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A FEW TIPS TO ASSIST WITH TRADE SHOW TRANSPORTATION PLANNING
Taking some time to plan prior to your next trade show can save you a bunch of time and money, as well as make your job a bit less stressful.
1. Planning and research
Don’t wait till the last minute. Take some time to determine what your best transportation options are for your specific shipment. The most common options are van line, common carrier, air freight, or courier companies such as Fed Ex and UPS. Explore on time pick up and delivery statistics, claims for damage, waiting time at the convention centers, and also how your goods will be protected and secured while in transit. Putting off this research till the last minute can cause an increase in pricing as well as costly increases due to damage and waiting time.
2. Choose what's right for your needs
Are your materials palletized or crated? Are the materials in cases? Is it a portable exhibit? Does anything need pad wrapping? How many days before show? How many days in between shows? These are all factors in determining the best option for transportation.
3. Advantages and disadvantages to each option
Common carriers can be less expensive and most have a user friendly web interface to track your shipment in real time. But their practice of cross docking and stacking freight on trailers can increase the chance of damage. The common carriers usually don’t have the air ride suspension, pads, and straps that specialized carriers such as van lines offer. And the van lines have specially trained drivers that specialize in the safe transportation of exhibit materials. The van lines also have “decking” to allow double stacking of smaller pieces without having the piece resting on the piece below. Also, the van lines have representation at most major shows to assist with the timely move in and move out of your materials at the convention center. Air freight service is usually by far the fastest, but more expensive. But there is an increased risk of damage due to the airline personnel not being experienced in the safe stowing and securing of these materials. Plus the size limitations of the aircraft sometimes require a crate to be tipped that normally shouldn’t be.
4. Research and ask questions
Select a carrier that has a dedicated staff that deals with exhibits and shows, on site reps, real time shipment tracking, and drivers who have experience picking up from and delivering to convention centers, as well as the knowledge to properly load and secure your materials. Find out if your reps will be available 24/7 in the event of a problem. Make sure they willingly supply after hours contact numbers.
5. Multi service discounts
To get best pricing possible, consider getting bids from your carrier for additional services beyond your trade show needs. The carrier may be able to assist with product transportation to your customer, employee moves, and office moves or facility work.
6. Transit protection
Always make sure your materials are protected. You may be fully covered against damage through your companies insurance provider. If not, talk with your carrier. Most carriers provide a basic level of coverage. Most carriers offer optional coverage at additional cost. Some even have coverage options to protect your materials on the show floor.
7. Labels and paperwork
Make sure each crate, carton, case and toolbox are labeled for the location that your goods are shipping to. Put piece number out of total piece count on all labels. Make sure you bring enough blank labels to take care of the move out. And please consult with your carrier regarding paperwork requirements for the move out of the show. If this is not handled properly, your goods may go on a carrier not suited to your needs, and at a much higher price.
8. International shows
When you are planning your next International show, make sure you select a company that can assist you with customs requirements and documents and also be familiar with trade show shipping on an International level. Improperly prepared documents can cause long and very expensive delays. If your company does not have a designated inbound and outbound customs broker, make sure your carrier can assist with this process.
Time Sensitive and air cargo shipments
We always take our responsibility seriously to deliver your shipments on-time and on schedule. At times in order to deliver your shipment on time, or on International shipments, it becomes necessary to transport your shipment via air cargo service. You will always be advised if this is the case. In order to be compliant, we must follow the TSA’s (Transportation Security Administration) rules and regulations. The following paragraphs are taken from the TSA’s web site which deals with the TSA’s recent air cargo security changes.
Air Cargo Programs
Recent Air Cargo Security Changes (from the TSA web-site)
The TSA ensures the security of the air cargo supply chain by mandating air carriers and freight forwarders to implement specific security measures. These security measures contained in the various carrier security programs are Sensitive Security Information (SSI) which is prohibited from public distribution. Although some of the security measures required by the carriers are readily visible to the public, most are carried out behind the scenes.
Security measures issued by TSA in the various carrier security programs are Sensitive Security Information (SSI) and may not be distributed to the public.
On October 23, 2006, Transportation Security Administration issued additional enhanced cargo security measures that may subject your cargo to inspection. The new security measures related to air cargo directly and indirectly require additional procedures to be implemented by several portions of the air transportation supply chain including air carriers, freight forwarders, and shippers. On January 8, 2007, TSA issued seven new security programs to the air carriers, all-cargo carriers, and indirect air carriers. The effective date for implementation of the requirements in the security programs was March 12, 2007. The new security programs involve cargo security changes that affect all modes within the air cargo supply chain.
This letter is to inform shippers that some of the new requirements implemented on October 23, 2006, and March 12, 2007, may require shippers to provide personal information/data to their transportation service providers and may subject their cargo to inspection. A shipper’s refusal to provide this information and consent to inspection may have the carrier refuse the shipment and decline subsequent air transport.
f you wish to ship goods by air transportation please contact your transportation service provider and request to become a known shipper.
For additional information please visit www.tsa.gov
Thank you for visiting our Special Services web-site! We strive to be your single source transportation and logistics provider for all of your Trade Show / Exhibits, High Value Electronics, New Furniture and Fixtures, and Fine Arts, both with and without climate control (which includes temperature control and humidity control)!
We now also service International Air and Ocean shipments, Standard Less Than Truckload and Truckload Van, Truckload Flatbed and Heavy Haul Shipments, Intermodal, and Door To Door Truckload to Canada and Mexico!
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