U-Pack Moving Reviews (164 total - 150 good/5 neutral)

View reviews of moving companies that our visitors have used, and came back to tell us about it.
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Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (143 total - 131 good/5 neutral)

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:14 pm

[Editor's note by Diane: re-posting a brief review just received from "Brenda" through the "Comments" section. (Some people don't know how to post so they submit through that section.) This is ABF review #143.]

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 8/08
Move: Unknown to Semmes, AL
Cost: Unknown

I just wanted to comment on ABF U-Pack. We just moved 1,000 miles and I was skeptical about a company I had not heard of but the price was good, and I inquired and found no bad things about company. I can see why. They are great and work with you in any way they can. It was a very positive experience and the quote was solid no hidden costs. If I ever move again (OH NO PLEASE) I would certainly use this company again.

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Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (144 total - 132 good/5 neutral)

Postby Diane » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:20 am

[Editor's note by Diane: re-posting a review (#144).]

Recommended: yes, but with reservations because of a possible roof leak
Date: 8/08
Move: OR to MA
Cost: Unknown for 18 feet in a trailer, door to door
8/21/08 - Hello all,

I am reporting on my move from OR to MA. I used ABF U-Pack for my stuff . . .

At the last minute, I decided I wanted my U-Pack trailer a day earlier so I could have a little extra time to look it over. On Monday, I called to ask for it Wed instead of Thurs. They said OK, and it was even $50 cheaper.

We got the trailer, and on Friday, I got a bunch of friends to help load (and to help pack all the stuff we thought we would have packed already). It spilled over into Saturday, because it was a lot of work.

We ended up going 18 feet (which was below our 21-foot original quote). I had been a bit worried about fitting our 4 BR house into it, but our friends did a very tight job packing. It was pretty tricky getting the big tarp up top but we did it by hanging ratchet straps across the top, and putting the tarp over them, and taking them down incrementally. I put a tarp on the bottom too. We used Home Depot ratchet straps every 6-7 feet or so to tie off the load.

We drove across the country (with the 4 kids, that's a whole 'nother story to tell) and got there on the other end 8 days later. . . .

The UPack trailer was actually early. We got it dropped off Tuesday afternoon and had movers there that evening. City Moving (a local Boston company) supplied a crew of 4, and they unloaded the truck in about 3 hours. They were very nice and hard-working.

The stuff made it through pretty well. The only thing that I found quite alarming was that when I was cleaning up the tarp, I found a big rust spot on the floor in the front right corner of the trailer (about the size of my footprint). Also, I noticed that my wooden entertainment center and my wooden dining table, which were sitting in that corner, had little black spots around the bottom parts, where the moving blankets were. At first I thought it was just rub-off from some dirty blankets, but then I went to clean them and they seem to be under the finish, so I am suspecting that there may have been a water incursion and the blankets there got wet, causing mold to grow.

If not for that, I would have given U-Pack a great review, but water-tightness is something that's a little too important to overlook.

More details when I have time.

Thanks for all of your help!


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Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (145 total - 133 good/5 neutral)

Postby babyoscar » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:08 am

This is review #145.

Recommended: yes :D, although trailer can get dusty, so use covers to protect your items
Date: 9/08
Move: Alabama/Georgia to CA
Cost: $1500 for 5 linear feet, door to terminal

When my sister was getting ready to move cross country from the east coast to CA, I stumbled across this site. This site gave us valuable information regarding which good moving company to use. My sister did not have that much stuff (less than a studio) so we went with ABF U-Pack. For Alabama/Georgia to CA trip in 5 linear feet trailer space it costs around $1500 in September 2008.

Because my sister was busy packing I did most of the call as far as finding out various informations regarding using U-Pack. The people on the phone at U-Pack were extremely helpful, giving me suggestions and what we can do to make the moving easier. We had scheduled the trailer to arrive at the apartment in the AM, but the trailer did not get here until later toward noon because U-Pack had to unload other things from the trailer first.

We were told it would take approximately 7-10 business days to move the trailer. At first we checked online on the whereabouts of the trailer, but once the trailer started moving, it went to CA pretty fast, total was about 7 business days. Please be aware U-Pack can not pickup or deliver trailer on the weekends. Because parking was a problem, so we ended up picking up our stuff in a rental car at the U-Pack storage parking site.

The move was great, only a few plates were broken from the move itself. We do recommend you get help putting the bulkhead up as they can be quite bulky. We want to thank this site for giving useful information in moving companies. We would definitely use U-Pack again in the future. We just hope we do not have to do too many of those cross country moves again.

