Material Handling Made Easy: All of the Benefits & None of the Hassle

Material handling can be complicated to understand but at GES we have simplified the process with GES Material Handling+℠.  Material handling, or drayage, is the unloading of your shipment, transporting it to your booth, storing and returning empty crates and cartons, and reloading shipments at the close of the show. Since no show is the same, learning the benefits of material handling - and understanding pricing and how to calculate it - will enable you to easily activate the exact elements you need for a successful show, every time. 
The Many Benefits of  GES Material Handling+
How do you take advantage of all that material handling offers, both as an exhibitor and as a show organizer? Costs in every city and venue vary, so let’s break down how it works at GES:
Cost Certainty - Material handling rates are determined by weight per pound and when freight arrives, within or outside the posted date ranges. Freight weighing less than 25 lb is calculated at a flat rate. This makes it easy to budget. 
Simplified Invoicing - Understanding material handling billing has never been easier! With three rates and simplified line-item invoicing, reconciling post-show invoices are hassle-free. 
Ship Early at the Same Cost as Direct-to-Show - When available, ship individual items up to 4400 lb each to the Advance Warehouse, within the posted date range, for the same material handling rate as shipping Direct-To-Show. Never worry about delayed freight again. Have your shipment ready and waiting in your booth by Exhibitor Move-in. 
Money-Saving Tips - Save 10% on material handling costs when you ship roundtrip with GES Logistics, for non-local shipments of 5,000 lb or less.   Chat with the GES logistics team to learn moreDiscount does not apply to local, small package, truckloads, or complete shipments over 5000lbs.
Save Time and Avoid Delays - Securely pack freight in crates, fiber cases, or on pallets and shrink-wrap all items to avoid damage during shipping or show site delivery. 
How to Navigate Pricing 
Generally, the most important element of any successful show is a manageable budget. There are multiple ways to save costs if you understand what avenues are available to you. Here are the most important tips for forecasting material handling costs:
  1. Material handling rates for freight more than 25 lb are determined by when freight arrives, within or outside the posted date range. Posted date ranges can be found on the show ordering site on the Important Dates and Deadlines page under Show Information. 
  2. All freight less than 25 lb per shipment is billed at the flat rate. 
  3. For UPS, FedEx, DHL, and Amazon shipments, billing will be determined by the weight designated by the shipping carrier on labels or bills of lading. 
  4. All shipments, including Airfreight, must have a bill of lading showing the number of pieces, weight, description of the freight, and a certified weight ticket. 
NOTE: GES reserves the right to weigh shipments at show site to confirm documentation accuracy and determine if weight is missing from supplied carrier documentation and clarify any possible discrepancies.  
Rate Definitions
Specific material handling rates for each show can be found on the Material Handling/Drayage Services page under Shipping, Drayage, and Material Handling.
  1. Standard Rate– 25 lb or more 
    Shipped to Advance Warehouse and arrives within the posted date range
    Shipped Direct-to-Show and arrives within posted Move-in dates or on-target
  2. Non-Standard Rate– 25 lb or more
    Shipped to Advance Warehouse and arrives outside the posted date range
    Shipped Direct-to-Show and arrives outside posted Move-in dates or off-target
  3. Flat Rate – Less than 25 lb 
    Shipped to the Advance Warehouse or Direct-to-Show and arrives anytime.
*Carpet is included in this pricing structure, Machinery Labor and Equipment is excluded from this pricing structure. 
How to Calculate Charges
Now that you have a better idea of the simple ways to save on material handling costs, you can map exactly how to calculate charges for your needs through a clear process and obtain the lowest rate. Here’s how:
  • Review the posted date range for Advance and Direct-to-Show delivery on the show ordering site under Important Dates and Deadlines. 
  • Click on Material Handling/Drayage Services under Shipping, Drayage, and Material Handling to view show rates. 
  • Determine when you want your shipment to arrive and where you want to ship it. To obtain the lowest rate, Standard, plan for your freight to arrive within the posted date range at the Advance Warehouse or Direct-to-Show.
  • Determine an accurate estimate of your freight’s weight in pounds.  Weight designated by the shipping carrier on inbound shipping labels or bills of lading will be used to determine freight weight for billing purposes.
  • Multiply the weight by the rate to determine the cost. All shipments less than 25 lb will be calculated at the flat rate. 
Now, with all of this knowledge, you’re ready to starting planning for your next show.  Determine when your shipment arrives at show site, schedule your shipping carrier, pack your items securely and let GES take care of delivering your items directly to your booth. 
Material handling rates vary per show. Visit find your show to see if your show offers GES Material Handling+. Need some more help? Talk to one of our experts or dive into this helpful link for additional information.

About the Author

Christy Ricketts

As Senior Manager of Marketing Operations at GES, Christy’s passion for live events is only equal to her dedication in educating and assisting exhibitors planning events. As an expert exhibitor herself, she loves sharing the countless tips and tricks she has learned along the way to help even experienced exhibitors find their way to consistently successful shows.

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