Tradeshow Shipping

How to Select a Tradeshow Shipping Company

From a logistics standpoint, there is one essential aspect to a tradeshow appearance that most exhibitors cannot handle by themselves. Exhibitors need a reliable, experienced carrier to pickup and deliver heavy equipment, display components, and boxes of promotional giveaways.

At initial glance, the official tradeshow carrier may be your choice. However, you may want to shop around for a freight services company with experience in exhibit transport to save a little extra on the same service features provided by the official carrier.

There are a number of options to consider when selecting the right carrier, as detailed below.

Where to start

Once you confirm your booth space, you will need to figure out how to get your display, exhibits, flooring, electrical and banners carefully packed and shipped in time for the show.

More often than not, you can find a carrier on your own that understands the ins and outs of tradeshow logistics. These tradeshow specialists can help you find the best service at a lower cost than the official carrier’s offer.

To begin the search for a carrier, narrowly tailor your list of providers to those that meet your specifications. If you need special arrangements, like help with setting up your exhibit at the event, you will need to confirm those details with your carrier as well.

The right carrier will optimize the relocation of your exhibit by mixing and matching transportation by rail, air, ocean and truck, if required.

Checklist for Exhibitors

The right carrier will help you determine the best tradeshow shipping solution for you, without sacrificing necessary or required services that the official tradeshow carrier provides.It is important to know the following information in order to receive accurate pricing and avoid delays:

  • Exact dimensions and weight of your equipment or packaged items
  • Count the total number of boxes, crates and pallets for delivery
  • Address, date and time for both pickup and delivery
  • Loading, air-ride suspension, climate-controlled transport, display building or other special accommodations
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • How to handle the Material Handling Agreement (MHA) or Bill of Lading (BOL) form

If for any reason you do not know the size or weight of your packaged item, you will need to confirm those details in order to receive the most accurate quote. 

It is very important to provide the most precise description of the contents in each box or crate. Most tradeshow shipping carriers are prepared to accommodate any special request you may have, as long as you provide notice to the carrier.

Tips for Exhibitors

You will want to stay organized during the packing process so that you quickly and easily locate the items you need for set-up. The following tips offer advice on how to ensure a smooth delivery of each item to your booth:

  • Color code and/or label all sealed boxes and crates to stay organized
  • Condense shipment size with flooring panels instead of using carpet
  • Remove old address and carrier labels to avoid confusion or mishandling

Keep in mind that you are not obligated to use use the official tradeshow carrier, although it may seem like the simplest choice to make. With a variety of experienced shipping providers available and a little research, you may be able to find better rates for the same services.

Related Information - Tradeshow Shipping

Carrier Selection and Logistic
How to Extend the Use of Your Exhibit
Planning Your Tradeshow Budget
International Exhibiting Tips
Registration Packet Paperwork
Tradeshow Booth Staffing Formula
Transporting Portable Trade Show Displays

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