In the world of portable storage units, PACK-RAT and PODS are two of the largest companies in the United States. Both companies promise fantastic service and a safe place to store your goods but how do they compare to one another?
History PACK-RAT was founded in North Carolina in 2001 but has its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. The company claims to serve 240 million people and was named as one of 2010’s Top 15 fastest growing franchises by Franchise Times. The company initially used a giant waterproof container which was given the name PACK-RAT because it was said to have the ability to store anything.
PODS were founded in Clearwater, Florida in 1998 and this is where its headquarters remains. It serves every state in mainland America and has expanded to include Canada, Australia and the UK. It is estimated that PODS manages 2,500 pickups and deliveries a day in the United States alone. It has over 140,000 containers in service and is believed to have delivered more than 1 million units in its history to date.
Containers PACK-RAT offers customers a choice between a 12 foot and a 16 foot container. Their website provides a guide to help you find out how much you can place in either container and they also have a customer service representative to help you. Its containers have steel frames and aluminum skins with a built-in rack. The door on each unit swings open and can be locked.
PODS offer three different container sizes: 8x8x7, 8x8x12 and 8x8x16 (feet). The company also has an online storage guide to help you decide which container to choose. PODS containers also have steel frames and come with a polymer top designed to allow light to get in. Each container’s door is a special roll up/down model which can be locked.
Service While both companies claim to offer top notch service, it seems as if PODS has the edge in this battle. Although PACK-RAT can deliver their units the day after you order, it takes far longer for it to pick it up when compared to PODS, a company known for delivering the unit within 24 hours and picking it up 24 hours later if you are ready. According to various customer reviews, the customer service offered by PACK-RAT leaves a lot to be desired. In comparison, PODS are renowned for their flexibility and going the extra mile to accommodate their customers.
Cost In general, PODS appears to be more expensive but usually by less than 10%. For example, a family looking to move goods from their 3 bedroom house from one area of their state to another could expect to pay in the region of $430 with PODS while PACK-RAT would charge $390 (these are just estimates based on one customer’s experience). However, the general consensus is that you definitely get what you pay for with PODS.
Verdict Although PACK-RAT is a promising company, it is not quite at the level of PODS when it comes to experience and quality of customer service. While both self storage companies are worth looking at, PODS has the decided advantage.