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If You Build It, Will it Ship? | A Trade Show Displays Tip

Not necessarily is that answer to that question. After working in this industry for over 30 years, I recently discovered a little subtly about shipping and

packaging that I 'd never pondered before, which I feel is worth sharing so you don't suffer the fate someone who is unaware of the ramifications, might suffer.  

Trade Show Displays |  Shipping CratesIn my career I seem to steadily be working with clients who ask to build larger and larger trade show displays, and packaging those properties are getting more and more attention due to the necessity of keeping some of that parts together as sub assemblies so that labor at show site doesn't become too overwhelming and burdensome. When working with manufacturers, it's very easy to keep your eye on one ball but forget that there is another very big and equally important ball to watch out for. That ball consists of the dimension of each crate.

It becomes very easy to start building the crates for the job and not understand that we also had to build them for shipping; shipping altogether. Here's what I mean.

Last summer I had a large build that required multiple crates, and as you might imagine, the client didn't actually place the order till the last minute thus pushing the shipping Trade Show Displays |  Shipping Cratesschedule forward until it became an overnight ship from Portland to Denver, and needed to arrive at the Denver Convention Center 24 hours from the moment that it was forked into the truck. The best airfreight quote that we received was $13,500 and the best hot shot ground quote was $7,500.

There were 4 crates plus carpet which seemed pretty simple, but when the salesman for the freight company came over that afternoon as the last create was being locked down, he realized that the creates were built to a size whereby no two crates could sit side by side, and no two could stack on top of each other, and none of them could stand on end, which means they had to be lined up in the trailer one behind the other, and right away we reralized that a small load that was going into a 27' trailer now needed most of a 44' long trailer. That realization brought the gravity of our oversight to the forefront in a hurry! 

It had never dawned on me that we were building packaging, that in the right place and in the right time, might make it almost impossible to move the shipment to its' destination just because we didn't take the sum of all the crate dimensions into consideration from the beginning. It's very natural to try and get all your trade show displays into as few crates as possible, but just remember that it may to your demise to do just that!

by Lowell Nickens,, LinkedIn Profile

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