How Those Moving & Storage Pods Work…

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I’ve always wondered how those PODS storage rentals work.

For example, these are some some questions I have:

  • How long can you have them to load/unload?
  • How quick is the turnaround time to pick-up and transport your stuff?
  • Where do they deliver?… which states?… cities?
  • Are they cheaper than a moving van?
  • Do past customers recommend them?

Well, the other day my neighbors across the street moved out, and they used the PODS moving and storage system. Fortunately, on the day the PODS truck came to transport their stuff from their “old” house to their “new” house, I was there to watch!

Armed with my notepad & pen in one hand, and my camera in the other, I set out to discover the Pros and Cons of using PODS storage containers during a move…

What Are PODS?

PODS (portable on-demand storage) is a moving and storage system where they drop off, pick up, and transport your stuff — virtually anywhere you want. Basically, it’s a combination moving truck and storage unit in one.

They make a great alternative to renting a moving van for the following reasons:

  • They alleviate some of the legwork by physically transporting your “stuff” from one location to the other.
  • You don’t have to drive a massive truck around town, maneuver it into tight spaces, back it up into your driveway, and fill it up with gas when you’re done.
  • The PODS storage containers themselves remain at ground level for easy loading and unloading.
  • You’re not on any time constraints, so there are no “late fees” or “overage charges” for taking longer than you thought.
  • Only you have a key to your POD storage container — which means you are always in full control of your possessions.
  • They’re cost-effective.

How A Storage Pod Rental Works

First, you get a FREE quote online:

  • Enter your current Zip Code
  • Pick an approximate date you plan to move
  • Enter the Zip Code for the place you want them to move it to

Then click “Get Rates” and you can see right away how much it would cost to use a 16ft POD. Or, you can change the dropdown to 12ft and see what it would cost to use the smaller POD.

It’s quick!… so you know right away whether this is a feasible option for you or not. There’s no obligation, and you don’t even have to talk to anybody to determine exactly what it’s going to cost. (Personally, I don’t like when you have to fill out all your info online, only for someone to call you back at their convenience… not yours.)

TIP: You can click “Back” at any time. The PODS online form is where you can view the terms & requirements, accessories & options, and all costs associated with your move.

When you’re ready to order your POD storage container, simply enter a few details (like exactly where you’d like them to place the container on your property) and they’ll deliver a weather-proof storage POD to your home.

You’re free to pack at your own pace and load things onto the storage POD at your leisure. You never have to worry about time constraints or deadlines. You can take up to one month to pack the POD with no additional fees.

Whenever you’re done packing, just call them to have your container scheduled for pick-up on the next available day. They will deliver it anywhere you’d like — across town, or across the country — from coast to coast.

How Much Do Storage PODS Cost?

As an example, I got a quote for one 8’H x 8’W x 12’L POD to move across town here in Nashville (from Zip Code 37064 to 37211). The price: $231.60 including tax.

The best part: Instead of a 1-day rush job to get packed and loaded and delivered to your destination, you can use the container for as many days as needed to complete your move. You can take your time (up to 1 month), without incurring additional fees. Most people keep them 2 to 4 weeks.

  • The 8x8x12 POD accommodates an average 1,200 square-foot home.
  • The 8x8x16 POD accommodates an average 1,500 square-foot home.

Here all of the different sized POD storage units and how much “stuff” each POD will hold.

How Are PODS Transported?

Following are the photos I took — which show exactly how PODS moving and storage containers are transported from one location to another.

This is exactly how things went at my neighbor’s house:

One thing that surprised my husband and I was the fact that the POD is never actually tilted at all during the process of loading the POD storage container onto the truck. Instead, their patented hydraulic lift system picks up the POD level and sets it down level.

This video shows what the POD container itself is like — and how their patented Pozilla lift & transport system works:


Since the POD itself remains fully upright the entire time, you don’t have to worry about your stuff that’s packed “on top” ending up tossed into the corner, or eventually making its way to the bottom!

