Trade shows are held at convention centers throughout the United States. There are 252 conventions centers nationwide, as of 2016, and you may need to get your materials shipped to any number of cities in the U.S.
Planning for a trade show involves juggling several major tasks, so getting your booths and materials shipped may seem simple. However, there are quite a few things that can go wrong if you pick a poor carrier.
Trade show freight shipping is vitally important and, whether you’re a rookie or a pro at trade shows, you’ll want to choose the best truckload freight carrier to do this job. You’ll need to get your trade show shipments to your destination safely, on time, and at a competitive price, so picking a top-notch trade show logistics company will be priority number one.
Here are four tips for picking trade show freight carriers that will live up to — and may even go beyond — your expectations:
1. Start Planning Early
It’s best to get a quote from a truckload freight carrier at least two weeks to a month before you want your shipment to arrive. Another good idea is to take advantage of advance warehouses, in which freight companies store your materials at a nearby location so they’re ready for the first day of the show.
2. Choose a Trade Show Expert
Some trade shows have official carriers that offer discounted prices, though you’re usually not required to pick them. Either way, choose a truckload freight carrier that has extensive experience with or even specializes in trade shows.
Carriers with trade show experience will be able to navigate specific trade show shipping problems, such as staging and marshal yarding procedures.
3. Go with an Experienced Carrier
Choosing a truckload freight carrier with trade show experience is a smart move. But you should also choose a company that is, in general, experienced and established in the logistics industry.
More experienced carriers will perform better and they will also be able to handle unforeseen shipment interruptions, such as delays caused by weather. They’ll be able to handle any issues with a lot more finesse than a less experienced carrier.
4. Carriers that Handle Larger Shipments are Better
Here’s an insider’s tip: By picking truckload freight carriers that handle multiple truckloads, you may save yourself a little money.
At popular trade shows, the marshaling yard can get busy and cause carriers to wait longer to unload materials. Marshal yard fees can be pricey and, in some cases, get passed on to the customer. The marshaling yard fee may be waived, though, if you pick a truckload freight carrier with multiple shipments. In the long run, this could save you money.