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Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (146 total - 134 good/5 neutral)

Postby elton1 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:19 pm

This is review #146.

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 6/09
Move: AZ to NY
Cost: Unknown for two ReloCubes, door to door

I used ABF U-Pack for my recent relocation from AZ to NY. I chose them based on all the reviews posted on this site and e-Opinions as well as the size of my move. I had a great experience with them! I actually used their relo-cubes and their service was excellent. The driver that dropped off the cubes was especially helpful and patient since the location where I moved to only allowed a 4 hour window to unload.

It was a perfect option for my small move however, please keep in mind- the cubes are really small so pack carefully. I had reserved only 1 cube but needed 2. Luckily they had another one readily available and were able to drop it off immediately. It was definitely an additional expense I did not expect to incur but overall it was still substantially less expensive than other options. :D

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Location: Chicago

Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (147 total - 135 good/5 neutral)

Postby Zhenya » Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:16 pm

This is review #147.

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 7/09
Move: CA to IL
Cost: Unknown for two ReloCubes, door to door

I just used the relocubes with U-Pack to move from CA to IL. Couldn't be more impressed with the quality of service, reliability of the company on both ends. In Cali, the driver was very friendly and helpful, gave me an extra relocube on the spot!!! even though his contract only said to deliver 1 cube. In Illinois, my stuff arrived on time, and when I opened the cubes, I saw that not one item even shifted inside.

They did a great job treating my things carefully and delivering everything exactly on the estimated date of arrival. They also showed great flexibility and patience in letting me choose last-minuite delivery address without trying to get more out of me. I can think of no better company to use and recommend them very highly!!!
:D :D :D

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Location: Fairbanks, AK

Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (148 total - 136 good/5 neutral)

Postby pearlysweetcake » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:12 am

This is review #148.

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 8/09
Move: Los Angeles area to Fairbanks, Alaska, partly via barge
Cost: $4900 for 9 linear feet in a trailer, door to door

Much ABF Love! Affordable and easy DIY option.

I wanted to write this review because I had a lot of trouble finding people who had dealt with the city of LA in terms of parking an ABF-type trailer on the street overnight, as well as very few people who were moving to Alaska. ABF themselves told me that they had never had any trouble in my Los Angeles area zip code (90731) but I wanted to be as sure as I could that nothing would go wrong. The ABF booking agent (Shane J.) was an absolute sweetheart and was very helpful, answering all of my questions quickly and accurately.

I lived in an apartment building in San Pedro which happened to be on a street that was all zoned commercial. This was one of the keys to my success in parking the trailer over the weekend on the street. If I had lived in Rancho Palos Verdes (good luck if you live there, it is 100% illegal to park a trailer on the street overnight and they live to tow) or in a nicer city residential neighborhood, I would have faced more difficulty. So hopefully you are in a similar situation.

If you want to get "Temporary No Parking" signs in LA, don't bother calling the police or 311, they were all clueless. Just call (213) 485-2298 (they are only open 5am - 1pm seriously and they didn't answer at 5:30am, must be nice to work there!) and ask the nice ladies at the DOT's Special Traffic Control Section for them. They will need the address and the signs will block about 100 feet in front of that address. You have to give them at least 4 days notice, they are very serious about that.

They also told me that parking a trailer on the street overnight is illegal, but that's not technically true (the laws are imprecise and the county and municipal codes don't say the same thing, but the Parking Enforcement officer that appears later in the story told me that as long as it was a commercial neighborhood and I had the No Parking signs it was fine) so I didn't worry about it (I didn't lie, just said that I would deal with that on my own). Make sure you get the request or control # (I forget their exact verbage) as well as the "posted date" in case you end up having to call Parking Enforcement.

It only cost $20 (same price for as many days as you need!) and was SO worth it. My signs were posted on Wednesday for a Friday-Monday No Parking zone. The signs were not posted very well (there were hanging signs at the beginning and end of the zone with nothing in between, not very clear at all as to which spots were No Parking, I was expecting stand-up signs in each spot but oh well) but I called back to verify that everything in between the signs was No Parking, and they said yes.

Friday, my trailer drop day came (was scheduled between 12-4), and of course there were people parked in every single spot (5 spots fell in between the signs, the trailer only needed 3 because there was a driveway flanking both sides of that 3 spot block. If there hadn't been a driveway the ABF driver would have needed all 5), so I called the DOT at about 10am and then was directed to call Parking Enforcement. I explained that I needed cars towed from my No Parking spots and gave them the control # and the posted date, and they said they would send someone and that I had to wait outside for him!! I got a sunburn waiting for 2 hours, but eventually the parking cop showed up, I explained everything and he called the tow trucks.