There is virtually no shifting of the contents inside. That’s a huge plus!

What About The Competition?

PODS isn’t the only self-storage container on the block.

There are competitors, but PODS seems to have cornered the market at this point. PODS has been in business since 1998.

PODS was founded in 1998 by Peter Warhurst who was looking to expand his family’s storage business. He invented PODS containers, as well as a hydraulic lift system that enables operators to easily deliver and transport the units, which he named Podzilla.

~ Source

PODS are so durable and reliable that they are actually used in a number of different situations — outside of moving and storage situations. For example, PODS often serve as emergency shelters and workstations during storms and at other times of emergency.

And business owners often find PODS useful at job sites to maintain excess inventory, storage, and safekeeping.

See what people are saying about PODS after using them to move. (Nearly 1,000 pages of testimonials!)

The Bottom Line

Overall, I think PODS are really great for short-term or long-term storage needs — whether you’re moving or not.

And the PODS storage containers themselves provide the ultimate in convenience, safety, and affordability — for your family or your business.

PODS storage facility.jpg

If you like, they’ll even store your POD storage container at their secure warehouse facility, where you can have access within 24 hours with a just phone call.

Personally, my husband and I think PODS are a great alternative to traditional moving vans — when you’re moving things yourself.

The only downside is not having the strength of additional moving men to help you carry the heavy items from your driveway into your new home — especially if there are stairs involved!

But that’s what friends are for, right?

Looking For A PODS Promo Code?

Use this link to save 10% on local moves and 5% on long-distance moves with promo code TFTG.

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How PODS moving & storage containers really work... and how much they cost.

15 thoughts on “How Those Moving & Storage Pods Work…”

  1. I think that is a given… most people try to pair down as much as possible… but as sad is it may sound – there is no way I am getting rid of my bedroom furniture … I hate IKEA quality, and I don’t feel like I could replace certain furniture pieces for what I could poss get for mine. Glad you made it across the country! Getting ready to do the same. Cali bound in 2 mo!

  2. well, i did what you said. after filling in the info for the move, the next screen came up asking me for more info and for me to call. not gonna happen

  3. The quote of $231.60 is a joke, as it only includes the first delivery of the pod and the first month of storage. Then, for every month of storage is gonna be at least another $150/month plus tax. So, if they kept their stuff in storage for three months, it would have cost them another $300 for two more months of storage and $65 for the delivery of the pod back to the final moving location. So the total is more like in excess of $600.

    • Did you read the article? The woman said she was moving across Nashville, not putting stuff in storage…so the total would be more like $231.60

  4. I used to work for pods I was a facility manager, and I had a customer like yourself order a pod and wanted it in her driveway, I personally took the pod to her, and told her it would not fit, after 5 min of pleading and begging for me to put it in her driveway, I attempted it showing her that the podzilla machine needed room to expand on the sides, as I tried to work it in I had to go back and forth to the controls which were on the left front side and from that view I could not see the rear right side or rear front. The customer was determined to have this in her drive way so while I was operating the controls she snuck onto the blind side where I could not see her then she attempted to turn the wheel that kept getting hung up by hand as she tried to do this i was operating the controls. her hand got pinned in between the wheel and the box. I heard a scream and managed to pry her hand free but after reporting it to my superiors, I was fired. The moral to this story is always follow the companies rules and if in doubt don’t drop the box return it to the warehouse.

  5. Does the Pod system for moving have referrals to local (St.Louis, MO loading and Little Rock,AR the eventual destination to unload) professional movers? Neither myself or friends are at a point in life to handle the work of loading and unloading.

  6. Ok, I know how ppl use caps lock and everyone hates it, but… If you are MILITARY do NOT use Pods. They will “lose” your weight ticket and good luck getting your money then! In that situation now and screwed sideways. Ran over and busted my curb, delivered my Pod late. But mostly my dity move is now totally out of pocket, because they lost the wieght. DO NOT USE PODS.

