Exhibit Transport has heard just about every conceivable international trade show shipping disaster from clients who have come to us from our competition. Just when we think we have heard it all along comes something new. Share your experience with us. We will publish the best story in our newsletter.
Many things can go wrong in trade show shipping, the strict timelines these shows have create a very unique challenge to both the exhibitor and the company they hire to ship the goods. Just-in-time logistics is a concept that has been around for a couple of decades and many manufacturers utilize it to keep a zero inventory and thus a much lower risk level. Exhibitors might think that since this strategy has been used to a great extent for manufacturing why can't it be just as easy to implement for trade shows?
One of the main things to keep in mind is that manufacturers do pay a premium for just-in-time service but the extra cost is justified by the advantage of zero inventory. As for just-in-time trade show shipping, why does the cost exceed normal shipping by a comparatively larger margin than the manufacturing sector?
- Routine: Trade shows are once a year generally and exhibitors are not always sure what kind of presence they are going to have not he trade show floor until a short time prior to show start. So with this unsure routine economic economies of scale cannot be applied because there is no guarantee to any vendor that business will be booked until the last minute. Manufacturers will setup exclusive shipping agreements that guarantee the vendors continued business allowing for bargaining leverage in favor of the customer.
- Standard goods: Every custom trade show booth is different and so are the various marketing materials that get shipped with the booth, this will often require special handling which adds a cost. Manufacturers ship the same raw materials over and over so their logistics can be refined allowing for greater and greater efficiency.
- Additional Trade Show Shipping Tip!!! Pick or design items that will endure the rigors of shipping, there will be locations that require loose handling of your goods, the more rugged your goods are and well packed the better. For example many venue locations in Europe are in buildings that are 100, 200 and 300 years old with hallways and corridors that are too small for the standard US pallet size. Some locations will even require hand movement of goods from the truck to the show floor, private events located in hotels or similar venue are a prime example.
This was just a few examples of things that cause trade show just in time shipping to be a costly business, but the reward for being the best in show can create a media buzz for your products and services that make every effort pay off in spades. Be sure to contract a company that understands the trade show shipping business to avoid any disasters that prevent your hard work from being the very best booth at the show.