1-800-PACK-RAT® Container Review

You should consider 1-800-Pack-Rat for its affordability and deals, durable steel containers, and personalized customer service

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1-800-PACK-RAT® Logo

Updated Saturday, September 21st 2019

Pros
  • 20 moving blankets included with each container for long distance moves
  • Price is somewhat negotiable
  • For the most part, the customer determines the schedule
  • All-steel containers should be durable and weatherproof
  • Someone else drives your stuff to the final destination
Cons
  • Few locations often mean a higher price for the customer
  • No online quotes for long-distance moves
  • No online customer service representatives
  • Many steps to the long-distance move process

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1-800-PACK-RAT® Company Overview

1-800-PACK-RAT is a vibrant contender in the "you pack, they drive" marketplace. It offers clients a portable storage container to snugly fit all their stuff inside of. People can use the container just for storage (on their own property or in a facility), or have a driver drive it to their new home or apartment. Like PODS, 1-800-PACK-RAT allows customers to take as long as they'd like to pack and unpack, charged monthly. But because they have a slightly smaller reach, you might have a harder time finding a location in your area, which can raise the price of your move.

1-800-PACK-RAT® Reviews and Pricing

1-800-PACK-RAT® Logo
Local Move

Under 50 mi.

Medium Distance

50-250 mi.

Long Distance

250+ mi.

Average Cost

$726

5.1% higher than other companies

$1,236

16.0% cheaper than other companies

$3,511

7.5% higher than other companies
Average Review

4.37/5

2.3% lower than other companies

4.71/5

2.3% better than other companies

4.47/5

0.2% better than other companies
Average Cost Per Mile

N/A

$11.92

10.2% cheaper than other companies

$3.45

10.1% higher than other companies

Local Move

Under 50 mi.

1-800-PACK-RAT® Logo

Compared to Other Companies

Average Cost

$726

5.1% higher than other companies
Average Review

4.37/5

2.3% lower than other companies

Medium Distance

50-250 mi.

1-800-PACK-RAT® Logo

Compared to Other Companies

Average Cost

$1,236

16.0% cheaper than other companies
Average Cost Per Mile

$11.92

10.2% cheaper than other companies
Average Review

4.71/5

2.3% better than other companies

Long Distance

250+ mi.

1-800-PACK-RAT® Logo

Compared to Other Companies

Average Cost

$3,511

7.5% higher than other companies
Average Cost Per Mile

$3.45

10.1% higher than other companies
Average Review

4.47/5

0.2% better than other companies

1-800-PACK-RAT® Container Sizes

Length
Width
Height
Dimensions
Capacity
16' 8' 8' 830 cu. ft. 3 to 4 rooms
12' 8' 8' 620 cu. ft. 2 to 3 rooms
8' 7.2' 7.8' 404 cu. ft. 1 to 2 rooms

Photos of 1-800-PACK-RAT® in the Wild

1-800-PACK-RAT® Services Offered

Services Legend

  • Available
  • Not Offered
Small Moving Container

Small Containers

Medium Moving Container

Medium Containers

Large Moving Container

Large Containers

Delivery Truck Crane

Delivery

Storage Container

Storage

Packing Supplies

Packing Supplies

Hand holding a box

Local Movers

My move with 1-800-PACK-RAT®

Author: Francesca Di Meglio

Updated: Saturday, September 21st 2019

How does 1-800-PACK-RAT work?

The process for either a local or long-distance move begins with searching on their website. There, you’re asked to input the ZIP Codes for your original and final destinations. For a local move, you’ll get a quote. For a long-distance move, you’ll be given a code to use when you call the company for a customized quote.

Either way, you need to determine the size and number of containers you will need and schedule a delivery date. After you book them, you will load up your containers to stay on your premises or remain in a storage facility until you’re ready to move to the next destination. (Or you can hang onto the container for storage if you’re, say, executing a home renovation or are between moves.)

Like PODS, 1-800-Pack-Rat allows customers to take a month to load and unload. They similarly charge you for storage on a monthly basis, so to keep your budget in check, you need to work diligently. (Also note: If you want the smallest container, you will have to call a customer representative. The 12’ and 16’ containers are readily available online, however.)

Protip: It’s always in your best interest to be home when the container delivery happens. You have to also check with your local authorities to find out about the rules and regulations of parking. If you break any parking violations, prepare for a fine. Also, you might want to alert the neighbors as a courtesy.

How does 1-800-PACK-RAT work with local moves?

Organizing a local move with 1-800-Pack-Rat is actually pretty simple. You input your information on the website and choose a container sizes. Then, you schedule the delivery using an online calendar tool. Finally, your quote pops up and you decide if you want to proceed with the purchase.

Like PODS, 1-800-Pack-Rat allows customers to take a month to load and unload.