  7. This article is BS. It reads more like an advertisement than investigative journalism. There are no cons listed, like how it costs a ton more than renting a moving truck or that you need to have a place you can leave the unit, which might be difficult in an apartment.

  8. This would just depend on your apartment or rental situation. For example, my most recent apartment prorated by day, so one day over my lease was equal to what rent would have been for just that one day instead of the whole month. this is not an issue for the company, it is a personal issue. As a renter YOU need to know YOUR lease and be responsible for making arrangements appropriately.

  9. You are correct, it looks like an ad. I have attached the cons so you will have a better understanding. P.O.D.S. was the first nationwide portable storage container provider to go on a large scale advertising and franchising campaign and has been able to stay ahead of the competition by being innovative and meeting or exceeding their customer’s expectations. For years our staff has been helping customers doing self moves with packing, loading and unloading the portable storage containers with our nationwide moving labor service. Customers like the security of being able to place their own lock on the PODS and have our flat rate moving costs and fixed move expenses. Our nationwide network of prescreened agents are trained in the unique needs of these self service moves, we have OVER 1200 licensed, insured, local moving labor professionals with background checks approved, so after we load your PODS container, we will have a crew on set up ready and waiting for the arrival and delivery of your container to bring the contents into your new home. With over 4000 portable storage container moves to our credit, Our client list has been constantly increasing due to referrals and repeats, we also take pride in providing crews with short notice and in some cases even the same day! Our crews bring the tools to disassemble all standard furniture, shrink wrap all upholstered pieces, pad wrap all the wood furniture (at an additional cost if we supply), then tie off the shipment with straps or rope to prevent shifting and damage during transportation, All included in our flat rate service which is about 10% less than our competitor! You benefit by choosing a major nationwide company with high quality customer service standards through our “MOVER FOR LIFE” program, then receiving a friendly, local, completely trained team to surpass your needs at affordable prices. Don’t forget – we also load & unload other brands of portable storage units, rental trucks, overseas containers and we drive trailer space.
    Now onto the cons; If you don’t use trained POD loaders you wont fit nearly as much into the PODS container. If you are moving locally and don’t have the need for storage it will cost more than a local mover and will not be convenient, the dispatching is not efficient enough to transport the same day as loading and unloading without time between labor finishing the load and getting to the new home. If you have the equivalent of a large 4 or 5 bedroom home and are moving long distance and don’t have a need for storage and use us to pack the boxes, load and unload the shipment, it may cost more than if you used one of our Mayflower or United Van Lines tractor trailers. If you live in or are moving to a limited access address, they may not be able to drop the POD at the address, this would add a charge for a moving truck to transfer the shipment form the PODS to the new home or vise versa, it would also almost double the load or unload charges from the labor company.
    Of course there are some other rare circumstances but, these issues cover 95% of customer complaints and additional charges. You can order your POD container through The Pack Pros for the same rate you would pay if you dealt with them direct but the referral fee we would get goes toward any labor service weather it’s loading or unloading and we can compare rates with our Mayflower and United offices to make sure you’re getting the best deal. I can be reached at (877)696-6831 or Nick B.

  10. PODS is not all that. We’ve used them twice and while not too bad, it was no particular cost savings over a moving van for a cross country move. Additionally, we did have lots of stuff packed “up top” fall down, and some of it was damaged but despite our having purchased insurance to cover that, PODS said that because we packed it, it was our fault. They insurance only came into play if the PODS crate itself got damaged. Not what they represented it as. Not using them again!

  11. Yes, be part of the throwaway society. Yes, it costs to move it, but it didn’t add another pile on the trash heap, nor waste time and gas re-buying everything again. There’s more to life than always new.

  12. I need long term storage (5 months) while transitioning between moves. PODS has a problem in that the closest PODS storage facility to where i’ll be temporarily renting a furnished home is almost 2 hours away… (temporarily renting to check out the area to see if i like it) Soooo….i can’t see driving 2 hours to pick up a table, chair or lamp i might need. Might as well buy them new locally. I do not own a truck.


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