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Trade Show Freight Shipping

FreightCenter works with your show's official carriers to arrange on-time delivery of your exhibit to trade shows and expos around the country.

Trade Show Freight Shipping

The trade show industry has a monumental impact on the economy, with economic impact reaching the billions, in terms of financial contributions to local economies. These events are held worldwide, inspiring several large cities to host prominent and influential trade shows. The trade show industry employs workers throughout various sectors, including event planning, logistics, hospitality, marketing, and design. 

Trade Show events allow participation from small startups to multinational corporations, allowing everyone a chance to benefit from these events! The trade show industry focuses on serving B2B (business to business), making it easy for companies to connect with suppliers, distributors, and business partners. Trade shows are usually sector-specific, benefitting specific industries per show. Trade Shows are an excellent way for businesses to launch new products, create buzz for their unique and existing offerings, and make industry connections. 

Another significant benefit to participating in a trade show is the insights gained through participation. It is common for these events to include panel discussions, workshops, seminars, and more, allowing for vast insight, trends, and knowledge gains. Trade Shows are great for providing increased exposure and visibility. Since trade shows attract a specific and focused audience, gaining visibility is much more accessible among the people you want to attract to your business, whether an investor, partner, or potential customer actively searching for your products and solutions. 

Trade shows are not just places to launch products or demonstrations but are also excellent for market research and competitive analysis. Companies can use their experiences at Trade Show events to determine market trends and consumer preferences and learn more about their competition by interacting with potential customers and attendees. 

Large targeted events like these make it easy for businesses to observe their competition and understand their market positioning. Seeing other companies in action makes understanding your competitor’s strategies, marketing, and potential weaknesses easy. It clarifies how you can improve and keep pulling ahead of your competition. Use Trade Shows to your advantage by leveraging your branding and positioning. These events are full of opportunities and make it possible to position your company as an industry leader and expert. 

There are a lot of pros when it comes to trade expo participation. However, it is essential to understand that a lot of preparation goes into the exhibition, especially for those companies that want a good ROI and want to stand to gain something from these events. It is important to understand upfront that preparing for these events is a lot of work and requires diligent planning, adherence to deadlines, and a seamless logistics process. If you want your exhibit to go on without a hitch, start by partnering with a reputable and reliable 3PL.             

Show Shipping Process

Trade Show Freight Shipping transports products, displays, equipment, and materials to a trade show or exhibition venue while addressing their logistical needs and concerns. When coordinating your shipments for a freight expo, it can be helpful to work with a 3PL to coordinate all of the details. Below is the general flow of how trade shows freight shipping works. 

Preparation:  One of the first and most essential steps in the entire process is identifying what you need to ship to the Trade Show. Take your time determining what exactly you need and create a detailed plan. Companies usually ship booth displays, products, promo materials, signage, equipment, and anything else that will benefit their presentation.

Contact 3PL/Booking: In preparation for a trade show, it is helpful to outsource the logistics processes as there are many moving parts; instead of arranging for transportation and figuring out the logistics yourself, partner with experts that can ensure smooth, safe, and efficient transport of your products.

 An experienced and professional 3PL like FreightCenter can also help with customs procedures. Your FreightCenter agent will handle your shipment’s logistics, customs, and transportation. We will book the best transport mode for your shipment, whether ground, air, or ocean, and arrange pickup, transit, and delivery to the venue. 

Packaging/Labeling:  Proper packaging and labeling are critical when transporting trade show products. Your freight carrier will require secure packaging and labeling that is up to standard to handle your shipments safely. Your Freight agent, along with our FreightCenter blog, will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding packaging and labeling your packages appropriately. Taking the time to do this step correctly will help prevent damage and keeps everything organized. 

Customs: If you are participating in an International Trade show, beware that customs procedures and documentation will likely be required. We will help ensure proper customs clearance and the necessary paperwork is completed correctly.

On-Site-Handling: Once your products have arrived, you and or your company will unload, inspect, and organize for your exhibit. At this step, you must stay organized and handle the product carefully to avoid damage. 

Dismantling:  Once the show has concluded, exhibitors dismantle displays, pack their products and materials, and prepare for return shipping. This step is the reverse of the setup process. 

Return Shipping:  Your freight forwarder will also arrange for the return shipping of your products to their origin or the next destination. This service typically includes arranging for pickup, transit, and delivery. 

A considerable part of your Trade Show shipping success will come from maintaining effective lines of communication with your 3PL. Following the steps above is crucial, but so is proper planning and attention to detail, and we cannot stress enough the importance of communication! Doing so will make the trade show a success and worth your while!