The container will be delivered and you will load it with your stuff. After that, you will schedule a pick up, and your container will be delivered to your final destination or placed in a storage center until you’re ready to actually make the move.

My local move

A local move is downright affordable. For me to move one town over, it would cost $474.10 with one 12-foot container or $506.20 with one 16-foot container. I was able to get this quote online in seconds simply by inputting a bit of info. It was a very different experience than the one I had booking the long-distance move.

How does 1-800-PACK-RAT work with long-distance moves?

The process of getting a container is virtually the same for a long-distance move as it is for a local one. The biggest difference is during the planning process. Once you enter the ZIP Codes of your move and delivery day, you are prompted to call a customer representative rather than simply getting a quote online. If your experience is like mine, you’ll be sent from a customer service rep to a moving liaison.

Together, you get to plan your move and get a customized quote. Once you settle on a container size and delivery date, you will get the lowdown. Just like in a local move, after the container is delivered, you load your stuff, schedule a pickup, unload your stuff at the final destination, and schedule another pickup.

Clearly, there was room for negotiation and a willingness to work with me to get the price down.

With a long-distance move, you have to consider the 1-800-Pack-Rat locations at both your original and final destinations. 1-800-Pack-Rat does not have as many locations as some of its competitors. As a result, you can’t always find locations close to both destinations. For a local move, on the other hand, you will likely use the same location for both destinations. This is important because if the driver has to go further to drop off or pick up a container on either end of your journey, so it will influence the price.

My long-distance move

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. The price was $4,450, and it included the two containers, delivery and transport fees, two locks, blankets (20 per container for a total of 40), and coverage of any damage to the container and up to $25,000 on my stuff.

How much does 1-800-PACK-RAT cost?

Of course, prices vary depending on the size of the home you're moving and the distance of the move. Although 1–800-Pack-Rat is cheaper than its main competitor PODS, it's still on the expensive side, compared to other DIY options.

My quotes for a short-distance single container move:

  • $474.10 with one 12-foot container or
  • $506.20 with one 16-foot container

One way 1-800-Pack-Rat stands out is the ability customers have to use promos. For example, the agent gave me the chance to "unbundle," which meant lowering my included protection plan to coverage up to $10,000 and using my own locks and blankets (for protecting my stuff) to get another $100 knocked off the price, which would have made the total for the long-distance move $4,350.

The rep also assured me that if I decided I needed to keep my stuff in storage for another month, she would give me the discounted price of $169 per month per container as opposed to the full price of $199 per month per container. Clearly, there was room for negotiation and a willingness to work with me to get the price down.

This is convenient for storage and transport. Still, this was a more expensive option for a DIY, long-distance move than, say, rental trucks.

How does insurance with 1-800-PACK-RAT work?

There are two options for insurance:

  • The Basic Plan, also known as the container damage waiver, prevents you from being liable for damage to the container and provides coverage of up to $25,000.
  • The Silver Plan is the same but you can purchase coverage of up to $75,000 while the container is in 1-800-Pack-Rat’s possession. 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 $0.60/lb. insurance, for free.

Downsides of using 1-800-PACK-RAT

Fewer facilities can cost you.

Even though the customer service rep kindly did all she could to lower my fee, the price was higher than other DIY options. Northern New Jersey, where I live and would be the starting point of my move, has few 1-800-Pack-Rat facilities nearby, which meant the driver would have to go 50 miles out of their way to deliver my containers then pick them up, which also drove up the cost. However, with 60 or so terminals, you may be able to find ones closer to your destination, so check out your area.

The online experience needs improvement.

As a website, 1-800-Pack-Rat is … fine. It offers lots of information on how the service works, and all the basics, such as locations and company history. But there are no interactive dimensions other than the free quote. And that is really only for those who are seeking simple local moves.

If you book movers through HireAHelper to load and unload your container, your goods will be covered during normal transit by $0.60/lb. insurance, for free.

Long-distance move quotes are a hassle.

I hated being unable to get a quote online for the long-distance move. I like to be able to gather this kind of information ahead of a phone call, so I can ask more pointed questions when I'm talking to a person. I would be able to eliminate certain options from the start without having to reject a live human being, who will try to talk me out of my decision even if it's far out of my budget.

To top it off, there were not even online agents to answer general questions. You have to do everything on the phone. It’s so 1999.

Getting passed off to different agents isn't ideal.

I had a great experience with the first representative. After all, she helped me get discounts to lower the price! We scheduled the drop off of my empty containers and pick up of them once they were loaded. When I started asking about when I could expect the containers for unloading at my Florida address, I learned that I was going to have to do this with another agent known as a "moving coordinator." From then on, I would have to deal with this new person, who would be getting in touch with me soon. Annoying.

The intention is good because the company wants you to have a specific person to whom you can turn for help. But I saw it as one more step in an already long process when I had no time as it is.