As the tow trucks were hooking the cars up, of course the ABF driver showed up (at about 2pm) and had to wait until the towing was all done (about an hour) but he was extremely nice about it. He asked me to verify again with the cop that it was OK to park on the street and that's when he told me it was fine because I had the signs (and that they would not tow anything out of the spots automatically without me calling them), but that he suggested I call the Harbor Division Parking Enforcement and ask them to "withhold enforcement" over the weekend to be sure. I called at 2:30pm, but they were closed for the weekend (must be nice!!) so he said he would tell them for me.

The trailer was in good shape and had tie-down racks every two feet or so, as well as markings as to how many feet used also every two feet. The bulkhead was extremely crappy-looking, but they tell you ahead of time that it's not load bearing (ha! don't trust it hold back anything) so we were prepared for that. We also had a really hard time getting the bulkhead locks in (DON'T buy big thick fancy-looking locks, you need locks that are about 2 1/2" long but have standard-size diameters, the first set we bought were too big to fit in the holes) because the pieces of the bulkhead didn't line up right, so keep a hammer handy.

My most valuable advice is to pack it really, really smart. We packed high and tight, touching the roof in most places (get the best Tetris player you know to help load), and sectioned off every 2-4 feet with rope and ratchet straps (Home Depot has sets of 4 for $20, completely worth the money), as well as extra rope and bungee cords around furniture legs that were sticking up or anything that felt loose at all. We used blankets as furniture pads as well as stuffing pillows, blankets, anything we could in the inadvertent empty spots between stuff, and we put our mattress (secured with rope, we couldn't get a strap to fit in the same track as the bulkhead) between the bulkhead and our stuff. We forgot to tie a tarp at the top but since we were moving in August we weren't worried about rain, and figured that a little road dirt wouldn't hurt. Our stuff did get dirty because of that, so if you have nice things or are moving to a rainy place, I would recommend tying a tarp at the front in the top tie-down and covering your things.

We ended up using 9 feet (they quoted 10 feet so we saved $500 off the quote!) only which was about $4900. The full-service quotes we got were in the 5-figure range, so we were VERY pleased. We called ABF on Monday morning and they came and got it late that afternoon. Our stuff was in transit for almost as long as they said it would be, 10 business days, or two weeks total, and it ended up being like 15-16 days. We tracked it here and there but it wasn't very exciting because once it got to Tacoma, they loaded it onto a barge and it was on the ocean for several days.

ABF called us once it got to Anchorage (on day 14) and said that they would unload the freight there and then send it up to Fairbanks in a day or two, but that they didn't have ANY ramps available! Apparently they only have 5 ramps for the entire state of Alaska, and since August is the most popular month to move up there, we had to wait. They offered to drop the trailer off on Wednesday and not start the 72 hour counter until they brought a ramp (they estimated Monday), and we were fine with that, we ended up unloading almost everything without the ramp, it is a lot easier to unload without a ramp than load without one!

Our house in Alaska is on a dirt road with a rocky, not-level driveway, so ABF recommended that we have some plywood and some dunnage (wood blocks for the landing legs and wheels) handy to keep the trailer in place, relatively level, and from sinking into the driveway (it had also been raining for several days so the ground was wet). The driver (who was awesome, 20 year veteran) had no trouble getting it in, he just had to turn around on the road and back down the driveway. The trailer did sustain some damage in transit (had a big hole in the side like somebody hit it with a forklift) but luckily it was near the back of the trailer, far from our stuff. It had clearly been used to haul rice and sugar as the freight because some was sprinkled at the back of the trailer, but otherwise was clean.

We had very little broken in transit (and it was all our fault), two boxes were punctured by chair legs (one rope broke and let them get a little loose) but we made sure to pack boxes that could take a little abuse under furniture (so the contents were fine, as were the chairs), and one table was broken from having something crammed under it that shifted, and I accidently kicked a TV off the edge (totally not their fault, but it probably wouldn't have happened if we had the ramp, lol). Our stuff was a little dirty on top, but didn't get wet at all, despite the rain. They brought the ramp on Monday as promised and we were finished unloading Tuesday night. ABF called Wednesday morning and wanted to come pick everything up (the ramp is obviously a hot item) and they did that afternoon (same driver!).

Overall, our experience with ABF U-Pack was excellent, and I would use them again or recommend them to a friend in a heartbeat. If you have a DIY spirit (or just a lack of $$) and are willing to get dirty, they are an affordable and easy (easier than U-Haul anyway) option. Feel free to message me if you have any questions about a Los Angeles - Fairbanks type move.

