You Pack Container & Pod Movers

Parent Reviews

We are planning for an upcoming cross country move back east from Oakland and are working with Upack. Move has not happened yet but they have been very easy to work with so far on the customer service and planning front and they had great reviews from reliable sources. We currently looking for cube packers, so please let me know if you find anyone good?


Archived Q&A and Reviews


Experience with ABF UPack Moving Service?

May 2007

Does anyone have experience with ABF U-Pack Moving? We are considering using the service for our upcoming move from Berkeley to Austin, TX. They seem legit and right now I do feel comfortable contracting their services, but just thought I'd see if anyone has used them before we base our decision on what their website says ( Thank you! Anon

I used ABF to move from Pennsylvania to California about ten years ago. It was easy, inexpensive and reliable in my experience. Heather

We used ABF for a move to and from Boston. It was a good experience and way cheaper than alternatives. My only advice would be to pack things well. A couple of things we put on the truck without covering (our stroller, highchair, and boombox) developed wear spots on the trip home since there was room for a small amount motion. Repeat customer

First let me say (as has been said many times before), please go to before hiring any moving company. We used ABF U-Pack a couple of years ago to move from California to Colorado and were very satisfied, they are very reliable, responsible and friendly. We got a Penske truck, hauled all of our stuff to their freight yard in Oakland, and packed it into their portable containers. The containers were then delivered to the freight yard in Denver, where we repeated the whole process in reverse. This worked for us because it was the absolute cheapest way to move and we were capable of moving our things by ourselves. I was really impressed that our containers got to Denver right on time, but we hadn't found a place to live yet, and they had no problem with us leaving the containers in the yard for an extra 4 days, no extra charges, nothing. I know they also have services where they either deliver the containers, or an actual truck to your home so that you don't have to move all your stuff twice. The downside there is that it is more expensive and there is less flexibility on the dates. Good luck on your move! Alisa

We used ABF in 2001 to move from the East Coast to California. They were definitely cheaper than hiring a moving company. They forgot to include a ramp on one end, but otherwise were fine. We should have done a better job of packing ourselves, so that our furniture would have been better protected (like blankets, etc.) So make sure you know what you are doing. Hope that helps

We used ABF to move from New Hampshire to Oakland in September, 2006. In general, we were very happy with the service: it was cheaper and less trouble than renting/driving a truck cross- country would have been, and we really appreciated the flexibility. They dropped off a storage unit at our home in NH, we had 2 or 3 days to pack it, and in California, since we didn't have an apartment right away, they held onto the unit until we sent for it. We had to pay for one month's storage but the expense was minimal.

It's important to pack your stuff REALLY snugly. And to pack heavy on bottom, light on top. Our packing job was a wonderous feat of engineering and yet still things shifted around slightly. A couple of items got scratched, but nothing too bad. The oddest thing that occurred was some kind of red dye appeared on a rolled-up rug. We have no idea where it came from, although one theory involved melting ink off of a cardboard box. In any case we had the impression that it may have gotten quite hot inside the unit, so keep that in mind.

Oh, also, our padlock was completely smashed when the unit was delivered and we had to knock it off with a hammer. It wasn't a big deal but made us realize that the unit had probably taken a knock or two. That said, all our fragiles and electronics inside were fine (albeit packed carefully).

All in all, I'd definitely use them again, given the options. Good luck w/ your move. Anon

PODS-type storage for moving?

April 2007

Hello, we're moving from our house into temporary housing soon so will have to put most of our stuff in storage until we find a permanent place. PODS does not service our area; can anyone recommend a similar service, i.e, they bring a huge storage container to your home, you empty your house into it, they take it away and store it until you have a place, and then they bring it to your new place. ''Door-to-Door?'' Should I just get a U-Haul and rent a storage locker, then rent another U-Haul when I have a place? Thanks very much for any advice. Overwhelmed

