Delivering to a US trade show

CONEXPO, LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER, MARCH 4-8, 2014

6 months to go

August 2013 Interflow are appointed as the official export agent for Conexpo, Las Vegas 2014 by our agent Airways Freight. In this capacity, we are responsible for the forwarding and transportation, customs requirement assessment and clearance, arrangement of pre show storage, delivery to show site, on site oversight of delivery to stand, oversight of outbound movement from stand, export customs clearance, and re-exportation.

For transportation there are a few options available depending on the what the exhibitor wants.

  • FCL (Full container loads)
  • LCL (Less than container load)
  • Standard air service
  • Expedited air service (for late shipments of graphics etc )
  • Small parcel

This choice will be determined by:

  • The physical size of the goods
  • Is the cargo time sensitive
  • Is the commodity delicate or perishable
  • Cost

For all events we work to strict arrival deadlines. Reaching the target move-in date determines the success. The arrival deadlines for Conexpo were as follows:

Ocean freight to Port of Long Island/ Los Angeles by February 21

Air freight to Las Vegas McCarran Airport (LAS) no later than: February 26

If a company fails to reach the target destination on time then everything is at stake. Primarily its the risk to your company of not actually being there to exhibit at the event but added to that you have the financial losses such as the cost of exhibition floor photospace rental, stand build, IT, furniture, promotional material giveaways, staff, travel…etc. The loss of revenue you were hoping to gain from being there in the first place is the final nail so it is important to choose an experienced exhibition freight forwarder.

5 months to go

Interflow are engaged by Dromone Engineering in Co. Meath to move there exhibition installation to Las Vegas for the expo. Dromone have an established construction product line that includes excavator attachments, quick couplers, digging buckets ditchers and a range of additional products to compliment your excavator.

4 months to go

We complete the Logistical Planning based on the customers request. Planning of cargo routing based on best service  and value for transit requirement. For us this requires pre-event contact with our US agent and their traffic department in order to plan the most reliable and cost effective transportation, customs clearance, and site handling arrangements, for Dromone Engineering.

3 months to go

Having advised our customer on exact documentation requirements, and assistance with unique documentary requirements (carnets, temporary imports etc) we completed the Preliminary Export Documentation. Foreign Government Approval Requirements were also completed – Interflow are made aware of any regulations imposed by host country, including requirements for both temporary and permanent importation. We arrange a Trade Fair bond through our US agent to allow duty free entry of exhibitor’s temporary import articles, ESPECIALLY non EPA compliant equipment. Insurance instructions are given – to ensure client had adequate insurance coverage, throughout the duration of the events/tours.

Crates ready to loadFinally we advise on Case Marking – clear labeling as per destination requirements. It is very important to package your exhibition material properly. Having a flight case or custom made export crate purpose built for your stand will protect the cargo and can also be used for storage during the exhibition. It is worth speaking to a packing specialist.

2 months to go

Finally its time to collect the cargo from Dromone in Co. Meath. The container is loaded in Co.Meath and delivered to the Port of Dublin. It will take 38 days to get to Los Angeles. The container is booked with the ocean line Hapag Lloyd on the vessel: Karin Schepers from Port of Dublin to Rotterdam and onwards to Port of Long Beach/Los Angeles on the vessel: Atlanta Express. Export customs clearance is complete and the ship is on its way.

Hapag Lloyd Atlanta Express

2 weeks to go

The freight arrives in Los Angeles.. on time! (Feb 21) Container arrives into the ocean terminal where the co loader makes the arrangements to offload it. A co-loader is a shipping line that has loading and discharging rights on vessels that are NOT operated by them and they get this right from the carrier/operator of the vessel, in our case Hapag-Lloyd by paying for slots on board that particular vessel. The cargo is handed over from the co-loader to our agent, Airways Freight, who will then begin the custom clearance procedure. Once this is completed the cargo is transferred to the trucking company for on wards delivery to Las Vegas. From arrival at the terminal in Los Angeles through to delivery in Las Vegas takes approximately 7-8 days.

2 days to go

Cargo arrives to the advance receiving yard at the Conexpo show site. In the US most of the show sites are managed by a drayage contractor or sometimes also referred to as a decorator. They basically manage everything for the venue that isn’t nailed down so stand building, catering, IT, furniture, freight the list goes on. This is a  contractual agreement and no other contractor is permitted to work in the venue.

Delivery day (Target move-in March 3rd).

The cargo is delivered and the Dromone Engineering team are ready to start building there stand. Several hours later and they are ready to do business with 120,000 industry professionals from over 150 different countries..

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This is a basic overview of the procedure for moving freight to a US exhibition. Every exhibition has different procedures so its worth talking to an experienced exhibition freight forwarder when planning your next trade show.  As much as we advise early logistical planning, exhibition freight is normally the last on the list when preparing for your expo. It normally looks like this:

  • Deciding on a budget
  • Targeting your audience
  • Considering the space selection
  • Design & build your exhibit
  • Make travel arrangements and reservations
  • Get your exhibition freight delivered

Exhibitors can also opt for outsourcing locally in the country they are exhibiting. Outsource the booth design and stand build and ship the equipment or do a combination. There are so many options.

No doubt, there is a lot to take in to become a savvy international exhibitor, or at least one whose stuff shows up where it is supposed to and when — and for a price you can live with. The terminology alone can be confusing, much less the processes, paperwork, and people you will need along the way. But don’t be daunted, because once you find the right information and the right partners, it will be smooth sailing when you pack up your exhibition stand and go searching for that global pot of gold.