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Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (149 total - 137 good/5 neutral)

Postby ratonlaveur » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:12 pm

This is review #149.

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 8/09
Move: CA to MA
Cost: $1500 for 1 ReloCube

Overall a positive experience, though with some notable hitches. Initially there were issues in scheduling the pick up date as I thought I picked the date already when registering online, but I was later told that I had to call in advance. So I called the regional terminal and they said I could call the same day up to around 1PM, but when I called the same day they said 24 hours advance notice was needed, so my relocube was picked up 1 day later than originally scheduled. The driver was there during the scheduled drop off time and did a bit of quick job dropping off the relocube off-center in my parking spot.

Upon arrival at the destination, the driver was much more meticulous there and obsessive-compulsively placed the relocube perfectly in the center of my parking spot. Aside from light scuffing on some of my cheap IKEA furniture which wasn't adequately packed, nothing was damaged. The only thing was that I didn't cover things with a tarp so there was a strange greenish dirt on the top of everything. I didn't have any problems with water/humidity. I also had an 'older' relocube - it was still metal, but it looked pretty beat up and rusty, and was clearly an older design than the other relocubes I've seen on their trucks. The relocube took 5 days to arrive (same as their estimated transit time).

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Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (150 total - 137 good/5 neutral)

Postby cascadia » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:46 pm

This is review #150.

Recommended: no! :evil: (not good for city dwellers)
Date: 8/09
Move: Chicago to Seattle
Cost: $2152 for 8 linear feet of space in a trailer, door to door (including $150 for arrival guarantee)

I have found movingscam.com very useful over the years and thought I'd do my part to contribute.

First, to make this balanced, in UPack's favor they have great customer service and they offer a much needed option in between DIY and full-service, however, I would not use them again unless I lived in the suburbs.

Second, I had just finished graduate school and packed an entire 2 bedroom apartment by myself with a newborn and a 2 year old (while hubby was back in Seattle), so by the time moving day arrived my stress levels were through the roof.

Third, as background, in the past 7 years my husband and I have made three 2,000 mile moves and two 200 mile moves (but always DIY). Additionally I moved many many times in college. So I am very well versed in packing and moving.

Lastly, we chose door to door service rather than terminal to terminal because loading and unloading multiple times plus paying for a local move took away the cost savings of UPack. However, doing a door to door move in urban areas turned out to be a complete nightmare and is really not UPack's forte.

Departing (from Chicago)

Coordinating UPack's 4 hour drop off window and 2 hour live load requirement with Chicago's 4 hour parking permit window and movers that we were paying by the hour was a disaster. UPack told me that I could narrow down the arrival window with my local dispatcher closer to the drop off date but as the day approached he continued to tell me that he had no idea when the truck would arrive during the window. Finally, the morning of the load, still faced with a completely uncertain arrival time, I spent $150 to guarantee a one hour window. Meanwhile our movers showed up early and it turned out that the police will not tow to enforce the parking permits to make way for the UPack truck.

I understand from an operations stand point that the window helps UPack not overpromise but it was frustrating to get mixed messages on whether I need to buy the guarantee or could count on a high probability of timely arrival and save myself money. If you are dealing with parking permits and movers and a live load requirement, it is not feasible to work with such a wide window. I also got mixed messages from UPack about whether the truck would be able to double park or if the whole move would be canceled if we couldn't tow the cars which is critical to know.

To UPack's credit they worked with me in the end on the parking issue and the fact that my mover's showed up without the truck to help get some items in the UPack from my mom's place. And the truck showed up right on time as soon as I bought the guarantee. But the whole morning I was nervous wreck not knowing if I would even have the opportunity to get my stuff in the truck and when that would happen.

I feel I could have gotten better information from the local dispatch about the realities of doing an inner Chicago move and they could have been more forthcoming about how previous customers have dealt with such issues which could have helped me understand how to make the morning go better. I tried getting such information to do this at least a month in advance and was told that I should just phone closer to my move date which turned out to be useless.

Arrival (in Seattle)

The truck arrived in Seattle exactly on time (one week later). (Btw I found it incredibly irritating how vague most of the UPack phone reps were about the likelihood of timely arrival and the necessity of buying an arrival guarantee. I feel like these arrival guarantees are just a money making device and definitely lowered my goodwill toward the company. But that's another story.)

The driver arrived at 8:30a, well before I was expecting him (arrival window started at 9a) and was in a big hurry to drop the truck. We live on a hill with an incredibly steep grade and I was hoping he could leave the truck in our driveway but it wasn't flat enough so he decided to leave it on the street in front of our house. He was concerned about the incline but we were anxious to finally be done with this move (we were tired of camping out with 2 little ones, one with high fever at this point, and had a wedding to attend in 2 days) and assured him that our stuff was roped in.

