Managing Trade Show Logistics, Freight, Shipping & Material Handling

Logistics and shipping can make or break a trade show. If the exhibit assets do not arrive at the show venue well in time, it will send everyone into panic mode. Not to mention, the lack of careful planning and attention to detail could result in potentially expensive mistakes, while shipping valuable assets to and from a show. Here’s how you can take control:

Make The Right Decisions

Do you have a portable trade show display, or is it a custom one? Where is it that you are exhibiting, at a regional trade show or somewhere international? The answers to these questions will help you in determining if you need to hire a trade show freight carrier in the first place. In case of a portable display, especially the one that you are to use at a regional trade show, you may be able to save on the transportation costs. Being lightweight, this display can be packed in convenient carry bags and cases and taken along.

On the other hand, custom or custom modular exhibits have quite a few delicate components that warrant expert handling. These must be shipped in large crates so as to ensure their safe and timely transfer, and are better left to professionals, who can handle them carefully.

Pick The Right People

Create a checklist of sorts before you zero in on a trade show freight carrier. Here’s what you should focus on:

  • What are the show dates?
  • Are there specific move-in and move-out times?
  • Do you want the exhibit assets to be shipped to directly to the show or would you rather have them shipped to an advanced warehouse?


Don’t Undermine Material Handling

Getting the exhibit assets shipped to the show is not enough. One the assets or components are there, you’ll need someone to transport the crates from the loading area to your booth space in the exhibition hall. And that’s exactly what a drayage or material handling contractor does. More often than not, their work also involves removing the crates and boxes post the show and loading them on the truck. Of course, whether you want the boxes to be delivered to a storage facility or to the next show is totally up to you.

Err On The Side Of Caution

Right from choosing the freight carrier to getting the exhibit assets shipped, it is important that you keep tabs on what is happening. For instance, you have to be aware of the inbound delivery deadline to be able to determine if the freight carrier has missed one, because if they do, chances are that their truck will be sent to the back of the line to unload, and that’s not what you want, right? Similarly, unless you have a camera on you, it would be difficult for you to document the damage to your exhibit assets caused by mishandling.

Managing trade show logistics, freight, shipping & material handling is not as difficult as it seems, and with the help of an experienced freight carrier and a considerate drayage contractor, it is very much possible to ensure that your exhibit assets arrive undamaged.

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