Rent a Shipping Container for Your Move With These 6 Tips

shipping-container-rental-moving_350.jpgThinking about renting a shipping container for your move? Moving containers may seem like a less conventional way to move, but there are many advantages to using them.

With the right information and help from friendly support staff at a moving company like BigSteelBox, you might find that renting a moving container results in the least stressful move you've ever had!

It's quite simple to rent your moving container, but planning ahead and investigating options is still important as you prepare for moving day.

Download and print The Ultimate Moving To Do List to help you get started.

If you're still contemplating whether a moving truck rental might be a better fit for you, be sure to make the comparison.

Let’s start with a list of easy steps to follow when looking to rent a shipping container for moving.

6 Tips for Renting a Shipping Container for Moving

1) Keep Your Budget in Mind

Container moving is often less expensive than hiring a full service mover.

Be aware that professional movers will charge by distance and weight. Going this route means you’ll need to start thinking about storing or selling your valuables. With door to door movers, you can pay extra for the "moving experts" that come along with the truck.

The only comparable cost is renting a truck and doing it yourself. Remember those trips back and forth to your new home are also going to get costly.

The time and effort, not to mention the gas that it takes for multiple trips, can quickly remove any cost benefits of going it alone.

Consider renting a portable storage container for your move. It's a very economical and efficient solution that will eliminate the need to hire a professional mover or to seek out a discount moving truck rental company.

At BigSteelBox, we bring a portable storage container to your location. You can pack it on your schedule. When you're ready to move, simply call us to schedule a time to have your moving container delivered to your new home, or keep it at one of our secure locations until you're ready to have it back again.

2) Carefully Consider Your Moving & Storage Needs

Our experienced Storage Consultants will be able to offer you advice on what size moving container you require.

Here are some quick facts:

  • Most 3 to 4-bedroom homes will fit in a 20-foot container (excluding appliances).
  • If you don't have room for a 20' shipping container on your property, a 10' Box may be enough for a 2-bedroom home. BigSteelBox isn't always the best option for 1-bedroom apartments or condos, here's why.
  • Renting a 20' and a smaller 8’ or 10' moving container is also an option if all your belongings won't fit in a 20' storage container.

While renting one 20' BigSteelBox is always the most affordable, renting two smaller moving containers may be more efficient if your items will be in a storage facility for a longer period, and you need one on your property for access whenever you need it.

Will You Need Storage In Between Homes? If your move-in and move-out dates don't line up perfectly, you’ll need to consider storage options for the time in between. This is where renting a shipping container for you move is very handy. We can store your loaded BigSteelBox in one of our secure storage facilities until you're ready to have it delivered.

3) Get Quotes & Ask Questions


Ask for a quote from several shipping container companies. This can get confusing, so here's a guide to help you compare moving company quotes.

If you decide to move with a moving container and are getting quotes, compare shipping container rental rates and delivery fees. And, ensure each company will have shipping containers available during the time you need to move.

Ask any questions you may have so you can make an informed decision. Consider all possibilities and manage your time.

  • What if there is a delay in selling your house and your moving container has already been loaded?
  • Inquire whether there is an additional charge to drop the bin off early so you can pack on your own time.
  • Ask the portable storage container rental company how far in advance you can order for delivery.
  • Discuss how long you will need to load the shipping container rental once you have the boxes packed.
  • Inquire about the rental costs. Is it a daily, weekly, or monthly plan?
  • What do they charge for deliveries and loaded moves?
  • Ask about access to your moving container if it is stored at the company’s facility.

Questions? You can contact a Storage Consultant at the BigSteelBox Store nearest you or directly at 1-800-373-1187.

4) Consider the Security of a Shipping Container vs. Other Methods

What are the security features of the shipping container?

Be sure you are the one who’s in control of your padlock key. Make sure there is a lock box that covers the padlock itself. This will prevent any attempted burglaries while the shipping container is in your possession.

Contact your insurance broker.

Inquire about liability insurance in the event of graffiti or vandalism. Is the shipping container insured during the move?

Confirm suppliers have the ability to store your container in a locked and secure storage facility in the event that you are unable to obtain entry to your new home.

Find out the company’s hours of operation.

Check the building codes and bylaws in your existing area and in the location of your new home.

Inquire about keeping the storage unit longer on your property until you can fully unpack your belongings.

5) Check References & Online Reviews

Ask for references from the moving container company. Inquire about delivery times. Make sure they are flexible and have times available to meet your schedule.

Does the company have solutions to your unique challenges?

Is the staff friendly and knowledgeable that can be reached by phone or email?

Do they have the inventory for the timeframe you need to rent a moving container?

Providing an exceptional customer experience is one of our top priorities, so we invite you to search for our Reviews on Google, or you can read some of our customer reviews here.

6) Visit a Location


Go to the shipping container company's location and meet their Storage Consultants. Look at the available sizes of the shipping containers and work with the Storage Consultant to choose the container size that will work for you.

Discuss your decision with the professionals. Also, consult with the knowledgeable staff to consider what kind of a truck will be making your storage container delivery.

Ask more questions:

  • Will there be clearance on your new property?
  • Check out the quality of the moving container. Can the roof withstand the weight of snow in the event of a storm?
  • Is the container sealed to protect against wind, water and rodent damage?
  • What are the security features of the shipping container? Consider the security features of their off-site storage location in the event of a long-term storage requirement.
  • Does the company provide protection from graffiti when it’s in your possession?

That’s it! Now you're ready to rent your shipping container and start packing. 

If you think renting a BigSteelBox will meet your moving and storage needs, give us a quick call at 1-800-373-1187 or request your free quote online now. 

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