Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘material handling’

Here’s a Handy Drayage Calculator (and it’s FREE)

September 14th, 2018 COMMENTS

Material Handling/Drayage Calculator

Trade Show Material Handling CalculatorMention “drayage” or “material handling” to any exhibitor and it’s bound to start a conversation. And not always a pleasant one.

Over the years, I’ve learned that while the amount matters, it’s really the uncertainty that drives most exhibitors crazy. No one enjoys calling their company Controller to inform them that your company credit card was just maxed out… on Day 0 of the trade show.  

There are many ways to lower your drayage expense, such as shipping to the advanced warehouse and consolidating your freight (no small boxes or strapping items to a crate). That’s a conversation every exhibitor should have with their exhibit house or display provider. You can save a lot of money by tapping into the expert advice of an exhibit professional. 

So how do you predict your material handling expense? Use our handy Drayage Calculator. If you know the standard rate for the show, which can typically be found in your General Show Contractor forms and the weight of your shipment, enter those numbers into the calculator. Then determine if there will be any special handling charges and when you expect the freight to hit the dock (straight time or overtime). The calculator can give you a good estimate. 

It’s not foolproof, but it’s better than guessing, which is what most exhibitors do now. Give it a try. It’s free. Let us know if it prevented that ugly phone call with your Controller.

Clicking on the image will redirect you to the Drayage Calculator webpage. Be sure to bookmark it. 

Trade Show Material Handling Calculator (Drayage)  

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including SuperNova LED Lightboxes. 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.

 

EDPA Exhibition and Events Industry Labor Rates Survey

August 24th, 2017 COMMENTS

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The 2017 EDPA Labor Rate Survey tracks the advance order rates charged to corporate exhibitions in major U.S. and Canadian cities at exhibitions, conventions, and corporate events. The rate sources are general service contractors, show producers, and venue order forms. This is the Advanced Order Rates, not the rates charged after the early bird prices or day of show.

This includes rates for General Labor, Riggers, Electricians, Plumbers, Forklift Operators, and Material Handling. The highest general labor rates are in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Los Angeles. The lowest are in Cleveland, Louisville, Orlando, and Salt Lake City. A huge thanks to the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association for completing and publishing their results.

Executive Summary Bullet Points:

  • The 2017 Labor Rates Survey of rates charged to exhibitors at exhibitions and events has found the average hourly rate in the U.S. for General Display Labor increased by just under 1% annually over the past two years.
  • The average hourly rate has increased from $101.75 in 2015 to $103.50 this year.
  • The advance order, regular time hourly rate for Riggers decreased by 2% annually over the same two-year period, from $113.70 per hour on average in 2015 to $109.23 per hour in the new survey.
  • Material handling costs for advance shipments to the official service contractor warehouse have increased by 1.6% annually over the past two years on average in the U.S. The cost of crated shipments sent directly to exhibit halls has increased by an average of 1.1% annually from 2015 to 2017.

Click the image below for the full survey.

2017 EDPA Labor Rates Study

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

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid 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.

Trade Show Material Handling Calculator and Infographic

May 9th, 2017 2 COMMENTS

Drayage or Material Handling

Drayage or Material Handling CalculatorIf you are familiar with trade shows, you are all too familiar with material handling or drayage. These two terms, which mean the same thing, often elicit a very strong emotional response from exhibitors.

So what is drayage? Drayage refers to the movement of your trade show booth items from your carrier’s delivery vehicle to your booth space. This service includes:

  • Unloading the trade show freight once it has arrived at the receiving dock,
  • Transporting the goods to the trade show booth space,
  • Removing empty shipping items (such as crates and pallets) from the trade show booth space,
  • Ttemporarily storing empty shipping items during the show,
  • Returning empty shipping items once the show is over,
  • Transferring the freight back to the loading dock, and
  • Loading the items into your carrier’s delivery vehicle.

Is it expensive? Yes. Is there a logical reason? No. So, rather than age six months each time you receive your material handling bill, it might make more sense to manage your freight to minimize your bill. Use this drayage calculator to estimate your charges. Note how overtime and special handling will significantly increase what you pay.

If you are not already suicidal about drayage, this blog post from three years ago might be the tipping point. It discusses the rising cost of material handling:  You Can’t Fix Stupid — Material Handling.