However, he parked the truck with the door facing downhill. We had been planning to unload ourselves but given how dangerous situation had become and that it seemed critical to unload ASAP we decide to hire movers last minute. however, our possessions had tilted dramatically in the parking process and removing any of them threatened to destabilize the entire load so we had to abort the move and ended up paying our movers $200+ for their time and were still left with an unloaded truck.

UPack sent another driver out that night who determined that the truck could not be turned around or parked elsewhere and helped us lower the upper end of the truck to help straighten out the load. This proved insufficient though as the goods were so badly tilted at this point, so UPack sent two drivers out the next day (arriving at noon - 15 hours after the initial drop off.) These drivers were totally shocked that the truck had ever been left like this and QUICKLY TURNED IT AROUND IN ITS ORGINAL SPOT AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PARKED ORIGINALLY. (Side note, our movers - Express Movers - frequently work with ABF unloads and were shocked that the driver had not parked the trailer with the door facing uphill as they would normally do apparently.) Once the truck was parked properly it TOOK US 2 HOURS TO UNLOAD OURSELVES.

To UPack's credit they definitely worked with us on trying to remedy the situation and the drivers and dispatcher were incredibly understanding and helpful. I definitely appreciate that. However, given how tight their schedule was, it took a long time to get each driver out which was incredibly stressful. Had the original driver parked properly we would have been saved considerable time, stress and wear and tear on our belongings and the cost of unnecessary/unuseable movers and an extra day for a small moving truck necessary for my mom's belongings. We trusted the drivers to make the best decisions and they let us down there.

Also, I have moved my belongings long distance multiple times and have never suffered so much damage to my possessions which I think is due to the less cushioned long distance drive, incredibly hot temparatures that the load was apparently subjected to (a few items were slightly melted), and the long time parked on a steep incline and the reparking.

In the end

I described my complaints in the customer satisfaction survey that I received from UPack but received no response until I finally filed a BBB complaint requesting reimbursement for the movers and the extra day for the Budget truck. UPack politely declined and the BBB sided with them. I absolutely agree that we were responsible for signing off on the original parking position but we did so because we were desperate to unload and WERE GIVEN NO OTHER OPTION. Had the driver asked me if I wanted to door to face downhill or uphill I obviously would have chosen the latter and the latter was obviously an option as demonstrated by the third set of drivers.

I also understand that it is a stretch to ask that UPack pay for our unuseable movers/Budget truck delay but it was what it took to make me feel less bitter about the experience. I was told that I could submit a claim for damaged items but at a max reimbursement of $0.10 pound it did not seem worth the hassle. Additionally, it seemed hard to prove the damage was due to "negligence" on UPack's part, it seemed like normal wear and tear for them that unfortunately took a heavy toll on our goods. To limit damage to our items we probably should have packed less high and tight but that would have made the move considerable more expensive.

I just wanted some compensation on UPack's part that acknowledged that they could have done a much better job of helping us have a more satisfactory move and they have not been willing to make any concessions and retain goodwill.

Each set of drivers (as well as the driver in Chicago) talked about how much money ABF makes off the residential moves. While I think they have the potential for great value, the incredible stress and loss of wages due to the drawn out unload process and additional fees necessary to complete the move and guarantee a schedule made it hardly seem like a better deal compared to driving a Penske truck ourselves. Additionally the live load requirement in urban areas (only 1 hour in Seattle) makes it especially unappealing.

Bottom line: terrible option for anyone living in a city who can't do a terminal to terminal move and needs drivers/movers who understand the idiosyncrasies of moving locally. Remember that ABF is a freight company, the residential move bit is a just a money making side thing. They are incredibly good at their core business but the UPack business is not well suited for city dwellers who can't easily accommodate massive trailers on their street or very short load/unload times and who have possessions which are fragile.

I wish I had known all this last summer. I would have stuck to Penske. (Which btw is fabulous.) I assumed that because so many people on movingscam liked UPack that I would to. Unfortunately this was not so.

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Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (150 total - 137 good/5 neutral)

Postby 4WeHelp » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:52 am

We have loaded/unload to many U-Pack trailers to count. The service is awesome and we just want to make sure people realize two things

1) The pick up and drop off time is just an estimate. ABF guarantees nothing so schedule the trailer to be dropped off the day before you plan to load/unload it.
2) Those trailers bounce and shake more than a standard moving truck and they are much taller inside than anything the consumer can get at a truck rental place. That means you do a LOT of stacking. Make sure you box EVERYTHING and have plenty of blankets for the furniture. If you don't it will come out a jumbled, tangled broken mess.
If you make your decision based on cheap prices, you will remember the service long after you have paid the price.

