09 Apr


By / Emily Adams

Which is Right for You? Moving Containers VS Moving Trucks

The Pros and Cons Of Moving Containers VS Moving Trucks

Purchasing a new house or signing a lease on your new apartment is exciting, but the process of moving into your new home can feel like a challenge. Packing and unpacking your belongings can  be downright stressful, not to mention figuring out how you’re going to move everything to your new residence.

One of the most important factors of a successful move is deciding how you’re going to transport your belongings. Packing up your car or truck with boxes and making multiple trips is far from efficient. Transporting everything in one trip is a much better route to go and will make your move that much easier.  

There are two main transportation options consider – portable moving containers and moving trucks. 

Moving Containers and Moving Trucks 

Unless you chose to hire a professional moving company to take care of every aspect of your move, you’ll need to decide whether to go with portable moving containers or moving trucks. 

Moving Trucks 

Moving trucks that you can rent for a day or two are the classic transportation option for many people. Most truck rental companies offer multiple size vehicles, from compact box vans up to full-length 20′ trucks. Some companies allow you to drive the truck yourself while others only use their own drivers – especially for the larger trucks. 

Portable Moving Containers  

Portable moving containers are really starting to become a more popular choice over traditional rented moving trucks. Portable moving and storage containers are similar to moving trucks, in the sense that the containers themselves function like the cargo area of a moving truck – minus the rest of the vehicle! They also come in a range of different sizes to choose from. 

Portable moving containers are almost always delivered by the company 

Portable moving containers and moving trucks do have some similarities, but it’s the differences that really set them apart from one another. Either option will get the job done, but depending on your needs one choice will be better than the other. 

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of both options so you can make an informed decision. 

The Pros and Cons of Moving Trucks 


The main advantages of renting moving trucks include: 

  • Wide Range of Sizes 

Actual sizes will vary from company to company, but generally, rentable moving trucks come in a wide range of sizes to choose from. Most portable moving containers only come in 2 to 4 sizes, all of which are usually smaller than large moving trucks.  

  • High Availability 

Turnaround time on moving trucks is high since most are only rented for the day (for local moves). This means even if the truck you want isn’t available on the day you call, chances are high that it will be available the next day. 

  • Long Distance Moves 

Moving trucks are really the only feasible option for long distance moves across state lines, regardless of whether you’re driving or the service is. Most portable moving and storage services tend to function locally which means if you’re leaving your county or state you probably won’t be able to rent one. 

Besides all the driving, some of the downsides of renting moving trucks include: 

  • Hidden Fees 

Moving truck companies are notorious for charging hidden fees, often in the form of mileage and fuel surcharges. These often are hidden in the fine print and can leave you paying possibly hundreds more than the deceptively low price you might have seen advertised.  

  • Time Crunch 

The advantage of high turnaround can turn around and bite you once you’re actually renting a moving truck. You’ll have strict time constraints to work around and if you have a problem that prevents you from unloading the truck in time, you can expect to pay a very hefty late fee. 

  • No Storage Option 

Moving trucks are only for moving, not storage. This means if you somehow find yourself needing to store certain items, you’ll have to find a local self-storage unit, rent it, and have the truck driven there for unloading. It goes without saying how inconvenient this is and how expensive your move can become. 

The Pros and Cons of Moving Containers


Aside from being free from the stress of driving, some benefits of renting moving containers include: 

  • Compact Size Options 

Although moving containers don’t usually come in a huge range of sizes (though it depends on the company), you will find that they are more compact in terms of overall size. Portable moving containers often double as portable storage containers, so companies purposely keep their containers compact enough to easily fit in driveways and parking spaces. 

  • No Time Crunch 

Most portable moving and storage services have very flexible timeframes for renting their moving containers. Even if you have no plans of storing anything, you will enjoy how affordable it is to rent the container for a couple of days so you can really take your time packing, loading, and unloading your belongings. This is a huge bonus for busy families or working individuals that don’t have an entire day to dedicate to unloading their boxes and furniture.  

  • Option to Store 

If you do discover that you don’t yet want to unpack certain items or if something else happens that delays unloading you can easily decide to store your moving container instead. Most portable moving and storage services will have no issue helping you out without charging fees. 

  • Easy Loading/Unloading 

Most rentable moving trucks are built onto the delivery vehicle (i.e. box truck) which leaves you having to deal with ramps and/or lifts to get your belongings loaded. This can be dangerous since there are risks of falling and injury from moving heavy furniture. Portable moving containers are placed at ground level so carrying boxes or that heavy couch requires no extra lifting. 

Possible disadvantages of renting moving containers include: 

  • Best for Local Moves Only 

While many portable moving and storage services are chains and have facilities in multiple cities, it usually isn’t possible to rent portable moving containers for long distance moves. Generally, you’ll only be able to do localized moves within the city or county.  

  • Container Size Limitations 

Portable moving containers are usually offered in a few sizes from most companies and most are much smaller than the cargo space of a large moving truck. If you’re moving a lot of stuff you might have trouble finding a large enough portable moving container, unless you work with Cool Box.  

Conclusion: Why Choose Cool Box Portable Storage 


When you consider the pros and cons of portable moving containers versus moving trucks, it’s easy to see why portable moving containers are a great alternative.  Overall, they are easier to work with, more affordable, safer to load, and have the versatility of short- or long-term storage. 

To get maximum benefits from your portable moving container, consider choosing Cool Box Personal Storage. Not only does Cool Box offer all of the general advantages of portable moving containers listed above, but they also throw in additional benefits for their customers. 

These added bonuses include: 

  • Insulated Steel Containers: All Cool Box portable moving containers are built in the US and are constructed of steel. Cool Box also insulates their moving containers, keeping the interior climate 10F to 15F cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  
  • Four Free Movements for Customers within 30 Miles: Cool Box utilizes all-inclusive pricing for their portable moving containers, which includes no charges on moving the container. This falls under the Four Free Movements promise, which means every customer gets four free movements of their unit if they live within 30 miles of the facility. Live outside of the 30-mile radius? No worries. Cool Box will only charge you a low mileage fee, which they’ll make clear to you before you sign the contract.   
  • No Hidden Fees: Cool Box is against hidden fees of any kind and they provide it by not charging a fee if you decide to store your Cool box unit. In fact, the longer you choose to store with Cool Box, the lower your costs will be. 
  • Meet or Beat Comparable Quotes from Competitors: Cool Box will meet or beat comparable quotes from competitors if the quote matches the service Cool Box offers. For example, a 1-month rental quote for a competitor’s 12′ portable moving containers will be matched by a 1-month rental for a Cool Box 12′ unit.  
  • Huge 20′ Container Compared to Moving Trucks: Cool Box largest size of portable moving containers is 20′ long which is equivalent to the cargo space of a large moving truck. Many portable storage containers are rarely over 16′, making Cool Box the perfect option for someone that wants the benefits of portable moving containers coupled with the space of a moving truck. 

Portable moving containers are a great choice for anyone planning a local move that values affordability, convenience, and simplicity. Cool Box hits the nail on the head when it comes to showcasing the benefits of portable moving containers. 

When you’re ready to Get a Cool Box of your own, all you need to do to get started is fill out the Instant Quote form (also located on the Home Page) or call customer service

Emily Adams