Wife and I moved from Albuquerque, NM to Daytona Beach, FL in late December 2011. We opted to store the stuff we weren't taking in our car in a UBox in Albuquerque, figuring it would cost less to have it shipped later than to rent a U-Haul truck and drive it over at the same time as we moved... and we'd be able to relax and enjoy the road trip together rather than driving separate, and avoid feeling hurried to deliver the truck at the destination ASAP. Good deal right?
In December 2011 the price for shipping a UBox was a little over $1,000.00, by late January 2012 it had increased to about $1,200.00; which was still cheaper than renting a truck large enough and paying for the gas to transport the goods ourselves.
At this point my wife hurt her wrist at work so I decided to hold off a little before shipping the UBox to FL: just in case we needed the money because she couldn't work.
After a couple months went by, and lots of tests and doctors visits, I decided it was no longer worth it to wait. My wife was working still, and we had enough dough saved up that I felt secure having our UBox shipped over. But what? The price had jumped up to over $1,400.00 for no apparent reason. $1400.00 was almost exactly what it would have cost to rent a truck and pay for gas back in December 2011. Gas prices were basically the same, so I found myself wondering "what gives?"
I also decided, at this point, to wait a bit to see if the price went down at all.
Today, May 17th 2012, about a month after I encountered the unreasonable $1,400.00 estimate for shipping, my wife decided it had been long enough, that she wanted the UBox shipped. So she called UHaul, and was quoted $1,971.00 for shipping... THAT'S A $500 DOLLAR INCREASE FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON!! And it's also $400 dollars more expensive than it would be to just rent a truck and pay for gas; and that's with today's cost for rental and gas... not the prices from last December.
NOTE: $1,900.00 is also about $400.00 more the the estimated worth of the belongings in our packed full UBox.
UHaul's explanation: they use a third party service for shipping and can't control the costs.
But if they can't control the cost of shipping enough to make the service viable in comparison to the more complex services the provide, why provide the service at all. After all a UBox is just a cheap plywood box nailed to a pallet that they often toss around with forklifts, and occasionally strap to a flatbed that gets towed by a semi. A UBox is not a rental van or truck that requires regular maintenance, it's not a heated and highly secured storage space... UBoxes are often left outside with little but specialised tarps and a lock to protect them. These price increases appear completely baseless or otherwise simply ridiculous. Buyer please beware!