Monday, November 11, 2013

Where is My POD Storage Unit Stored?

So I saw this news article about a PODS facility that had a mini flood outside their warehouse.  The article is here for you to review and I will be quoting directly from this source a bit.

Obviously it is an awful thought for anyone who has their storage possessions get destroyed by flood or any other mishap.  And I feel for these PODS customers.  I would wish this on nobody.  So what can you do to prevent this from happening to you?  First, you must use common sense.  Second you must ask questions of your storage provider. 


Portable storage containers are all over the place, they come in all shapes and sizes and are constructed in many different ways.  If you ever happen to drive by the actual storage location, you will most definitely see many PODS staged outside.  Ask yourself whether those are full or empty.  Ask yourself whether you would expect your POD to be stored inside.  If you are in the market for portable storage, ask your provider very specifically where your unit will be stored.  Ask for an address.  Go look at the facility.  Ask whether your storage unit will ever be stored outside.  Then ask yourself if their answer is acceptable to you.


This linked article states that:

Customers are upset at PODS, a company that offers portable containers for moving and storage, which admits it left 52 of the units outside in a monsoonal rainstorm earlier this month.  

And that:

The containers flooded because they were left in the parking lot on Aug. 3 while the warehouse was being rearranged.

the PODS website advertises that "PODS Storage Centers are clean, safe and dry."


Which of the following scenarios is most likely?

A)   PODS needed to rearrange some things in the warehouse and therefore quickly moved 52 containers at 5,000 lbs each totaling over 100 tons of containers to the parking lot and had plans to move them all back inside the warehouse before the end of the fork lift drivers shift, but all of a sudden the heavens opened up and without any advanced notice there was 8 inches of water surrounding all 52 PODS before the fork lift driver could finish the rearrangement and move them back inside to safety.

B)   PODS stored the units outside for some period of time.

C)   PODS Storage Centers are always clean, safe and dry.

You be the judge… Whichever is true, you as a storage customer need to know where your things are being stored.  You need to read the contract that you are signing.  You need to know whether your things are insured.  You are storing your things because they are important enough to store and presumably you want them back safe and sound.  If you don’t know where your things are being stored, how can you be confident that they are safe?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


PODS Storage Unit Dimensions

PODS SIZE EVALUATION                        

Today’s world of instant information and ultimate convenience has spawned a large selection of portable self storage options.  What once involved numerous visits to a potentially scary and altogether industrial self storage facility has now become as simple as a phone call to a mobile storage provider and a delivery to your driveway.  There is just no question that portable storage containers are the ultimate in efficient storage and moving convenience for the do-it-yourself folks out there.  We can all thank PODS for creating a concept that is revolutionizing the storage and moving industry this way.  It’s clear that PODS was the first and is the largest, but many interesting alternatives have come in their wake and look to improve on the service.  The difficult question is how do they all differ, what sets each service provider apart.  Since there are so many variables to consider in the evaluation of a portable storage provider, the aim of this blog is to discuss them one by one so that you can have the facts you need to make an informed decision.

Looking for U-Haul U-Box dimensions instead?  Check out this post: U-Box Review

Today our subject is the PODS 16 foot storage unit.  If you are considering using a PODS container for storage or moving, you may be asking yourself, just what are the actual interior dimensions of a PODS 16’ unit.  I don’t blame you.  It’s a really good piece of information to have.  After all, you need to know how many PODS you would need for all your stuff.  Does PODS give you the internal dimensions?  Well let’s look.  Here is a graphic from their website describing the PODS moving containers and how much they hold: 


As you can see PODS claims that their 16 foot storage units are: 16’ X 8’ X 8’ (L*W*H) with a capacity of 3 – 4 rooms.  That’s all pretty interesting marketing.  But is any of it accurate?  Since I am a stickler for details claimed by such marketing messages, Luckily my neighbor recently had a couple PODS containers delivered so I decided to measure them.


I found that the overall EXTERIOR dimensions of the U-Box were fairly close to those generally those stated in the advertisement.

Measured Exterior: 16’1” long x 7’8” wide x 8’1” tall   

This includes about 6 inches of feet below the box.  The INTERIOR dimensions of the PODS container were as follows:

Measured Interior:    15’10” deep x 7’7” wide x 7’7” tall to the ceiling, 7’4” to ceiling beams.

The door clearance is 81.5 inches wide by 76 inches tall.

