December 29, 2018

U-Pack Review

No matter whether you're moving to your first apartment, your retirement home, or somewhere in between, packing and unpacking your belongings is a significant hassle.

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You can try to execute the move yourself, but you have to find boxes, packing materials, and vehicles large enough to transport everything. No matter how many friends you can bribe with pizza and adult beverages to help you, it still is a time-consuming, back-breaking experience.

You do have the option of paying someone else to handle the moving process for you, but that doesn't always fit into everyone's budget at every stage of life.

That's where a moving service like U-Pack becomes a popular choice. It offers a variety of levels of moving services, so you can find just the level of help you need or you can find just the right collection of services that will fit within your budget.

In our U-Pack review, we'll help you figure out whether this moving service is worth considering, no matter what where you're moving and how many boxes you have.

How U-Pack Works

ABF is a trucking, full-service moving and shipping company that has been around for several decades. It started U-Pack as a part-DIY, part-mover service in the late 1990s, giving you the confidence of using a company with a long service history.

To use U-Pack, go to the U-Pack website and enter all of the information about your move. You'll need to estimate the amount of space your items will occupy on a truck, and there are tools on the site to help you figure out the amount properly.

Understand that you will be charged for the exact amount of space your items occupy on the truck. But for fee estimation purposes, you'll be asked to guess at the amount of space your items will occupy.

The company then delivers a trailer or container to your home or apartment. Some of the smaller containers will fit perfectly into a parking space at an apartment building. Most U-Pack moves will make use of containers, but occasionally, depending on your needs and on what's available, you may end up with a trailer.

You then will fill the trailer or container yourself, although U-Pack does give you the option of hiring movers by the hour if you want some help with the larger items. With the standard U-Pack service, you'll have three days to complete the fill.

Once you're finished, U-Pack picks up the container and takes it to your new location. This can require anywhere from a few to several days, depending on where you're going.

Once the container is delivered at your new home, you'll have another three days to unload it. Again, you can hire movers by the hour through U-Pack to help you with as many items as you want.

10 Reasons to Use U-Pack

  • You only want to pay for the space you use. Unlike when you rent a moving truck (and you may have a lot of empty space because you misjudged how much space you needed), with U-Pack, you'll only be charged based on how much space you use in the container or trailer.

  • You need extra time to move. With U-Pack's main service, you'll have three days to pack the container and three days to unpack. This gives you more time than renting a moving truck that you drive yourself, where you're charged from the time you pick up the truck until you return it.

  • You need some help in estimating the amount of space you'll need. The U-Pack website has a few different calculators that can help you make the right choices about what you need for a successful move.

  • You have no desire to drive a moving truck. You'll load the trailer or container, and U-Pack will then take care of moving it to your new location. If driving a large rental truck is not on your list of enjoyable tasks, the U-Pack solution will appeal to you.

  • You are making a long distance move that will require overnight stops. If you're nervous about keeping your gear in a moving truck overnight while parked at a hotel, you will appreciate the security U-Pack gives you for long moves. U-Pack handles the process of keeping your items safe, so you can just focus on driving to your new home.

  • You want to hire some movers for a few things. U-Pack's versatility is especially on display in terms of adding on extra services. For example, you can choose to hire a couple of helpers for a couple of hours at the loading or unloading site. With this service, you can handle the small and medium items yourself while receiving the help you need with larger items, rather than paying a mover full price for all of your items.

  • You need long-term storage for a while. Say your lease is up at your apartment, but your new house won't be ready for a month. You can crash with a friend while you're waiting, but you need somewhere to store your items. U-Pack allows you to pay an extra fee for monthly storage until you're ready to move into your house.

  • You're a student or in the military. U-Pack provides a usage discount to groups like students and military members, which is a nice benefit.

  • You're moving from one residence to another, rather than making a business move. U-Pack does not offer its service for moving to or from an office building. This is for residential customers only.

  • You're moving within the United States. U-Pack serves the entire continental United States, as well as Puerto Rico, Alaska, and Hawaii, so it is a versatile service. However, because of the laws in certain western states, you might not be able to use U-Pack to carry your gear to a few states. As you enter your information into the U-Pack website, you'll learn whether you can use this service legally from state to state.

5 Reasons to Consider Other Moving Services

  • You're moving locally. U-Pack's services will work for local moves in some areas, but this service specializes in long distance moves. In fact, if you're trying to move locally, you're still going to be charged more like a long distance move, so you probably can find a better deal when moving over a short distance than what U-Pack provides.

  • You need to move fast. With its standard service, U-Pack requires anywhere from two to five days to deliver your belongings to your new address. If that extra time does not fit into your plans for moving, you may be better off renting a truck that you drive, controlling the time required. However, you can pay U-Pack an extra fee of a few hundred dollars to guarantee a certain delivery date.

  • You have a lot of delicate items. Because of all of the different styles of trucks U-Pack may use, you can't be certain you'll receive a truck with air-ride suspension. This means your items need to be packed securely to guard against jars and bumps from rough roads along the way to your new home.

  • You need a cheaper service. Although U-Pack is less expensive than hiring a moving service to carry your items, it does cost a bit more than renting a truck, filling it yourself, and then driving your items to your new location. It's a mid-level service in terms of cost, giving you the benefit of not having to drive your own truck and to have a few extra days to pack and unpack.

  • You don't want your moving truck to have other people's stuff on it. If you don't use the entire space in a truck or trailer for your items, U-Pack may fill the remainder of the truck with other people's gear. The service does secure your items with a dividing wall while the other person loads his or her belongings, but if this arrangement makes you nervous, you may want to look elsewhere.

Bottom Line

Moving is hard work. Depending on how much of the work you're choosing to do yourself, it can be really hard work.

U-Pack can make this process much easier on you, so you don't have to do the entire process yourself. The biggest advantage of U-Pack is that you don't have to drive the large moving truck, which is a frightening prospect for some people.

This also is a nice service when you want to take your time loading the container, as you receive three days to load and three days to unload. If you rent a truck to do your own move, you'll want to complete the loading and unloading process fast to limit your charges.

Ultimately, U-Pack's greatest advantage may be its versatility. You can use as many or as few of the service's features as you want, and you can add services as you're working, such as help from movers for an hour or two. And you're only charged for the amount of space you use, which is nice.

If you want to do the entire move on your own, including driving the truck, U-Pack is more than you'll need. And if you want to do as little as possible while moving, a full-service moving company will fit your needs. U-Pack squeezes nicely in the middle of those two types of moves, both in terms of the work you'll be doing on your own and in the price you'll pay.

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