Trade Show TalesBlog

How Much will Material Handling Change at Post-COVID Trade Shows?

November 5th, 2020 2 COMMENTS
Unraveling the Myths about Material Handling

Let’s not sugarcoat it. Exhibitors HATE material handling charges. Mostly because drayage seems arbitrary, excessive, and unpredictable. Over the years, GSC’s have occasionally tried to justify it. Last year, CEIR released “Unraveling the Myths about Material Handling.” The report explained what’s included (which was helpful), but let’s be honest, it still felt like cheap primer painted over a dark wall. 

Recent Material Handling Policies

Recently, Fern and Freeman announced new material handling policies which eliminate most special handling fees and offer simplified per-pound charges. In addition to more flexible cancellation policies. Click on the link for a more detailed article in ECN about Fern’s new polities.

At first glance, these seem positive… but let’s examine them in greater detail.

Here are two Freeman examples (PDFs). Admittedly a simple analysis. In both cases, only crated shipments are accepted at the warehouse. Uncrated and pad wrapped ships are accepted at the show site:

  • EXHIBITORLIVE 2020 (Las Vegas)
  • VMX 2021 (Orlando)
Material Handling Form
Material Handling Form

Let’s Assume a 2000 lb. crate.

  • EXHIBITORLIVE = $2145
  • VMX 2021 = $2000

After Deadline:

  • EXHIBITORLIVE = $2685
  • VMX 2021 = $2500

Small Packages (with conditions):

  • EXHIBITORLIVE = $45 (min. 30 lbs)
  • VMX 2021 = $0 (under $10 lbs)

Surcharges:

  • EXHIBITORLIVE = Overtime, special handling, uncrated or pad wrapped fees
  • VMX 2021 = No special handling fees or overtime.

At first glance, most exhibitors won’t save much, assuming their freight arrives on time and in crates. The real savings are the surprise “special handling fees” and CWT rounding charges. This means greater predictability for the exhibitor since material handling is based exclusively on actually weight.

It’s a start, but the NAB Show Cares Program offers a much better model for exhibitors and the long-term health of the trade show industry. Now, here’s an even better question… Why isn’t EXHIBITORLIVE adopting the NAB Cares model?

NAB Show Cares

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, rental exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.

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2 Responses to “How Much will Material Handling Change at Post-COVID Trade Shows?”

  1. Brad says:

    Thank you Mel for showing the comparisons. This helps see the “real” differences, which is not much in the big picture. I hope you and the Classic team is doing well!!!

  2. Mel White says:

    Thank you for commenting Brad. We’ve always been nimble as a manufacturer. Lots of safety dividers and partitions right now.

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