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Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (151 total - 138 good/5 neutral)

Postby sehfoo » Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:09 pm

Another pretty good option for city dwellers. I'm moving next month from downtown Chicago to southern Texas. I almost booked ABF for door to door service until I learned about the "live load" requirement, i.e. since I live in Chicago an ABF person must stay with the pod/trailer during the load, first 2 hours is free and then $37.50 per subsequent 15 mins. I've moved enough times to know that it always takes me much longer than I plan. So, I called a few local moving companies that were highly recommended on Yelp.com. My initial plan was to see if one of them recommends a long distance mover. That didn't work, however I came up with what I think is a pretty slick solution. Please read on...

ABF quoted me $1900 door to door for my 1 bedroom + den apt move, from downtown Chicago to McAllen, TX. The terminal to terminal option is only $1200. I'm hiring a local Chicago moving company named Move-Tastic, which has many glowing reviews on Yelp.com, to move my stuff from my apt to the ABF terminal (about 20 miles from downtown). ABF will then bring the trailer to my door in TX. Movetastic will cost roughly $500 and ABF is charging $1550 for the terminal to door delivery. So, I'll pay about $150 more than I originally planned, however I also get a 3-man crew and truck from Move-Tastic to help on the Chicago side. My friends are excited about this too, as you might expect.

Just wanted to post this in case others in urban areas are considering ABF. My move wll happen in about 5 weeks. I'll try to remember to post my actual experience afterwards.

Happy moving :)

Update on 4/30/2010
Here's the rest of the story, sorry it took me awhile to post this:

The move went very well. I would definitely use Move-Tastic and ABF again.

Move-Tastic was on time, friendly and hard working. The 3-man crew, led by Chris, loaded everything from my 1 bedroom + den apt in about two hours. I had "most" everything packed when they arrived. They helped me pack the final few items, including 2 bicycles into bike boxes that I had purchased from Uline in Waukegan. Once everything was loaded, they drove to an industrial park near Midway airport and then moved everything into a 28' ABF freight trailer. This took about 2 hours. The final cost for Move-Tastic was $475, 4 hours x $100/hr plus $75 for the truck. I tipped them generously and they were worth it. I also helped with some of the loading. This was optional and I needed the exercise.

With U-Pack, I ended up using 12' of the trailer instead of 8' which was originally estimated. I can't remember the final ABF cost, but I think it was roughly $1900. Not quite the bargain I was originally expecting, but still a very good value I think. Everyone I interacted with from ABF was professional and courteous. The trailer left Chicagoland on Wednesday, 12/30/09, and arrived in southern TX the following Monday or Tuesday. 1/1/2010 was on Friday which I think may have delayed the delivery one day. A few things had shifted around in the trailer, but nothing was damaged. I have to give Move-Tastic credit for packing the ABF trailer well. The trailer was in very good condition. I had been a little worried about possible leaks, this wasn't an issue at all. The unload went well and ABF came by the next day to take the trailer away. I think they gave me three days to unload, but it only took one.
Last edited by sehfoo on Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Location: Los Angeles

Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (150 total - 137 good/5 neutral)

Postby Diane » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:31 am


Thanks for posting the above. This is indeed a good solution for Chicago and other congested cities and I've been recommending a similar plan to people from time to time. I do hope you'll come back to tell us how Move-Tastic worked out. I think if "cascadia" (see review #150 above) had used a small company like that and had moved terminal to terminal, a lot of problems would have been avoided.

According to the IL Commerce Commission, Move-Tastic, Inc. IS properly licensed to do moves within IL with ILCC MC #158678, and based on the Yelp reviews I am guardedly optimistic about this company. Its website, which is funny and extremely well done, is www.move-tastic.com (However, in my opinion, Yelp reviews are not nearly as closely monitored as the reviews on MovingScam, so I'm not sure about their reliability.)

Similar to what you are suggesting, in New York City many people have used two of the companies endorsed by this website - Shea and All Star - to deliver their goods to the nearest ABF terminal, which I think is in Queens. This has the added advantage that the movers can carry items down if they are located on high floors, as is often the situation in NYC.

