|Freight handling, also called drayage,
costs are usually the second highest costs of exhibiting at a trade
show, second in stature only to the cost of exhibitor rental space.
Packing and shipping your display materials to reduce these costs is
critical. Freight Handling Penalties of up to 50% of total freight
handling fees are awarded for packing methods that do not conform to
show guidelines as specified by the general contractor and late
1) Special Handling – For most of
General Contractors, including Freeman and GES, additional costs are
awarded based on any items being received at show site or the advanced
warehouse, either stacked or not bound to a skid or crate. This means
that carpet and pad must be either skidded or strapped and/or shrink
wrapped to the top of one of your crates and cannot be placed loosely
into a shipping container or trailer. The penalty for loose or stacked
items is 50% of the freight handling costs. Crates cannot be stacked.
Review the shipment policy guidelines
carefully as specified in the exhibitor manual, and pack the exhibit
2) Scheduling – Shipments must
arrive on-time as specified on the move-in plan. Move-in schedule is
often specified based on your exhibit’s location in the convention
center, and also the size of your exhibit.
Shippers must have their truck checked-in
on time in order to avoid similar and stiff (50%) freight handling
penalties after the show. Make sure to pick shippers that are familiar
with trade show logistics, have a reputation for reliability track and
have a back-up plan in place that allows them to deliver or pick-up your
exhibit on time, even in the event of catastrophic equipment failure
such as a truck with a blown motor.
If your shipment arrives late, there is a
good chance that movement of the exhibit into the convention center will
also be greatly delayed. This delay is often 20 to 35 hours as your
trucks waits to be unloaded in back of 100 or more 53 foot containers
that are inline ahead of it. At $75 per hour wait time charge, this is a
$1500 to $2600 penalty. Of course, this also leads to overtime labor
charges as you race to set-up the exhibit with less straight time
available, and a lot more stress for you and your team.
3) Consolidate small shipments –
into one larger shipment when possible. There are freight handling
minimum charges for small shipments. consolidating shipments will help
you to avoid these charges.
More importantly, small packages often
get lost at trade show convention centers or at the general contractor’s
advanced warehouse. Skids are much larger and thus easier to locate
either at the warehouse or on the show floor.
If you have multiple small shipments for
the show coming from multiple locations, have these items shipped to
your hotel, or to a nearby Fed Ex or UPS location. For Fed Ex or UPS
locations, specify hold for pick-up. Small packages can be tracked from
your location to insure timely delivery. Mobile device Apps can be used
to monitor shipping status from most anywhere in the world.
By hand carrying these smaller items into
the convention center, you will not only ensure that critical exhibitor
materials arrive on-time, but you will also completely avoid freight
handling charges for these items.