger your move, the more containers you have and the higher the costs. Carefully assess your belongings to choose the right container size and minimize costs.

Season and Schedule

The season and time frame during which you plan to move also plays a role in determining the overall cost. Moving during peak seasons (summer months) may result in higher prices, as the demand for moving services is generally higher. Planning your move during the off-peak season (fall or winter) can help you save money. Additionally, scheduling your move in advance and being flexible with the moving dates might lead to better quotes or deals from container companies.

Location and Permits

Another important factor to consider is your location and any permits required. In certain heavily populated areas, such as New York, additional fees may apply due to limited parking space, container placement restrictions, or permits needed for container storage in public spaces. Always check local regulations or consult with your container company about the potential added costs related to your location, and obtain necessary permits to ensure a smooth, hassle-free move.

Remember to factor all these elements into your moving budget and request custom quotes from several providers to find the best-moving container solution for your needs. By understanding these cost factors, you can make an informed decision and ensure a successful move within your budget.

Additional Services and Their Costs

Packing and Loading Services

If you need assistance with packing and loading your belongings, many moving container companies offer these services at an additional cost. Prices for packing and loading services can vary depending on the number of items you have and the time it takes to complete the job. Generally, you can expect to pay:

  • Basic packing services: around $25 to $35 per hour per professional
  • Loading services: approximately $50 to $100 per hour per professional

Keep in mind that these prices can change depending on the company you choose and the specific services they provide. Make sure to inquire about pricing options and customization to suit your needs.

Storage Services

In some cases, you may require a temporary storage solution for your belongings before, during, or after your move. To accommodate these needs, moving container companies often provide storage services at an additional cost. Factors that may influence storage pricing include the size of the container, duration of storage, and location of the storage facility. Typical storage costs are:

  • Container storage: around $219 per month
  • Container insurance: approximately $10 per month

Remember to verify the storage costs for the specific moving container company you choose, as prices can vary.

Transportation Services

Transportation of your moving container is a crucial part of the overall moving process. While the cost of transportation services is often included in the initial pricing, factors such as distance, container size, and fuel costs can impact the final price. On average, it’s estimated that moving a shipping container costs about:

  • $1 to $4 per mile, depending on the size of the container and the distance moved

Keep in mind that moving containers overseas can also be an option with the right company, with costs ranging from $1,400 to $6,900. However, shipping containers internationally involves different pricing structures based on factors like customs and taxes.

Always check with your chosen moving container company to confirm their transportation costs and ensure that there are no hidden fees or additional charges.

Comparing Quotes and Budgeting

When planning your move, it’s important to compare quotes from different moving container companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Start by researching and requesting custom quotes from several reputable providers. Be prepared to share details about the size of your move, the distance, and any storage needs. This will allow companies to provide accurate and competitive pricing tailored to your specific move.

As you receive quotes, pay close attention to the following factors:

  • Container size and quantity
  • Distance of the move
  • Insurance
  • Storage options and durations

To help your budget, consider which moving container company offers the most affordable option that meets your needs. Keep in mind that the cheapest option isn’t always the best choice. Make sure you read reviews and testimonials from previous customers to ensure you’re working with a reliable and trustworthy provider.

You may also find that some competitors offer discounts or promotions during certain times of the year or to specific customer groups (such as military personnel or students). Make sure to inquire about any potential discounts when requesting quotes.

By comparing custom quotes and considering various factors like competitive pricing, container size, distance, and potential discounts, you can effectively budget for your move and choose the most affordable and suitable moving container company to suit your needs. Remember to always read reviews and stay informed about your options before making a final decision.


In 2023, the cost of moving a shipping container can vary significantly depending on the distance, size, and provider. Remember that shipping container costs for overseas transportation can range from $1,400 to nearly $6,900. For domestic moves, you may spend around $2.50 per mile on average.

To make the most informed decision, start by comparing prices and services from different providers. Research any additional fees, such as insurance and fuel surcharges, to fully understand what you can expect in terms of cost.

Remember, it’s your responsibility to ensure you have the right size container and to make all necessary arrangements for loading, unloading, and any applicable permits. By taking the time to thoroughly research your options and plan your move with care, you can successfully navigate the process of moving a shipping container in 2023 while keeping costs in check.

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