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Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:43 pm

Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (152 total - 139 good/5 neutral)

Postby stricklandia » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:50 pm

Recommended: Big YES :D
Date: 11/09
Move: Brooklyn, NY to San Diego
Cost: About $2,300 for 10 trailer-feet, $130 per additional foot

I'm overdue in posting my review of ABF and Shea Moving for our relocation from NYC (Brooklyn) to San Diego, CA. The short version: I give a glowing recommendation for both. My only complaint was the cost, but moving ain't cheap. Next time, I'll try harder to negotiate relocation costs into my job offer.

We lived in Brooklyn's Clinton Hill neighborhood, and my first concern with ABF was the congested streets and lack of parking. Needless to say, having them leave the trailer for 3 days was not an option. We had to do a "live load," where the ABF driver stays with the truck. ABF gave us 4 hours to load it up, and quoted us nearly $40 per 15-min. increment over the four hours (with that incentive, we finished within the 4 hours). I had NYPD post temporary no-parking signs to make room for the truck, but people totally ignored the signs. Double-parking the truck turned out to be fine, however; everyone double-parks in NYC all the time anyway.

We hired Shea Moving to do the loading, based on the favorable reviews on this site and their friendly and professional attitudes during the quote process. They quoted us about $1,000 for a 5-man team, and estimated it would take 4 hours. I had sticker shock, because I didn't think the loading would be so expensive. But they capped their estimate, and it ended up taking 5 hours, with no extra charge beyond their capped 4-hour estimate to me. In retrospect, I can't imagine what a nightmare it would have been with a 3-man team; it would have taken much longer. We had a slightly tricky loading situation, because Shea first had to go to our storage unit, load up their truck with the stuff there, and then bring it back to our apt. to load onto the ABF truck. But the Shea guys were champs, and handled that and the rest of the loading in a very fast, efficient and friendly manner. They also did a fantastic job of wrapping all of our furniture and fragile items (again, far exceeding the estimate cap for materials). I can't say enough good things about these guys.

ABF was professional at every stage, from initial estimate (by phone/email), to the loading (friendly driver), to the transit (tracking via their website), to the destination. At our destination, in fact, they held onto our trailer for about a week (with no extra charge) till we were ready for it to be delivered, and then they left it on a Thursday, so we had it till the following Monday. Made the unloading stress-free.

If I'm going to offer any word of caution with regard to ABF, it's to slightly over-estimate how much stuff you have. I described the size of our apt. and storage unit to them in detail, and they quoted 10 trailer-feet, with a charge of $130 per foot over the 10 feet. We went over the estimate by 4 feet, which made me wonder if they had intentionally underestimated the amount of trailer-feet we'd need. I concluded that they did not; it's hard to estimate such things precisely, and 4 extra trailer feet is not a huge difference. It also depends on how well your belongings are packed onto the truck (though Shea did a fantastic job of stuffing every inch, floor to ceiling).

Bottom line: we shelled out a lot of cash, but our dealings with U-Pack and Shea made it a lot less stressful than it could have been. And on the other end, after unpacking everything, we came through with one broken wine glass and one small scuff on one dining room chair. Everything else was good to go. We'll definitely be calling ABF if we relocate again.

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Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:48 pm
Location: santa monica

Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (153 total - 140 good/5 neutral)

Postby bjarke » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:02 pm

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 3/10
Move: Chicago to Santa Monica, CA
Cost: Unknown for 8 linear feet of space in a trailer, door to door

my husband i and just relocated from chicago to santa monica and used U-Pack. we considered full service movers and uhaul but this ended up being cheaper than even uhaul - plus we didn't have to drive the truck or pay for gas.

abf was so incredibly friendly throughout every step of the process. i called a few times to change the date, add our destination address, etc. and they were always so nice and helpful.

as for the actual move, we packed most everything in boxes, wrapped furniture in blankets /bubble wrap and stuffed extra blankets and pillows in between things so they wouldn't move. we used rope to zig zag back and forth across the width of the trailer to secure the load. it all arrived in perfect condition.

the appearance of our boxes was a different story. a few things in the back dislodged and landed on boxes, some others were just crushed with the weight of others. i don't think we stuffed them as full as we should have. smaller boxes jammed as tights as they can would have worked better. that being said, the most destroyed box housed the few pieces of crystal i have but turned out that nothing broke. not even a chip. i heart bubble wrap!

in terms of loading and delivery, we had them come on a monday to chicago and did a live load because that is required in the city. i got no parking signs from the alderman and it took about 1 1/2 hours to load. we paid extra to make sure the truck would arrive in santa monica on that friday as i was starting work the next week. it was right on time and we decided to do a live load there as well (only allowed 1 hr before being charged, where chicago you get 2 hours) because it was not possible to get the proper permits from the city in time for the truck's arrival. we got it all unpacked in 1 hour.

oh, we also got an estimate of 8' and took 7'. they credited us back $85 for the linear foot we didn't use. normally it's $75 but we had our load expedited so it incurred an extra charge.

so all in all, would most certainly recommend abf.