We used mobile storage units from ''Door-to-Door'' when we were out of our house for an 8-month remodel. They were great; we packed the boxes and they came to pick them up (we didn't have to be home) to take them to their climate-controlled storage facility in Newark. We could have accessed our stuff if needed, with prior notice, but we did not need to. Return of the boxes was likewise simple. Since we packed them ourselves, we had NO problems with breakage or damage. I loved that I didn't have to do anything but load once and unload once, and the price was better than a comparable storage space. -happy about my stored stuff

We used public storage ( pod moving when we moved a couple years ago. There are more options now than when we moved, but we found the service from PS was good and it was lovely not to have to rent a truck and load/unload mulitple times in/out of truck and a storage unit. Everything stored well into the pods and only had to carry to/from our curb. lovely. not moving

We used Door to Door in 2005 for a cross country move (East Coast to out here) and were pretty satisfied. The delivery service works well and our stuff survived very well. They had a couple of computer issues where they billed us too much for the storage but corrected it immedidately when we called. We hired movers to pack the pods for us since they were going so far and we wanted to make sure things didn't slip around and get damaged. Did Door to Door

Had any luck with those ''pods'' that I see on tv?

August 2006

My family is moving from Oakland to Austin in the near future. We just signed an offer to sell our house. We have 30 days to vacate our place (if all goes well). We won't move until my husband has a job lined up in Austin (so the move will be deductable). We may be living temporarily in the Bay Area for a few weeks to finalize things. When we arrive in Austin, we may live in an extended stay place before finding an apartment. My biggest question invovles the move since we have a few ''mini'' stops (ie. possibly living for a few weeks in the Bay Area) and the time from arriving in Austin and finding an apartment. It would be simpler if we were moving straight from Oakland to Austin from one house to another. Has anyone had any luck with those ''pods'' that I see on tv? or what other options should I look into for the storage of our stuff? thanks Janki

We used the City to City/Door to Door option for our cross country move last year. We knew we would be temporarily living in a smaller place when we first moved out here, so we put some of our larger furniture and other items in two pods in DC, had them shipped out to California through City to City and have been storing them through Door to Door since then. This weekend we will be getting them delivered to our new permanent living arrangement.

ended up costing about the same to do this as to simply add it to our big move, but we saved a lot of hassle by just loading it once, instead of putting it on the moving truck and then moving it to storage here. We have had a couple of annoying billing mixups - being way overbilled -- but they have always been straightened out right away when I call. The place where they are stored out here turned out to be a bit inconvenient, but we have only made one trip to get something out. I'd advise not putting anything in there you really want to get to until you are settled.

I would also advise purging absolutely as much as you possibly can before you move. The less stuff, the less it costs to move or store. We got rid of all furniture that didn't have significant financial or personal value, except for absolute basics (beds, sofa). You just don't know what will fit in your new space, so there's no sense carting a lot of Ikea type furniture or things that can be easily replaced to a new state, only to find you need something different when you get there. Pod person

I had good luck with Door to Door Storage and their affiliate, City to City Moving. Circumstances were different (I had to store the contents of my mom's house while she was in a nursing home and the house was being sold; we weren't sure if she was going to make it and need her belongings or not. I eventually had the ''pods'' moved from sourthern to northern California). But I was very satisfied with both the storage and the moving. You do have to be prepared to do the packing and unpacking yourself, however! Debbie

Pods sound like a good way to go for you. But a word of caution: my friend just moved from Oakland last week, and she was planning to use a pod. Then she found out that the pod company had difficulties with the City of Oakland (something to do with permits) and would not actually park the pod within city limits. So rather than drive her stuff down to Hayward to load in a pod, my friend hired space in a truck and then rented a storage unit in the city she moved to. I think there are several companies in the pod business, so you might check around anon

We used ''Pods'' when we moved from Boston to Pleasant Hill early July and I must say I really liked the ''Pods'' as well as the company we used (ABF U-Pack). I believe they do interim storage as well. There is a really good website/community that I found really helpful when I did research on the ''moving firms'' - the webaddress is: Tons of advice on who to use (and NOT to use). Good Luck :-) Camilla