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We provide competitive freight shipping prices and an all-inclusive, easy-to-use shipping experience for our customers. Exceeding our customers’ expectations results in thousands of satisfied customer reviews and repeat business. We believe in the power of our customer relationships. Check out FreightCenter reviews from real customers, and learn what they have to say about their freight shipping experience!

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Why Choose FreightCenter For Trade Show Freight Shipping?

Why Choose Us For A Freight Quote?

  • Shipping Quotes anytime
  • Get Freight Shipping Quotes to anywhere in the U.S. & Canada.
  • Unbeatable discounts on your freight LTL, truckload, rail, air, and more
  • Automated Freight tracking, paperwork & invoices
  • Manage all quotes & shipments in one place
  • 24+ years of logistics experience working for you!

Choosing Your Carrier

There is no requirement to use the official carrier, and you stand to save a lot of money when you use a 3PL like FreightCenter to book your trade show freight shipping. What’s more, when you call on FreightCenter to take care of your trade show shipping, you’ll receive excellent service for a fraction of the cost. The key is competition; FreightCenter is where top carriers compete for your business. Want proof? 

Use our instant freight quote tool to receive estimates from numerous carriers, or speak to one of our freight shipping experts by calling us at 800.716.7608. FreightCenter takes care of all paperwork and scheduling and makes sure your materials get to the show on time and intact. We can even book your freight on the same carrier listed as “official” by the trade show, and you will receive a discount of 25%, 50%, 75%, or more.


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25 Years In Business
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Trade Show Freight Shipping Everywhere!

No matter your business or hobby, there’s a trade show. Comic-Con shipping technology darlings like COMDEX and CES may immediately spring to mind. Yet there are also shows for healthcare industries, technology trade shows, fashionistas, pet lovers, toy resellers, designers, manufacturing, and foodies … From A to Z, there’s a trade show for your industry. Take note, FreightCenter even does Comic-Con shipping

Additional Shipping Tips

  • Understand that trade show shipping has a much longer timeline than traditional freight, so you must ship your products weeks in advance. Booking in advance can save you money by allowing for more transportation options and competitive pricing. 
  • Provide your freight agent with accurate details for your shipment. Be prepared to state the precise weight, height, and dimensions. This will prevent additional costs and fees further into the process.
  • Remember that trade show freight is usually collected at an advance warehouse nearby instead of the event venue. Look for the following information from trade show organizers: delivery warehouse location, date/time window for delivery, packaging restrictions/guidelines, and proper shipping labels. Remember that keeping your freight at a warehouse will incur a small holding fee. The benefit of storing your shipment at an advance warehouse is that your order can be tracked, and everything will be waiting at your booth upon arrival. 
  • Prepare the proper paperwork for your shipment. Your agent will help you obtain the documentation but ensure you correctly complete everything. Putting the following on all sides of your pallet or case is a good idea. You want your shipment to be found among the other trade show shipments. List the following information: booth number, company name, contact info, number of pieces, arrival by date, and the delivery address. Use color-coded labels provided by the shows if available. 
  • Account for drayage and marshaling yard fees in advance. Drayage fees are unavoidable with trade show freight. Most shows have a 100 Ib minimum handling charge, so it makes sense to consolidate your shipment. Palletizing your products can also keep costs down. Marshaling fees will incur if you do not plan, resulting in your driver having to sit around waiting. Drivers will charge for their lost productivity. If you cannot deliver directly to the warehouse within the timeframe, you can often deliver directly to the venue within a specified time frame. 
  •  Insure your shipment! Purchasing adequate insurance is an essential component of the trade show shipping process. Your FreightCenter agent can provide various insurance options, from partial to full coverage, to best meet your needs!

Efficient Trade Show Freight Shipping

Participating in a trade show is an excellent way to market your business, but trade show freight shipping is the last thing you must worry about. Trade shows require at least a year of planning, scheduling, and organizing to get your trade show display or exhibit on the truck. Once it gets there, then the real work begins. Shipping your booth and materials to and from the show can be expensive, mainly if you use the official show carrier. As you pull together all the materials you’ll need for your presentation and the costs add up; you may look for ways to lower the costs without lessening the opportunity.

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Why Choose FreightCenter For Truckload Services (FTL)?

We are an award-winning logistics company and an American veteran-owned business. We bring a lot to the table when it comes to truckload services. Our history, competitive pricing, and level of service are unmatched in the industry. Over the years and many miles, we have formed a dedicated and respected network of partners in the industry to help customers meet deadlines.

Our mission is to meet and exceed customer expectations in all that we do. We take care of truckload freight shipping from pickup to delivery. Excellent customer service is our hallmark, and it goes a long way in building a relationship of trust. When customers select FreightCenter to handle their truckload freight shipment, they trust us to do the job!

