1. Identify your logistical requirements : Determine the right solutions based on your event’s unique needs and set check points at critical phases.
a. Location of the event venue – rural or urban (what are the regulations)? Is the event indoor or outdoor? Which region of the country is the event located in (consider the impacts of weather for the region)?
b. Type of venue – convention center or hotel? Stadium or county fairground? Does the venue have an easy access dock area or does the venue require a lift-gate service and/or pallet jack? Is there Labor on-site or does this require Driver or Two-man assist? White glove service?
c. Logistics – How much space will my freight require? LTL, FULL TL, DEDICATED PARTIAL? Tractor-Trailer or Box Truck? What equipment will the truck/driver need? Logistics posts, e-trac? When is the event taking place and when is the deadline to deliver exhibit material? Deliver Direct to Show or to Advanced Warehouse
d. Determine critical check points by understanding Transit Time: Pick-up date, time and location, set at least two status update checkpoints on your freight during the Linehaul phase, Delivery date, time, and location
2. Choose your provider: Determine a solid logistical structure based on the right solution for the particular event and select an experienced Event Freight Transportation provider.
a. Coordinate with your Event Logistics Provider – Specify the details, simply put, details reduce and mitigate the risks of a logistical error and reduce the risk of additional costs. Location, dates, times, Check-In procedures, Marshaling Yard Info, General Contractor Info, Advanced Receiving, Move-in and Move-out, and Targeted Deadlines
b. Types of service – What type of service do you require? Warehousing, drayage, LTL, FULL TL, DEDICATED PARTIAL, SURFACE EXPRESS, EXPEDITED, or AIR FREIGHT?
3. Communicate and Mitigate the risk : Mitigate the risks by outlining a communication plan not only with your transportation provider but also with your event staff.
a. Communicate critical times for check points – Communicate a tracing or tracking strategy with your Event Logistics Provider. Be sure they can accommodate your needs such as proprietary GPS tracking or use of geo-fencing software like Macropoint and ask for key contacts that will be available at critical moments
b. Contact – At least one contact should be available 24/7. Is there an on-site contact?
c. Shipping Labels – Make sure you have well-coordinated and distinguishable shipping labels
d. Staff – Be sure your staff is apprised of the information
4. Execute and Follow through : Execute your plan and follow through by staying in real time by adhering to your check point framework.
a. Pre-stage your freight – Make an area in your warehouse where you can stage your event freight by outlining the dimensions of the type of truck you will be using. For example, map out the size of a 53ft trailer or 24ft or 26ft box truck
b. Piece count – Double check your piece count and be sure all freight is accounted for. Use the Bill of Lading and unique shipping labels to ensure all freight is on board
c. Communicate – Communicate to your team once freight has been loaded and departed. Ask your Event Logistics Provider for ETAs. Follow through
d. Tracking – Use the check points system you established to provide a timeline and framework to ensure your freight is transported accordingly