I had a bad experience with pods, as they were alot more expensive than they said they would be. And they were a pain to get back the goods. As they don't give you the charges ahead of time for getting your stuff back. I would suggest using a storage facility. You can get stuff out that you might need along the way before your final move to Austin. Good Luck! KATY

We used pods to move homes from Oakland to San Jose - with interim apartment living between our houses. It was great - we packed up most of the house into the bins, leaving just enough for 1-bedroom apartment living. The bins disappeared from our lives for ~3.5 months and then reappeared when we called to have them delivered to our new home in SanJose. We used, but there are lots of companies that do this pod-moving and storage now. The one thing we learned was to find out which location your pods will be stored at - and what their theft/breakin history is. We decided not to use another company as their storage facility was in Daly City and had a history of problems (come to learn it was an employee!!). Anyway, we had a very smooth move using the pods and I highly recommend it. Use your linens and pillows to cushion your furniture. we had nary a scratch on our goods. Safe moving! happy peas from pod moving

I've used the pods and they're great! The moving company drops them off in front of your home. You pack them up and the company picks them up. This worked especially well for me since I had one pod going to their storage facility and the other pod being delivered directly to a temporary address. There was no loading up a truck and then unloading a truck into a storage space and then reloading a truck when I was ready to retrieve my belongings. I really hate that part of moving...especially when there's a need for storage. I was able to pack up the things I would need while I was in transistion and store the stuff I didn't need until I was ready to settle into my new place. I loaded and unloaded only once! I recommend them! Good luck with your move Candace

For the person moving to Texas who asked about PODS or other ideas for a few weeks' storage in the Berkeley area - first of all, I invite you to come to to ask for advice from volunteers on our Messageboard. I have been a moderator there for more than three years. The company that you are probably thinking of is PODS at It advertises widely on TV and offers fairly large containers that are good for people who have a large amount to store and move or just want to keep things in a container on their property while they remodel. However, PODS is pricey. ABF U-Pack at offers smaller 6 foot x 7 foot x 8 foot containers called ReloCubes that hold up to 2000 pounds or the contents of a studio apartment. These are much more cost-effective than PODS for people who have only a small shipment and need storage because ABF charges only around $100/month to store each cube at one of its terminals. Door to Door at offers smaller containers as well. You could get quotes from any of these companies and also do a search on to see what has been said about them there. Here is a long thread on PODS, for example - Since you asked for other ideas, I would like to suggest that you ask for a quote from Moovers, Inc. at, phone 925-288-0630. They could put your things into mini- storage in Concord and then deliver them to you in Texas when you're ready. I suggest them because they have nearly three dozen mostly rave reviews on, and since they are located nearby, they could easily do an in-residence survey to give you an accurate estimate of costs. This is their review thread - From following the messageboard for quite some time, I don't think you will find any full-service moving company in the area that will give you better service than Moovers, and their prices are very reasonable Diane M

More reviews about door-to-door containers

April 2005

Has anyone used City-to-City moving? It's the Door-to-Door containers, but they ship them for you cross-country. I've looked on several websites, but haven't seen anything...not sure if that's a good thing or not! Thanks! Stressed Mover

We didn't use city-to-city, rather we used public storage- they offer the same service with a slightly different pricing structure. They were cheaper for our scenario so we used them. It was great, no complaints. The drivers were on time and courteous. Actually, the office staff was a little slow, we had direct billing to our credit card set up, but they needed to be reminded each month after they sent us a bill. no big deal. We packed up 3 bins, had them moved and stored for ~3 months and then delivered for unpacking. no worries! Do think about how you pack things, the bins will vibrate a bit along the highway so you want to pad your furniture well to prevent scratches. we used the couch cushions to help gently brace things and didn't pack our linens in a box, rather we used them to buffer items. Oh and we did pack liquid (not allowed) and had no problems. We didn't note liquid wasn't allowed until it was ready for pickup and we weren't going to unpack then!! Cynthia

