Trade Show Booth Freight Shipping: 16 Challenges Show Why Visibility is Critical

January 21, 2022

February 5, 2024


x min read

Real-time visibility in trade show shipping & exhibition logistics is vital for overcoming challenges that may arise. If you've ever relied on trade show freight shipping, you undoubtedly know the anxiety that comes with wondering whether trade show carriers will deliver everything for the booth intact, on time, and in full. No booth means there is nothing to represent your company at the show. The ability to track trade show freight movement in real time provides peace of mind knowing that you’ll have the alerts and actionable insights needed to take mitigation steps in the event of a disruption. Furthermore, getting real-time visibility is one of the crucial trade show shipping tips that can help ensure a successful journey through a logistical minefield. 

Here are 16 potential challenges of trade show shipping and how real-time visibility of your freight helps to overcome them.  

#1 – Loss of an Exhibit

The complete loss of a booth is a nightmare scenario for any exhibitor relying on trade show shipping. It has enormous financial and reputational ramifications. Plus, you have to commit even more resources in trying to track down your missing trade show freight or come up with a contingency plan. The loss of a booth adds to the immense pressure of setting up for an exhibit.

The problem is that there is very little visibility into trade show freight shipping, which makes tracking down lost cargo extremely difficult. However, with Tive's track-and-trace technology, you can eliminate the loss of your trade show booth. 

Rather than wondering where your shipment is, you can monitor the location of your trade show freight and estimated arrival times. 

#2 – Loss of a Crate on the Show Floor

The start of an exhibition is a scene not unlike a freshman moving into a college dormitory for the first time. It's just organized chaos as exhibitors search high and low to locate their crates amid the whirlwind of forklifts and crowded aisles. Losing a crate can be frustrating, but it happens.

If you lose a crate, pallet, or even an entire trade show freight shipment, you’ll appreciate having a way to locate it quickly. Tive's track-and-trace solution provides the real-time visibility you need to avoid many pain points and potentially high costs.

Having pre-set configurations and email/text alerts as part of your trade show shipping strategy will reduce the nonsense and the amount of manual outreach needed to check the status of exhibit assets. Plus, you avoid the hassle of playing “show floor scavenger hunt.”

See how Tive used trackers to rescue their very own trade show booth.

#3 – Customer Complaints 

If you're a trade show carrier, losing a trade booth or damaged freight can lead to a barrage of customer complaints. Plus, you could be liable for any loss or damage. However, eliminating trade show freight-related complaints is possible. Tive's real-time tracking solutions enable your trade show shipping & exhibition logistics company to act on in-transit incidents immediately.

This is possible by analyzing real-time data collected during the trade show shipping process. Your customers want to know where their trade show freight is at all times, and you can give them an accurate answer and respond accordingly to get shipments where they need to be fast.

#4 – Added Hours During Inspection and Delivery

The inability to determine where your freight is at every stage of its trade show shipping journey can quickly become a problem that disrupts an already tight schedule. Your shipment may be subject to inspection or delivery delays, which can add hours to your freight's arrival time. The longer your shipment takes to arrive, the less time you have to prepare the booth for exhibiting, adding to the strain of getting everything set up.

With Tive, you can get real-time notices of potential delays that might impact expected arrival times, empowering you to take action to mitigate disruption at any point during trade show shipping efforts. 

#5 – Portable Exhibits Missing in Action 

In a sea of shipping containers, it's easy for portable exhibits to get lost either in transit during trade show shipping or at the event itself. Companies often ship booth components and accessories in smaller containers, which is why having real-time visibility of your portable exhibit stands is all the more crucial. Tive trackers make it easier to locate smaller freight loads to avoid loss ahead of an exhibition.

#6 – Lost Freight Claims

Lost freight claims can be a significant headache for trade show carriers, costing thousands of dollars and causing untold reputational damage. In a tough economy, suffering such losses during trade show shipping can be devastating for shipping firms, leaving some unable to recover.

However, lost freight claims are easily avoidable with real-time visibility. Tive designed its proprietary tracking monitors and software to “save shipments,” providing an audit trail to help prevent loss, damages, and shortages.

#7 – Theft In Transit or Onsite

Cargo theft is a billion-dollar problem, causing substantial financial damage. Reports of exhibition stand and equipment theft have risen in recent years. If this happens to you, tracking your stolen freight during trade show shipping will help you recover equipment and save your exhibit, your time, and money.

Tive's tracking technology is similar to “a find my iPad setting,” providing real-time location of stolen trade show gear that gives you a leg up on recovering the items and catching the culprits. 

#8 – Loss of a Client Because of Freight-related Issues

Arguably the hardest hit for any carrier involved with trade show shipping is losing a client over freight loss or damage to an exhibition stand shipment. The impact extends beyond financial ramifications; the carrier's reputation is also at stake. 

Getting trade show freight to the right place on time is becoming more challenging by the day. Tive helps ease the pressure for carriers and shippers by ensuring that everyone remains informed at all times. Trade show freight-related issues are entirely avoidable if crucial information gets communicated when it's needed most.

