In a recent survey by Tradeshow Logic, NAB Show exhibitors had recognized material handling charges as a major challenge “due to the high cost and unpredictability of the expense,” according to NAB.
The survey concluded material handling accounted for thirteen percent of what exhibitors spend to partake in the trade show. Due to the high costs, exhibitors are bringing less to their shows to save money.
Here is what you can do if your show is not cutting drayage fees:
Combine small shipments into one.
General contractors charge a minimum weight for each shipment handled, typically a 200 pound minimum. If possible, avoid shipping boxes in separately, as you will be charged the minimum for every shipment. Instead, consolidate all your boxes on a pallet for your shipment.
For example, if you ship four cartons weighing 55 pounds each to a show via a small-package carrier (such as FedEx Corp), the general contractor can charge you a minimum charge for each carton instead of one charge if everything was palletized or crated. If the material handling minimum was 2 CWT at the average rate of $50 per CWT, it would cost you $400 vs. $100 if all four has been on the same bill of lading.
Stop shipping unnecessary items.
Ship only what you need: Items that add up quickly are heavy exhibit components, giveaways and literature. Consider a light weight exhibit. Instead of providing literature, you could scan badges and email articles to attendees who visited the show. Many attendees usually throw any literature away prior to packing up and leaving to go home.
Review your final material handling invoice.
Be sure to review your final material handling invoice carefully. There could be incorrect charges for marshaling yard fees for a small package carrier who had its own delivery dock and didn’t go to the marshaling yard. You may be charged for special handling when it wasn’t required. It never hurts to call your general contractor to go through the final invoice. There are instances it was an error and they can revise the invoice.