October 2002

Re: Inexpensive mover for cross-country move
We recommend ABF U-Pack. I think their website is Basically, they're a freight company that lets you use their trucks. They drop off the container in front of your house for two days, you load it, and they drive it to your destination, where you unload your stuff. We did the heavy lifting ourselves last time, but this time we're hiring local movers on either end to do it. The big benefit is that, being a freight company, they are very interested in moving your stuff QUICKLY, unlike moving companies who wait until the truck is filled with other households. The other benefit is that it's very, very cheap. We're paying about $1000, plus $800 or so for the moving men. The key is to pack the truck very, very tight so your stuff doesn't get beat up. The ride is rough, and the friction will scratch your furniture and break up your boxes if they're not properly packed. Sonya

We moved here from the E. Coast last summer and used ABF U- Pack with good results. It's what it sounds like: you pack up your stuff and pack it in a trailer that they drop off, then you unpack it at the destination. They keep their rates low because they haul commercial freight together with your shipment which means it might take a few days longer to get to you. Another drawback is that you have to have a space where they can park a BIG trailer (the kind they use to haul stuff cross-country) in both the pick-up and drop-off locations. But the price is reasonable -- I compared it to a similar service offered by Public Storage and it was about half the price. We also figured it was cheaper than driving ourselves, what with overnights in hotels, truck rental, etc. You can check out their website for an automatic quote anna

June 2002

Re: Moving across the country
I used ABF U-pack movers last summer. We did the loading--they will leave a trailer in front of your house so you can load it, then move it to the new location where, again, they leave it in front for you to unload. Priced by volume at reasonable rates compared to more full service commercial folks. Worked well for me. Employees were very helpful and courteous. I recommend looking at their video tape for advice on how to pack your goods and the truck before starting to load. Mary

June 2000

Has anyone had any experience with the you load we drive type moving companies? They seem to be trucking firms that park a semi-trailer at your house, you load it, and they take it away. They are much cheaper than a full-service mover, and U-haul with 2 kids doesn't seem to be an option for us, so we're looking at these. Any caveats? What do we need to look out for? Has anyone out there used one of these companies? Thanks! Mary

We used the ABF freight company's you load we drive offer for move from the Philadelphia area to Berkeley and were fairly satisfied. The pros: it was much cheaper, they came on time at both ends. The cons: you need to have it packed well or things will slide around and get damaged; we did the packing ourselves and hired movers to load it on (and off) the truck- I think this would be difficult to do on your own, since the truck is quite high. Also, the driver at the pick-up end, suggested I request a load bar which they put in after the particle board partition. I did make that request at the terminal here and they refused to put it in- the partition fell down between Oakland and El Cerrito- fortunately not much was damaged, but it was very annoying. Also, you don't get alot of storage time, so you need to have a place to put your stuff (if you don't yet have a house-- we used a storage space for a month or two until we found a house). If you do go this route and if you need to store your stuff for any period of time, I can't recommend enough that you have a good list of what's in every box. We numbered each box, marked a few things on the outside, but made a slightly more detailed accounting on a master list. This made finding things *much* easier. We also classified boxes as high, medium or low priority based on how quickly we might need to access them. (Make plenty of copies of the final list too :-)) Lisa

For what it's worth, we used a you load we drive moving service way back in 1990 when we moved from Chicago to Oakland. We got a portion of the truck and provided our own lock for the for our section which was partitioned off. We didn't have anything too good then. I don't know if I'd do it again now with our nice dining room set since we're not expert movers. I saw how the professional movers packed our stuff recently to wisconsin with blankets, bubble wrap and skill, jigsaw puzzling the furniture pieces together into tight unmovable configurations-- most impressive. Then again some friends have had stuff ruined by movers and then again, there's insurance. The only thing with the you load we drive was that we had to be flexible on arrival dates. They could only guarentee delivery within about a 7 day time frame. We had to be available when they called with the delivery date. Hope this old information is somewhat useful. Susan

My brother-in-law recommends ABF U-Pack. I got a quote for a two bedroom, 1.1 bath apartment for $1,475.00 to move to Aurora, Ill. from Oakland, CA. We pack and load everything into the truck and they do the driving. I don't know yet if I will use it, but it sounds like a good idea. They have a website: Julie