Moving Containers vs Moving Trucks; Which is Better?

Moving Containers vs Moving Trucks;

Which is Better?


If you want to avoid the hassle of loading a rental truck and driving it to your new home, there’s another moving option to consider: portable storage containers.

In addition to offering storage services, portable container companies will move units directly to your new home, said Kyle Taylor vice president of the MI-BOX of San Diego.

“Portable storage companies give you the ability to pack your items on your timeline and ship your items where they need to go.” he said.

Using a container to transport your belongings allows for greater flexibility during a move. With Mi-Box storage containers customers can take as long as they need to load and unload. They can also keep their container on their property for convenient temporary storage, or we can store it in one of our storage centers.

While containers offer convenience, they aren’t for everyone, said Ryan Carrigan, founder of moveBuddha, a moving costs and services comparison website. That’s because it’s typically less expensive to rent a truck to take your possessions to your new home.

Here is a list of pros and cons to consider when choosing between a rental truck and a portable storage container:

Woman packing a mi-box moving container

Container Pros

  • There’s no need to drive a large vehicle. You won’t have to maneuver a truck in heavy traffic and you won’t have to worry about breakdowns along the way.
  • There’s no refueling hassle. Rental truck outlets charge for the gas you use, making it necessary to refuel before turning them in to avoid extra costs.
  • You can avoid steep loading ramps. Rental trucks typically have ramps that require you to move goods uphill. In contrast, containers are loaded at ground level.

Container Cons

  • They’re generally more expensive. While all moves are different, an in-town move using a portable storage container generally costs between $100 and $300. In contrast, using a rental truck typically costs between $60 and $120, including gasoline. A cross-country move with a container typically costs about $3,000, compared to about $2,000 when using a rental truck, including fuel costs.
  • You need to find a place to park it. It is recommended that customers who want containers placed on streets near their homes first contact local governments and homeowner associations to make sure there are no restrictions regarding street parking.

Family Unpacking Moving In Boxes From Rental Truck

Rental Truck Pros

  • They’re usually cheaper. The benefit of planning a do-it-yourself move is that it’s usually less expensive.
  • You’ll pay only for the time you use. Since rental trucks generally rent by the day, you can avoid lengthy rental fees that may be required by portable container companies.

Rental Truck Cons

  • Someone must drive them. If you’re unaccustomed to driving a large vehicle, you may find a rental truck difficult to control.
  • You’ll pay for any damages. You’ll be responsible for damage that occurs to the rental vehicle while you’re making your move.
  • You may need to buy extra insurance. Depending on what your homeowner and auto policies cover, you may decide to buy supplemental insurance for your move, said Taylor.

Cost vs. Convenience

While containers often are easier to use than rental trucks, not everyone wants to pay the added cost. The choice almost always comes down to cost versus convenience.

11 thoughts on “Moving Containers vs Moving Trucks; Which is Better?”

  1. I thought it was great how the article mentioned that when you rent a moving truck you are only required to pay for the time you use, so you can avoid rental fees that may be required by a portable container company. My brother is going to be moving a few blocks away from his current home and he has been considering renting a truck or hiring a moving company to help him move. Since it is so close, it might be better for him to rent a moving truck instead of a full moving service.

  2. thanks for this article about moving containers and moving trucks. I didn’t know that containers could be good because they can be loaded at ground level. This seems very useful if you have furniture or other pieces that would be hard to lift or move on a ramp.

  3. Great blog. Moving is very stressful work. I’ve enjoyed reading the post. It is a very supportive and useful post. I would like to visit the post once more of its valuable content. Thanks for such a post.

  4. That’s good to know that if you rent a mobile storage container that you won’t have to pay for the fuel that the truck uses. This is helpful since my husband and I are planning to move across the country this fall, so I’m looking for the cheapest options. We’ll have to find a container rental company so we can look at the prices to see if we would save more by not paying for the fuel.

  5. I am moving across the country and I am planning to do the move myself. It makes a lot of sense that renting a truck will save me money. Plus, this way I won’t have to ship any of my belongings and it takes the stress off of getting ready for the move.

  6. I like that you pointed out that a pro to a shipping container is that you don’t have to try and maneuver a heavy truck through traffic. I have some fragile items that I need to transport because I am moving overseas. I want them to arrive in one piece so I will consider hiring a shipping container.

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