This is real world – get inside with a tape measure information.  This is not just an estimate.  The PODS advertisement for exterior dimensions has relatively little value to us unless we are trying whether one will fit in your driveway, not exactly something I am worried about.  Calculating the floor area results in an actual square footage of 120 square feet.  Multiplying that area by the interior height results in an actual interior capacity of 910.5 cubic feet ignoring the ceiling beams.


We see that PODS claims that you can 3 - 4 rooms in a 16’ container.  I find these kinds of estimates all over the place and I find them all to be rather worthless.  The fact of the matter is that all these estimates are relative to how big your rooms are, what type of rooms you have and how full you furnish those rooms.  In addition, it depends on how you pack the POD which is ultimately a function of the items that are going into it along with the skill with which you pack them in.  For example, if you have floor lamps in your living room and I don’t, I have a much better probability of fitting my living room into a storage container than you do.  It’s just that simple.  Do you have a 12’ X 16’ dining room stuffed with seating for 12 and floor lamps and a bookshelf and a hutch full of expensive china that will be packed in dish barrels?  That will take up a significant amount of space compare to a small table and 4 chairs from a starter apartment kitchenette.  Dining chairs are among the worst items to pack into storage – they take up an amazing amount of space. 

Large storage containers like the 16’ POD and other similar size products like United or Pack Rats or Zippy Shell’s container can pack much more into them than 2 or even 3 of the typical 5’ x 8’ boxes that U-Haul’s U-Box or Smart Boxes or MyWay Portable storage containers.  While an oversize couch may technically fit in a U-Box or these other small containers, you will be challenged to work around it in very tight quarters.  It is unquestionably easier to pack a variety of large things into a single large container than it is to pack those same items into several small containers.


As for the construction materials, let me first say that these storage units have evolved over the years.  Earlier versions were constructed of wood with an exterior skin but the new versions are a unique laminated metal structure.  There are still plenty of the wood versions around but I would image PODS is slowly phasing out the older models.  They are all structurally sound for the most part with the ceiling being the weak point.  Each POD has a plastic roof that is translucent.  This roof is bolted on and is not exactly water tight meaning there is no seal between the walls and the roof. 

Here are some pictures of the PODS portable storage units in Grand Rapids:





Monday, May 6, 2013


I cannot recommend the use of PODS since they have a less than stellar record of customer service and pricing that is just too high.  But while doing my portable storage container research I did find a nice promotional code if you are going to use their storage containers for 3 months or more.  You can get free local delivery for a storage of 3 months with the coupon code: BUNDLE.  Try it.  Let me know if it works for you.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

PODS Storage Container Dimensions

More recent measurements of the 16' PODS container are reported in a post here.

Many portable storage customers ask me what size a container is.  The sizes claimed throughout the industry are a bit confusing as all the providers offer fairly vague sizes or nominal dimensions.  PODS has two popular sizes of storage containers, a 12-foot version and a 16-foot version.  These sizes are a reference to the approximate overall outside dimensions of the container.  Outside dimensions probably don't matter to you unless you are trying to make sure you have enough room in your driveway for the box.  What really matters to you is probably how much stuff you can fit into the storage unit.  You care about the interior dimensions.  So here they are:

PODS 12-foot Storage Unit Dimensions

Advertised size: 

  • 12 feet long
  • 8 feet tall
  • 8 feet wide
Actual exterior dimensions:
  • 12.1 feet long (145.25")
  • 8.4 feet tall (101")
  • 7.7 feet wide (92.5")
Nominal interior dimensions (not considering structural members):
  • 11.77 feet long (141.25")
  • 8 feet tall (95.75")
  • 7.5 feet wide (90")
Clear interior dimensions
  • 11.5 feet long (138")
  • 7.5 feet tall (90.5")
  • 6.9 feet wide (83")

PODS 16-foot Storage Unit Dimensions

Advertised size: 

  • 16 feet long
  • 8 feet tall
  • 8 feet wide
Actual exterior dimensions:
  • 16.1 feet long (193.25")
  • 8.4 feet tall (101")
  • 7.7 feet wide (92.5")
Nominal interior dimensions (not considering structural members):
  • 15.8 feet long (189.5")
  • 8 feet tall (95.75")
  • 7.5 feet wide (90")
Clear interior dimensions
  • 15.5 feet long (186")
  • 7.5 feet tall (90.5")
  • 6.9 feet wide (83")