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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (152 total - 139 good/5 neutral)

Postby Diane » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:53 pm

Re-posting an exchange posted at http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18954 under the topic title "ABF: movebuilder.com?"
2/10/10 - I've searched the message boards here and Googled rather extensively, but I'm not finding much information about movebuilder.com. It's a subsidiary of ABF U-Pack -- the purpose is to add on traditional moving services (packing/loading/unloading) to the ABF concept.

BBB lists them as "Moving Solutions Inc."

No complaints that I can find, but not much in the way of recommendations either (at least none that are not obvious advertisements). They've not been operation very long (only about six months according to the BBB listing).

Sounds good in theory that ABF could vet local packing/loading crews as an extension of their trucking fleet, but are these contractors of consistent quality? Or do they not live up to their promises?

Does anyone here have any experience with their service?
2/10/10 - You probably haven't found any information on MoveBuilder because it's parent, Data-Tronics, a wholly owned subsidiary of ABF that maintains their business application systems, just opened the company for business in October, 2009.
2/15/10 - First -- Do NOT under any circumstance use MoveBuilder! My girlfriend made the mistake of contracting them in January for an interstate move, and we've been dealing with the ramifications ever since.

Being an ABF operation, perhaps it's not a true criminal scam. But might as well be one. Net result so far:

- Nearly all of GF's furniture was damaged to some degree.
- Many items are simply missing
- The estimate provided, based on phone con with MoveBuilder (Arkansas Best Corp), was radically underestimated.
- The movers who arrived were paid by the hour (a fact not clearly represented), and took many hours too long to pack, resulting in an unexpected additional charge.
- Tremendous difficulty in scheduling the drop off
- ABC corp was NO HELP AT ALL, blaming its contractor MovingStaffers, which itself may or may not be an ABC operation, hard to be sure.
- Even after everything was paid, Movebuilder (ABC) made an unauthorized mystery charge of about $1000 to GF's checking account, with the expected disastrous results.
- GF has hired lawyer and looking to sue.

It's proved to be an obscenely incompetent operation. The situation is made murkier because ABF contracted out the operation to another outfit called Movingstaffers.com, which ID's itself as a brand of a company called Albert Container Services. The same contact person uses contact info for both MovingStaffers and MoveBuilder, depending on the situation. Shady stuff, not sure who she really works for.

(As mentioned above, MoveBuilder itself is run by an Arkansas Best Corp. subsidiary called Moving Solutions Inc.)

In short, I'm shocked and appalled a real, public corporation like Arkansas Best is operating what appears for all the world to be a scam, and refuses to make it right. Good chance a judge will be sorting this out.
I've always felt that it was risky for ABF to align with labor services in situations where it really has no control over quality. It's obviously not a scam, but it has the potential to tarnish ABF's image.

Cautious customers may want to look into finding their own loading and/or unloading labor by using one of the small local companies that people have recommended on this website - see the discussion of Shea Moving posted two reviews ago, for example. They can also go to www.movinghelp.com (used to be known as eMove) for labor. The advantage of the latter is that customers can see actual reviews of the loading and unloading companies in advance.

UPDATE: I studied the MoveBuilder.com website to learn how it operates and I posted a comment about it here - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 494#130494 I suggest that if people are worried about the "Shakybarnes" report, they might want to either call the number on the MoveBuilder website or send an email to [email protected] to get the company's side of the story.

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Re: ABF U-Pack Moving Reviews (154 total - 141 good/5 neutral)

Postby pashaw » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:48 pm

We decided to use ABF U-Pack for our move from NV to NC based on recommendations on this site and other research and could not be more pleased. The staff at both locations were helpful and very patient with our fluctuating dates.

Again based on information on this site we packed as tightly as possible, used shrink wrap as protection, stuffed bags filled with clothes into empty spaces, wrapped furniture in blankets, and used small boxes to fill in. It is helpful to "think outside the box" when packing and loading the truck. For instance, I used cloth placemats and napkins to wrap dishes and to cushion their boxes. Coolers and insulated bags can be filled with fragile items, etc. We packed and loaded without help and it took forever, but everything survived.

Our delivery location is on a dirt road and the house is at the top of a fairly steep gravel driveway. The driver had no problem leaving the trailer exactly where we needed it

We would absolutely use ABF for future moves and highly recommend this company based on reliability, service, and price.

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