Shipping Advance vs. Direct to Show
Planning a trade show can be quite a process seeing that there are so many details to keep in mind. Some decisions you will need to make can come with cost consequences that may not be obvious at first glance. In this post we are taking a closer look at material handling. This service is provided by the show’s official service contractor such as Freeman or GES. It typically includes unloading your exhibit from your inbound carrier‚ advance warehouse storage for up to 30 days prior to move-in, delivering material to your booth‚ handling and storing of empty containers during the show‚ and removing the material from your booth for reloading onto your outbound carrier.
One key decision you will need to make is whether to ship your exhibit to the advance warehouse or directly to the show site. The material handling rate may be slightly more for advance receiving; however, the potential cost impact on shipping and labor may greatly offset the higher rate. There are many factors to consider but here are a few of the key services that may be adversely affected when shipping directly to the show site. You may receive extra charges from your carrier if they have to wait in line to be unloaded. You may also have labor ready to start setting up your exhibit while the freight is still sitting in the truck. At today’s labor rates this scenario can quickly send you over budget. Another potential cost increase from direct to show shipments can come from overtime receiving. The move-in may start on Friday but if the target move-in for your particular booth location is on Saturday then you will be hit with significant overtime charges.
Not all shows or service contractors are the same and the size of the show and its venue will impact the material handling rates so remember to carefully examine each show’s material handling agreement and move-in/move-out schedules before scheduling your shipping. In general it is best to ship to the advance warehouse whenever possible. The key is to start planning early so you can take advantage of the scheduling benefits of advanced shipping and avoid negatively impacting the costs of other related services.