Drayage Logistics 101 – A Summary of Drayage Tips

All right – We can summarize our drayage discussion by highlighting all the features of the past 7 videos – What I call – Drayage 101. So let’s just dig. Now, I decided not to go into all the drayage terminology. I felt that if you needed to understand the difference between stacked shipments and constricted space unloading, you would probably be working with a display house already that can control these specifics better. Ok – so Drayage 101 – let’s just go down the checklist.

Understanding Drayage Tips

Navigating the complexities of trade show logistics can be daunting, but with the right strategies and insights, you can streamline your processes and save significantly on drayage costs. In this series, we’ll share our top drayage tips, gathered from extensive experience and industry know-how. Whether you’re a seasoned exhibitor or new to the trade show scene, these tips will equip you with the knowledge and support you need for a successful show. Trust in Exhibit Edge for all of your trade show service needs.

1. Consolidate Shipments

Maximize efficiency by consolidating shipments to make the best use of the 200-pound minimum charge. This includes sending small, lightweight packages, like 2-pound FedEx shipments, to your hotel and hand-carrying them into the show to avoid additional charges.

2. Advanced Drayage

Utilize advanced drayage to transship between shows, which can significantly reduce shipping costs.

3. Collaboration with Display Houses

Work with a display house for shipment consolidation and freight shipping. Their surcharges are often lower than costs associated with loose or special handling drayage, and they typically receive significant shipping discounts due to their volume of shipping.

4. Avoiding Mixed Loads

Prevent extra charges by separating loose items from crated items using different Bills of Lading. This strategy helps avoid the general contractor imposing special handling charges, which can be 30% more.

5. Direct Freight

Schedule your freight to arrive during straight time to save costs. Note that advanced freight usually arrives on the first move-in day, regardless of straight or overtime schedules.

6. Choosing Trucking Companies

Prefer trucking companies known as “padded vans” for direct drayage shipments, as they don’t charge waiting time unlike air freight companies.

7. Cost Reduction Strategies with Display Houses

Rely on your display house for advice on using lightweight materials like fabrics to reduce both shipping and drayage costs.

8. Documentation and Labeling

Take photos of shipments and label all packages underneath the stretch wrap. Clearly identify shipments on bills of lading, specifying contents in detail (e.g., “1 pallet of 8 boxes” instead of “1 pallet”).

9. Budgeting for Drayage

When estimating drayage costs, use a median figure that combines straight time and overtime rates to accommodate unpredictability in freight movement.

10. Utilizing General Contractor Services

Explore services provided by the general contractor, such as exhibit rentals, and compare costs with bringing your own materials to the show.

11. Understanding Show Rules

Pay close attention to each show’s specific rules and not just the drayage rates. Vigilance in reading and understanding the fine print can prevent costly mistakes.

12. Addressing Drayage Concerns

Communicate any concerns about unusual fees or drayage cost changes to the show organizer or association.

13. Reducing Literature and Giveaways

Minimize the amount of literature and giveaways sent to the show, opting for a client follow-up system instead.

14. Co-opt Relationships

Consider sharing booth space with another company, particularly beneficial for first-time show exhibitors.

15. Working with Local Firms

Collaborate with local destination management firms or seek recommendations from your display house. These firms can provide thematic props and structures, reducing shipping costs and drayage.

16. Simplifying Drayage Rules

Advocate for simplified drayage rules, such as fixed rates, with your association and praise any positive implementations in this regard.

Key Takeaways Streamlining Your Trade show Success with Smart Drayage Management

As we wrap up our comprehensive guide on drayage tips for tradeshows, remember that the key to a successful exhibit lies in smart planning and strategic partnerships. By implementing these proven drayage strategies, from consolidating shipments to collaborating with display houses and understanding the nuances of show rules, you can significantly reduce costs and enhance the efficiency of your trade show logistics.

The support and expertise of a dedicated team like Exhibit Edge can make all the difference in navigating these challenges with ease. Embrace these tips, stay proactive in your approach, and watch as your trade show experience transforms into a streamlined, cost-effective, and successful endeavor. Contact us to get started today.