7 Tips for Avoiding an Exhibit Shipping Nightmare
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Nobody likes dealing with the logistical nightmare that is exhibit shipping!
Shipping is a necessary function of the industry, but it doesn’t come without its stressors.
How can you make it work for you and prevent a “worst-case scenario?” Check out these seven tips!
#1 Choose the BEST Carrier Possible
You wouldn’t trust a first-day sales associate IN the booth for your biggest show of the year, would you? Use this same approach to choosing your exhibit freight carrier. Your carrier of choice will be managing and delivering your expensive and necessary exhibit.
Always get quotes from more than one carrier! Don’t settle for the most affordable. Find out why they’re the cheapest. You may not like the answer!
Exhibit shipping is a complicated undertaking. Be sure to research all available carriers and see who other vendors use. You may only need to set up a good working relationship once and return as a loyal customer for future events.
#2 Always Ship to The Advance Location
If possible, always choose the option to deliver your exhibit to the advance warehouse instead of straight to the show location. This is how you ensure your exhibit hits the showroom floor long before any other shipments are unloaded.
When shipping to the advance warehouse is the benefit of tracking information that proves everything arrived safely and altogether. You’ll know before the show starts if any packages are missing, rather than finding out the day when it’s already too late. This gives you time to make other arrangements if needed.
Advance warehouse deliveries are typically more expensive than site shipping. But the guarantee that your exhibit is on-site sooner is well worth the expense. The last thing you want is a delay in setup and installation because your gear is still on the truck, waiting in line at the docking bay.
If they don’t have a dedicated warehouse space, your exhibit could be stored in trailers with low security. Explore all the options your trade show has and choose what’s the best fit for your company.
#3 Never Miss Your Deadlines
There’s nothing worse than showing up for your trade show and staring at an empty booth. Everyone else is set up, and you’re stuck. Don’t miss your delivery deadlines!
Always carefully review the exhibitor’s manual before any freight hits the truck. Move-in and move-out dates should be clearly marked so you can plan accordingly.
Make sure your carrier is acutely aware of these dates to prevent added fees or, worse, your freight from being returned. Give you and your carrier plenty of time to plan creates plenty of time to fix.
#4 Accurate Records, Papers, and Labels
It’s time to fire up those spreadsheets! It’s important to keep all the details of your shipped freight in an easily digestible order. You should record the total number of boxes or crates, the location details, freight dimensions, your booth number, and any specific handling instructions.
Double and triple-check your freight labels before shipping! Ensure no leftover labels from an earlier show are still attached to your freight to avoid any confusion. To be extra careful, attach two new labels to cover your bases if one were to fall off.
#5 Limit Drayage Fees by Shipping Smart
Drayage is what the location staff will charge you to handle your exhibit, from unloading the truck to placing it inside your booth space. Avoid paying extra fees by combining your freight to a single pallet with no extra boxes.
#6 Understand Your Insurance Coverage
Insurance protects your exhibit and your company from unexpected losses. Depending on your needs, you may buy carrier insurance, liability coverage, corporate policies, exhibition floater coverage, as well as delays or missing freight.
Review coverage with a fine-toothed comb and know how you’re protected and how you’re not. Contact your provider prior to any show and talk through scenarios that could arise to help you understand how your coverage affects you.
#7 Plan as Far in Advance as Possible
The sooner your trade show plans begin, the better off you’ll be. Make sure you understand any specific requirements for delivery or the pickup process. You need to know how much time you have for transportation and where your shipment will get accurate carrier and insurance pricing.
Planning huge events like a trade show require weeks, even months, of dedicated and meticulous planning. Your arrangements must fit in each trade show’s box, and the only way to ensure success is to plan, plan, plan.
Avoid These Trade Show Shipping Nightmares!
There will always be some measurable level of risk in shipping as there are factors, like traffic, that you can’t plan for or prevent. Take control where you can and plan around the nightmares! Reach out to our team for more trade show tips!
Before you plan to ship to your next event or trade show, contact the Exhibit Team for complete show management to ease the burden and let us handle the details while you handle the strategy.