How to Ship, Advanced or Direct?

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A big question we get all the time is whether to ship an exhibit into advanced drayage or send it direct to show site. Now – I will tell you up front that I am not a big fan of advanced drayage. There are pros and cons of each so let’s go over them now.

First – Advanced drayage

On the good side: I mean the pro side:

  1. Your freight gets on the show floor first so you can set up as early as possible.
  2. You can verify delivery to the general contractor ahead of the show.
  3. There would not be any waiting time charges that can occur because of long lines when shipping direct.
  4. Advanced drayage is a great option when transshipping from one show to another as you have a 30 day window of free storage to help manage your shipping calendar and costs.

These advantages are important, especially the transship option, which can save a lot in transportation costs.

Now on the other side – the con side:

  1. Advanced freight usually cost more which is understandable as advanced freight requires extra handling to receive and store it before the show. The extra cost is only a small up charge above the direct rate and is usually not a deal breaker all by itself.
  2. Advanced freight is always brought in on the first move in day which could be on overtime and you will be charged overtime when this happens.
  3. Advanced freight is handled more which can add to more damage and repairs.
  4. Advanced freight is stored on common carrier trailers without any strapping or tie downs to help secure the loads.
  5. Damage claims have very limited liabilities with the general contractor. They are usually limited to no more than $50 per item.
  6. Advanced freight needs extra lead time to meet the cut-off deadline which is usually a week before the first direct freight move-in date.
  7. Advanced freight is received at a facility that can be juggling many shows at the same time. This can add to the misplacement of shipments.

So, of course, next week we will look at direct drayage, in other words, shipping direct to the show site. Don’t get ahead of me thinking you can just reverse the advanced drayage pros and cons. There is a little more to it than that.

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We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.