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Same Day Shipping and Delivery – Air Shipping – when you need it now!

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Often in the trade show process, something is forgotten.  A piece of the booth is missing, perhaps in a crate that is not at this show.  A critical product sample is mistakenly left at HQ.  A change of sales strategy requires supplies be shipped from HQ and received faster than express services from DHL, Fed Ex or UPS can deliver.

The way to move items last minute in this situation is via Air Freight.  Your items can be shipped in the belly of an airplane, below the passengers.  This type of shipping service is not inexpensive, however, it is far less costly than showing with an incomplete exhibit, or trying to sell minus a critical sales sample.

An exhibit panel, 48” x 94”, wrapped in foam and boxed with cardboard sheeting will cost approximately $1000 to move from Las Vegas to New York City and have delivered via courier to Jacob Javitz Center.  In this case, you receive the same type of service as from any of the regular shippers: UPS, Fed Ex or DHL.  Meaning, your freight will be picked-up at your items location, delivered to the airport, moved by air freight to the nearest airport, and then delivered to wherever your trade show event is located.

Here is what to know before enlisting an air freight service to help you: 

1) You probably do not want your air freight company to deliver to the trade show convention center.  Avoid the special handling freight handling fees and delays of delivery that will be required to have this shipment delivered through the general contractor’s package receipt system.  Instead, make sure that the courier delivering the freight from the airplane has your direct phone number.  Have them meet you at your hotel or at the attendee entrance of the convention center and be prepared to carry the freight into your booth. 

2)  If the freight is too large to be hand carried into the booth, start working with the general contractor freight handling staff well before the package is delivered at the convention center.  The general contractor can do a lot to help you avoid delays if they have enough notice and are made aware of your predicament.

3)   When working with your air freight carrier to schedule the shipment consider where you are with regards to surrounding airports.  Recently, we needed to move an exhibit panel from the DC area to Huntsville AL.  When scheduling the same day shipment, there was no way to get the panel to Huntsville airport in time, however, upon more careful inspection, we realized that the Nashville TN airport has many more flights than Huntsville.  Nashville is an easy 2 hour drive from Huntsville.  When we suggested to our air shipper to move the piece through Nashville, they were happy to oblige.  We merely paid slightly more (negligible) for the shipment to have it couriered from Nashville to our hotel in Huntsville.  This allowed us to receive the missing panel the night before show open.  However, the air shipper was not going to suggest this routing.  These air freight companies are in the business of arranging for the air shipments and the couriers, not making the routing work.  It is very possible that your input will needed for help with routing to smaller cities in order that you can receive your shipment when you need it!

4)   With air freight, the length x girth maximums (dimensional maximums) that FedEx, UPS or DHL impose do not apply. As a result, you can ship an exhibit panel or larger sales sample that cannot be moved via the FedEx, UPS, or DHL channels.  However, space on airplanes is limited, and services are based on volume and weight, so you will want to minimize freight dimensions and weight.  And protect your freight with proper packaging as couriers and freight handlers will not necessarily do this for you.

©  2013 by Brett Lipeles