The Exhibitor Manual – Deadlines and Rates (Part 2)

Ok, so last week we started talking about the Official Contractor’s Deadlines and Rates. More specifically, we were on the subject of The Material Handling Form and Rates. We went through the first three on our list:  Advanced Freight, Direct Freight and Target Freight. So let me throw in a few thoughts to help you decide which freight option to choose and then we will continue with numbers 4 and 5.

How do you know when it is better to ship Advanced or Direct? Here at Exhibit Edge we will look at each situation independently. We prefer not to ship advanced since it usually costs a little more. It also, by nature of the service, requires your freight to be handled more often making it more susceptible to damage. If we need to go advanced then we are doing it to get the guaranteed earliest starting time of the installation schedule.  Advanced freight is also good when trans-shipping. It saves a lot in shipping costs if we can ship directly from one show to another making use of the advanced freight free storage window. Other reasons to go advanced are if there is a possibility for a lot of waiting time.  Air freight carriers, used for smaller shipments, will charge waiting time which is common with direct freight. The opposite of that, when choosing to go Direct Freight, is if the shipment is large enough to be carried by a specialized tractor trailer company also known as a padded van service. They do not charge waiting time. So you see how each situation will depend on the carrier used, the size of the shipment and the time available.

Ok, back to the Material Handling rates and deadlines. The next thing to consider is:

  1. The minimum drayage rate – Read carefully about minimum rates as shipping small packages to the showsite can cost you dearly if there is a 200 lb. drayage minimum per shipment. Imagine sending a 5 lb. FedEx box to the show address and getting a bill for $180 to deliver that “little” package from the dock to your exhibit location on the floor. Outrageous you say! No, it happens all the time. Some general contractors do offer a “small package rate” for single packages that are under a certain weight. The cost is about $25 to $35 per package which is much better than $180 but you must read the exhibitor manual to know these costs. Sometimes it is worth the time and effort to ship small items to the showsite when small package rates are available but you may also consider shipping to your hotel room and hand carrying them to the show instead.
  2. Overtime Drayage rates – It is a misconception to think that if you ship your freight into advanced drayage that it will not incur overtime move-in charges when it is delivered to the showsite. Advanced freight is unloaded at the showsite always before direct freight and is available at the start of the published installation date and time.  When it moves onto the show floor determines Straight time or Overtime rates – not when it is received at the warehouse. If your freight has the potential to move in or out on Overtime understand that each time is a separate surcharge. So if it moves in on overtime and out on overtime you have to take the published overtime surcharge and add it to the base rate twice. Exhibit Edge will often dismantle on overtime the night the show closes to better position our shipment for straight time loading the next morning.

Next week we will look at other General contractor services like carpeting, furniture and labor.

As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM. We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.