Helpful Advice:  Although shipping to the Advanced Warehouse is more expensive, it’s a better financial decision since you are less likely to pay for waiting time from your carrier, and you have greater control over scheduling the delivery of your exhibit to your booth space during regular straight-time hours.

For an overview of material handling, see this informative infographic by TS Crew, an exhibit-appointed contractor for installation and dismantle.

Drayage Infographic

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid 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.


 

You Can’t Fix Stupid — Material Handling

August 20th, 2014 1 COMMENT
Special Handling Charges? Really!

Special Handling Charges? Really!

Rising Drayage and Material Handling Costs

If you are a fan of the comedian Ron White, you know his signature line, “You Can’t Fix Stupid.” I was reminded of this line three weeks ago while attending a material handling session by Amanda Helgemoe from NuVista and Sue Huff from Medtronic at the Red Diamond Congress in Chicago. The presentation was based on a 2013 study endorsed by the Exhibit and Event Marketers Association (E2MA) Advocacy Committee.

In short, it’s disturbing.

The presentation consists of 50 informative slides, mostly case studies between 1996 and 2007, and an analysis of rising, comparative costs. I won’t summarize the full presentation because:  a) the summary would be longer than the study, and b) You’re not stupid. You can read it and draw your own conclusions. That said . . . I strongly encourage you to devote 20-30 minutes to reviewing it. Secondly, you need to share your concerns, opinions, and solutions with industry associations and show management.

Finally, if you work directly with exhibitors regularly, you need to encourage them to speak to the associations sponsoring the trade shows. I believe, and I’m going to be a little naive here, that they don’t fully understand the ramifications of their no-cost contracts with the General Show Contractors or Show Management. Costs are rising, in particular drayage, at a rate that’s unsustainable to our industry. Whatever your political bent, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the foundational middle is crumbling in the trade show industry. This tainted concentration of power is doing what power always does – corrupts.

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Some Highlights:

  1. Exhibitors are downsizing or cancelling programs, not because face-to-face marketing is ineffective, but because rising costs are squeezing their exhibit budgets.
  2. Exhibitors DO NOT KNOW 30% of their final costs headed into a show. No other marketing medium has the same cost uncertainty/surprises.
  3. Don’t blame labor. I&D costs have increased, but those costs pale in comparison to exclusive services such as material handling.
  4. At one show material handling increased 307% between 1997 and 2009. And there were two recessions during this time.
  5. Show Organizers are not doing their homework. There is often a wide variance in costs between similar shows in the same city within 6 months.
  6. Here’s how crazy it’s gotten (example): Drayage: $116.70/cwt, One crate = 1100 lbs., Drayage cost = $1,283.70, Associated GSC labor cost = 37 hours ($35.00/hour), NOW HOLD YOUR BREATH – That equals 1 person, working 4 ½ days for one crate.
  7. From 2009-2013, the Consumer Price Index increased 8.2%. General Contractor Labor Costs increased 12.56%. Drayage increased 121%.
  8. Material Handling has (purposely) gotten more opaque. In some situations, there are 24 material handling categories. Opacity makes it much harder for exhibitors to challenge drayage charges or make fiscally sound decisions when scheduling freight. This is not an accident.
  9. General Service Contractors are shifting costs to exhibitors who do not use them for non-exclusive services, resulting in uneven application of exclusive service charges. All too often, exhibitors are paying the drayage for the exhibitor right next to them when the GSC shifts expenses.
  10. Growing use of bundling by GSCs by offering discounts/rebates to win the entire corporate program, such as waiving material handling if client rents from the GSC. The EDPA and E2MA have gone on record as stating this practice (bundling) is unethical and anti-competitive.


The study proposes solutions beginning on slide 44, which I strongly encourage you to review. Those include Best Practices on slide 49. On a personal note, I cannot emphasize enough how much your voice matters to trade show industry associations, such as E2MA and EDPA. Let them hear from you. In addition, if you are an exhibitor, please voice your concerns directly with the association sponsoring the show and show management. I believe that associations do not understand how existing contracts undermine their ability to grow the shows they sponsor. Show management, however, does understand the impact of rising material handling costs, but (many) have not felt enough financial pain to recommend changes.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you share my passion and concern for our industry. Collectively, I believe we can fix stupid. We have no other choice.

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

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid 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.