Successful attendance at trade shows requires the timely arrival of the booth display and materials. So what do shippers need to know in order to prepare a shipment of trade show materials?
1. There is a specific NMFC and class for trade show and exhibit materials.
All items, including booth display, signs, brochures or general supplies, are classified the same. This eliminates having to itemize the various pieces on the bill of lading.
2. Carriers will require various information to ensure the proper delivery of trade show shipments.
Details that will be required by the carrier include:
- Name and address of the convention center
- Name of the show
- Specific event room or hall
- The booth number
- Name and contact number of your company’s onsite contact
- Dock number for delivery
3. Driver wait time for cargo unloading or loading, can result in detention time charges.
Carriers allow a specific amount of time for loading and unloading. If more than the allotted time is used, detention charges may be added by the carrier. Be sure to ask your carrier about their detention time policy to avoid additional fees.
4. The carrier will need to know if there is a marshalling yard, show decorator or drayage contractor.
- The marshalling yard is a location where the trucks delivering to the trade show wait before proceeding to the freight dock for unloading. The marshalling yard may be adjacent to the convention center or it may be offsite.
- A show decorator or drayage contractor is a designated company that moves display items from the loading dock to the assigned booth.
- Services can include setup and dismantling, electric and internet installation, carpentry, carpeting and construction labor.
- It is important to provide the decorator’s name and contact number to the carrier in case of questions.
- Some drayage companies charge by the weight of the freight they handle. In this case, an empty and loaded weight ticket will be used to determine that weight. Larger convention centers may have on-site scales to measure one or both weights. Another method a drayage company may use to charge customers is a flat fee to handle the freight.
5. Try to plan ahead. If time isn't on your side choose an expedited service.
Begin communicating shipment details with your transportation partner as early as possible. In the event that the materials are not ready until the very last minute, expediting the cargo is one solution available to shippers.
Contact our team of trade show logistics professionals to learn more about our time-definite transportation solutions or to receive a custom quote.