We are an award-winning logistics company and an American veteran-owned business. We bring a lot to the table when it comes to truckload services. Our history, competitive pricing, and level of service are unmatched in the industry. Over the years and many miles, we have formed a dedicated and respected network of partners in the industry to help customers meet deadlines.

Our mission is to meet and exceed customer expectations in all that we do. We take care of truckload freight shipping from pickup to delivery. Excellent customer service is our hallmark, and it goes a long way in building a relationship of trust. When customers select FreightCenter to handle their truckload freight shipment, they trust us to do the job.

Full Truckload

We deliver optimized solutions for full or partial truckloads, competitive dry van, flatbed, and refrigerated freight pricing. We can cover your full and partial truckload shipping needs by connecting you to the best and most reliable carrier for your shipment. 

Expedited Service

Nationwide Expedited Trucking services move your freight securely and rapidly. Your cargo requires fast delivery, and our freight shipping experts can deliver your shipment safely and quickly, whether in one large box or a full truckload. Expedited shipments are not limited to emergencies. We can get your load to that trade show in the nick of time! 

Specialized Freight Shipping

Our top carriers’ most reliable Specialized Freight Services rates are just a few clicks away. From white glove service to international shipping, we’ve got you covered. Feel free to read more about final mile, white glove, international shipping services on our blog, and other specialized services, including oversize and overlength freight and Blanket Wrap freight!

Enjoy tremendous savings while receiving the same excellent service we provide thousands of customers nationwide. And if you’re looking for a bit of trade show inspiration, the following show descriptions might interest you!

Choosing FreightCenter

When you choose to work with us, you are choosing to make your shipping process seamless. Here are just some of the benefits working with our Third Party Logistics company will have on your shipping experience:

  • When you partner with FreightCenter, a premier 3PL (Third Party Logistics) company with over twenty-four years of experience within the logistics industry, you are choosing success. Over the decades, our team has dealt with nearly every shipment imaginable. There is no shipment process we cannot help you with!
  • FreightCenter employs a knowledgeable staff always willing to learn and grow with industry changes and advancements. We are ready to answer any questions you have throughout the entire process!
  • We act as the middleman between you and your carrier; you do not have to worry about playing phone tag with your trucker. Your agent will directly communicate with you and your carrier, delivering any necessary information or updates between you. 
  • We secure the best transit carrier and route for you at the best price. There is no need to spend hours figuring out the logistics or searching for a worthwhile deal. 
  • We make it easy to ensure your shipments by guiding you toward the best providers. Whether you need full or partial coverage, we have you covered!
  • We arrange the pickups and drop-offs while also making sure to track each shipment in transit. This ensures that you know where your packages are every step of the way! 

Now what are you waiting for? Call FreightCenter to set up your account and discuss your shipment. We are ready to answer your questions and provide solutions! Our team looks forward to partnering with you. 

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Q. What is inbound/outbound shipping?


Inbound shipping is shipping your freight to the trade show’s location. Outbound shipping is the shipping of cargo from the trade show location. Ship your products strategically to meet delivery deadlines for the best rates.

Q. What is advanced warehousing?


Advanced warehousing is a shipping method in which your freight arrives at the event warehouse 45-60 days before the event starts. This guarantees the on-time arrival of your products and allows your business to be one of the first on the floor. The downside is your booth must be prepared way in advance, and the service is the more expensive of the available options.

Q. What is material handling?


Material handling or “drayage” is the unloading and delivery of exhibitor/organizer displays and products from the warehouse to the booth. The service involves freight from the dock and transporting the freight to the freight show booth, removing empty shipping containers, storing empty shipping items, returning empty shipping items for dismantling, transferring the cargo back to the loading dock, and loading items in the carrier vehicle. 

Q. Can I save on drayage fees?


You can avoid surcharges by knowing shipping deadlines, the freight accepted, and locations. Check with the official service provider before planning your shipment, and stay informed about late-to-warehouse fees, mixed shipment fees, uncrated fees, and off-target fees.

Q. What is the marshaling yard?


The marshaling yard is used to stage all incoming trucks to put them in order by arrival time and delivery location. This method helps control congestion at the loading docks and helps maintain productivity. 

Q. What is forced freight, and how do I avoid it?


Forced freight is a term used at trade shows to refer to freight that remains on the floor after the removal deadline. The resulting fees will be higher than the original shipping rates, including drayage fees, detention fees, and potentially inflated carrier rates. To prevent forced freight and the resulting costs, clearly communicate deadlines, triple-check paperwork details, mark boxes appropriately, utilize colored labels if necessary, indicate piece counts/descriptions, and include proper contact information.