Tive's technology enables shippers and carriers to actively manage the location and condition of exhibit assets in real-time from any device, providing all stakeholders with complete peace of mind.

#9 – The 'Driver is Almost There' Excuse

When trade show freight is not where it's supposed to be at the right time, one of the most infuriating things for shippers to hear is that the “driver is almost there.” However, almost there could mean an hour or 10 minutes, but no one knows for sure. It's an excuse that most exhibitors will hear at least once in their lifetime.

However, carriers can't hide behind this excuse with Tive’s solution as part of the trade show shipping strategy. Shippers can easily trace where their trade show freight is and determine whether a driver is, in fact, almost there.

#10 – Constantly Chasing Freight

With trade show booth shipping, chasing down the details of freight that is not where it should be is a constant frustration for exhibitors. If you have ever had cargo go missing during trade show shipping, you'll know that you have to spend half your day sending emails and making phone calls to get answers on where your shipment is. You waste a lot of time without getting any closer to knowing the location of your freight.

Tive's track-and-trace technology puts an end to excessive phone calls and emails, giving you real-time visibility on your trade show freight.

#11 – Missing Proof of Delivery

A common problem for trade show carriers is that proof of delivery documents often go missing, and with it, the evidence you need to show shippers that their freight did arrive. This can lead to potential lost freight claims and customer complaints. 

However, with a trade show shipping strategy that includes Tive's real-time visibility solutions, you will know precisely where delivered freight is, helping you to avoid claims and complaints.

#12 – 'That's The Way It Showed Up'

Every so often, trade show organizers or carriers tell exhibitors that the condition of freight is how they received it. Damaged trade show freight can be incredibly costly and leave exhibitors without a booth. Meanwhile, event organizers and shippers argue about who is responsible for the damage.

Tive's technology provides audit trails that can help pinpoint when freight damage occurred, whether due to a shock event during trade show shipping or at some other point.

#13 – 'It has to be in the Warehouse'

If a trade show booth doesn't show up on the show floor, exhibitors often hear the 'it must be in a warehouse' excuse. Carriers and event organizers often use this line to appease an exhibitor when their freight is missing. 

With Tive's track-and-trace technology, you can find out exactly where your exhibition assets are, whether they’re being held in a warehouse or elsewhere.

#14 - Delays or Detention

Sometimes freight might be inexplicably delayed or detained by customs during the trade show shipping process. Delays and detention can be costly, causing anxiety because you're unsure why your freight is delayed or detained. Worse still, you don't know where your exhibition assets ended up.

Tive's solutions enable you to pinpoint exactly where your shipment is and contact the right people to determine why your freight has been delayed or detained.

#15 – Wrong Delivery Address

Trade show freight that ends up at the wrong destination can be costly, time-consuming, and raise anxiety levels. Without real-time visibility in trade show shipping, you won't know whether your freight has ended up a few miles or thousands of miles away, leaving you unsure of what action to take. 

With Tive, you can quickly identify where freight has landed and develop a contingency plan to offset delivery to the wrong venue.

#16 – Delivery to the Wrong Booth

Even when your trade show freight arrives at the correct venue, there's a chance it might not end up at your designated exhibition space. Trade show shipping responsibilities do not end with arrival at the venue. Delivery to the wrong booth can add several hours to set-up time if you cannot locate the freight quickly. Real-time visibility enables you to find your shipment and save hours of searching.

Tive's tracking solutions give you the power to find your misplaced freight and get you back on track to setting up your trade show booth.

The Financial Impact of All These Challenges

Whether you have faced one or all 16 of these challenges as a shipper, carrier, or exhibition organizer, the need for real-time visibility into trade show shipping is evident, not least because of the enormous financial impact.

Freight-related challenges during trade show shipping and on-site can see costs escalate astronomically, leaving shippers/exhibitors out of pocket, and trade show carriers facing more claims and customer complaints. Meanwhile, trade show organizers stand to lose exhibitors and face liability for missing freight on site.

The costs incurred can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, potentially resulting in financial ruin for shippers, carriers, and exhibition organizers.

Real-time freight visibility is a win-win for all parties, helping to eliminate preventable exhibit shipping headaches. For exhibitors, Tive tracking solutions help ease anxiety over wondering where shipments are put an end to excessive phone calls and emails.

For carriers, Tive helps to monitor freight location and provide estimated arrival times to pass along to customers. Plus, real-time visibility reduces freight claims, thanks to audit trails.

For exhibition organizers, Tive can help locate misplaced assets on the show floor, appease exhibitors, and prevent complaints and claims.

Real-time visibility into Trade Show Shipping with Tive

Never again wonder about the location and condition of your booth and accessories during trade show shipping. Tive’s combination of proprietary trackers and cloud-based software provides shippers, carriers, and exhibition houses the visibility they need, along with enabling alerts and robust reporting and analysis regarding inbound and outbound shipments. Schedule a demo today to learn more.

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