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Brett Lipeles' Articles

Filling Out the Freight Handling (Drayage) Order Form - Knowing the Weight

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When you are first filling out the freight handling order form, knowing the right weight to put down on the form is essential. Many businesses do not realize the amount of money they can save with this step. Simply putting down the weight of the exhibit is not sufficient. If you want to cut your trade show costs, you need to specify the weight accordingly. When you are filling out the freight handling form, you actually want to put the weight as 75% of the actual weight.

You will need to know your exhibit weight including carpets and any skids that will be delivered, including skids that contain marketing supplies and giveaways. While we don't find a lot of use for the space where you fill out the number of pieces with the exhibit, you do want to consider the weight that you enter very carefully. We recommend that you fill in the weight at about 75% of the actual weight of the exhibit for several reasons:

1) You will often be billed for freight handling as soon as you order this service. Why pay for 100% of this service up front? Your accounting department will certainly appreciate you delaying payment for this service at least until after you receive it.

2) If there is something wrong with the weight on your bill from the general contractor (the company providing freight handling services), it is much better for you to start the negotiation process with a weight that is a little bit lower than the recorded actual weight. Use a low weight on your order form (which will be stored in your folder at the service desk) to cause some doubt in the customer service or manager's mind. Remember, they must be listening in order for you to get the bill corrected.

3) Often show management or the general contractor will bill you based on your stated weight. If the weight is too high, they will immediately refer back to your order form which states the weight as very high. Thus, you want to show a consistently low number.

4) Occasionally, your exhibit is not weighed at the marshalling yard as it is moved into the show. In this case, freight handling charges will be levied based on the weight that you have stated on your order form. If your exhibit and materials weight is stated low, you will save money each time that your official exhibit weight is not confirmed in marshalling. Since freight handling is the 2nd or 3rd highest cost for you as you run your exhibit, this will save you a substantial number of trade show marketing dollars!

Now follow the formula on the freight handling form, usually exhibit weight / 100 Lbs. x the circled freight handling rate = freight handling cost.

This simple tip will save you a great deal of money on your trade show exhibit costs. You will be able to save time and money by following this tip. This is just one of the many ways you can cut your bottom line and increase your ROI at trade shows.


  2015 by Brett Lipeles