What I learned using 1-800-PACK-RAT

Know the Cancellation Policy

The cancellation policy isn't bad, but you have to follow the rules. You have until 48 hours before the delivery of the empty containers to cancel without getting charged. After that, however, you'll be paying a rather large sum if you cancel! For me, I would have to pay around $250 plus that extra mileage because I live so far away from a facility, which would come out to nearly $500 per container. Yikes.

Ask for Promos and Deals

You should definitely ask about promos or deals or simply if there are ways to lower the price. Explain that you’re not sure if this is within your budget, and the rep is likely to help you find ways to bring down the cost.

Have a Schedule in Mind

Much like PODS, this service allows customers to load and unload their items at their leisure. You pay for every month you keep the containers. But unlike PODS, the customer service reps encourage you to set dates for delivery and pickup during reservation.

This was good because I could better plan my move with the set dates, but I had one setback. I had hoped to schedule the delivery of the empty containers for a saturday. It would actually have to arrive the day before - a friday - because there are no deliveries or pickups on saturdays or sundays in New Jersey, apparently. It was a minor glitch.

Who can complain about getting the containers a day earlier? Well, you would, if you couldn’t be there!

Should you choose 1-800-PACK-RAT over other container companies?

Moving containers are a great option for anyone who wants the convenience of a rental truck without having to do the driving. It’s also a fantastic option for anyone in need of storage, either because of a renovation, staging a home, or in between moves. This particular moving container company happens to be more economical than its largest competitor, PODS. However, 1-800-Pack-Rat only remains the most affordable if one of its locations is near both of your destinations. If yours is a long-distance move, you also have to like talking on the phone and getting your hand held during the process. Also, if you’re good at locating and employing promos and deals, then 1-800-Pack-Rat could be right for your move.

Francesca Di Meglio

Contributing Author: Francesca Di Meglio

Francesca Di Meglio is a writer, editor, and moving professional featured on Businessweek and About.com. As a wife and mother of two little ones, she is always on the move.

1-800-PACK-RAT® Reviews

Gail H
Cumming, GA
Wrote a review on 4/15/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

So far good however I have not had it picked for storage yet.

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Keith J
Boynton Beach, FL
Wrote a review on 4/14/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

This the only way to move your furniture and belongings long distance. I don't know why anyone would mess with a moving company when you have more control over the situation with a Pack Rat container

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Phil G
Mount Dora, FL
Wrote a review on 4/13/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Great Job, did exactly as they promised, would use again if needed.

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Scott O
Gurnee, IL
Wrote a review on 4/12/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(3 out of 5 rating)

For the most part everything worked out, but they had a hard time picking up the container from the point of origin location. A vehicle in the parking lot kept them from picking it up for three days. Instead of making good use of their time by trying to find the owner, they sat waiting and hoping the owner would come out. They also called me to see if there was anything I could do even though I was half way across the U.S. in a different state. I would use them again only if I was able to find a location for the container that could not be interfered with for pick up and drop off.

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Henry S
Austin, TX
Wrote a review on 4/12/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Exceede all my expectations!

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Melody S
Longmont, CO
Wrote a review on 4/11/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(4 out of 5 rating)

Since we have only begun the move process, it is too early to rate. The true test will be when we arrive at our destination.

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Kevin H
Syracuse, UT
Wrote a review on 4/11/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Very good except one day late, they are reimbursing me some of the charges!

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Khabira B
Thorofare, NJ
Wrote a review on 4/10/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

On time delivery and removal. No problems with this service.

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Kevin H
Youngsville, NC
Wrote a review on 4/9/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(4 out of 5 rating)

Pack rat was a day late in getting containers here, but they delivered them the next day early!

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Kimberly R
Atlanta, GA
Wrote a review on 4/9/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

1-880-PACK-RAT container is also an excellent company, with a very professional staff-members. I can't Thank you guys enough for a wonderful experience. Yes, I will definitely recommend 1-800-PACK-RAT and I will use them again in the future also. Happy Customer, Kimberly Reynolds 04-09-14

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Scott W
Fort Myers, FL
Wrote a review on 4/8/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Woe recommend them in a second!

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Kim C
Indianapolis, IN
Wrote a review on 4/7/2014
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(4 out of 5 rating)

Only good for now as I have only had it delivered, not picked up yet and transported I can't get the latch open. Any woman with or without fingernails can't get it own as it is a right fitting latch on the recessed area.

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The 1-800-PACK-RAT® image above is used solely for identification purposes and serves as the primary means of visually identifying the subject of this article and provides an illustration of the entity that is represented.

1-800-PACK-RAT® is a registered trademark of 1-800-PACK-RAT, LLC. HireAHelper, LLC has no affiliation with 1-800-PACK-RAT, LLC. and 1-800-PACK-RAT, LLC. has not authorized the use of its trademarks.

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