Exactly, what is logistics? According to Wikipedia, it is the management of the flow of goods, information, and other resources, including people between the point of consumption in order to meet the requirements of consumers. There are several types of logistics. Military, management, third party, warehouse, and business. So, logistics can be as simple as ordering dinner at a drive-thru window or it could be as complex as getting freight from three locations in to the U.S. to arrive in Dubai. All in time for your tradeshow display to be installed at the show.

In the trade show world, logistics integrates warehousing inventory, packaging, material, drayage handling, shipping, and even security. All of these areas create a trade show supply chain, ensuring your companies display arrives on time and in one piece. When dealing with trade show logistics, always plan ahead, know the details of what is shipping, and have a timeline. Equally important, have a backup plan for any  last minute surprises.

A small pop-up type display, weighing only 120 pounds, may ship on an overnight/air carrier. This shipment, while small, is as important to understand as a large one and must be planned.  A larger shipment may require a tractor trailer and advanced scheduling. These crates and packages may require measurements, specific weights, and careful handling. Remember, all shipments are time sensitive and require kid-gloves.

When planning your company’s trade show booth shipment, it is a good idea to ship to advanced warehouse storage. This ensures that your exhibit is there and ready to go on the first installation day. Shipping direct to the show can cost more and lead to delays on move-in day.

Another trade show element of logistics is drayage. Have you ever heard of drayage? That is the cost per pound of cubic weight to move your company’s trade show freight from the dock to the booth space. There may be a minimal charge for each separate show shipment. The more you ship, the more it costs.

Now that you have some understanding of trade show logistics, you are ready to move your display to its next convention. Remember to plan ahead, know the shipment, and have a successful trade show event!