Skip to main content

Five Important Steps of Outbound Shipping

Need Help Shipping Outbound Freight?

What do I need to do to ship my freight at the end of a tradeshow, what is an Order Form for Material Handling/Bill of Lading (BOL), how does my carrier know where to pick up my freight? 
Need help understanding the move-out and shipping process once a show closes? We have put together a step by step process for successfully shipping outbound freight from a trade show. If you have any questions, GES experts are here to help! 
Step 1: Contact GES Logistics or your freight carrier before the close of the show to schedule a pick-up. If you need assistance, GES can coordinate return shipping at the GES Exhibitor Services    Desk. Drivers must be checked in at the GES marshalling yard or GES freight desk (if no
marshalling yard is available), no later than the check-in time listed in the GES show manual located on your show's online resource and ordering site.   
Pro Tip: Provide an alternate exhibitor contact phone number on the Order Form for Material Handling/BOL in case the driver cannot be reached. 
Step 2: After your empty containers have been returned to your booth, pack, and label your freight for shipping. Shipping labels can be obtained from the GES Exhibitor Services Desk. 
Step 3: Complete the entire Order Form for Material Handling/BOL that will be included with the preliminary invoice which will be placed in your booth prior to the close of the show. 
Pro Tip: Fill out the “Request for Pre-Printed Outbound Material Handling Release>Labels” form on Expresso under “Shipping/Drayage and Material Handling” by the Discount Deadline to have your Order Form for Material Handling/BOL and labels pre-populated with your shipping information.
Step 4: Confirm all pieces are secured, clearly labeled, and ready to be moved to the loading dock. Take photos of the items packed and ready for shipping in the booth for your records. 
Pro Tip: Wrap pallets and cases in shrink wrap to ensure shipment is not rewrapped by carriers.
Step 5: Bring the completed Order Form for Material Handing/BOL, one for each shipping destination, to the GES Exhibitor Services Desk after the close of the show. The Show Organizer does not allow GES to accept Order Forms for Material Handling/BOL until the show closes. 
Do not leave the Order Form for Material Handling/BOL in your booth. It must be physically delivered to the GES Exhibitor Services Desk for the items to be moved to the loading dock. If after hours, instructions for submitting the Order Form for Material Handling/BOL will be provided at the GES Exhibitor Services Desk. 
Pro Tip: Always take a photo of your completed forms. If the GES Exhibitor Services Desk is closed, take a picture of the documents in the location you left it at the GES Exhibitor Services Desk and retain the Exhibitor Copy (4th Page) for your records.
Once the freight carrier driver has checked into the marshalling yard or GES Freight desk (whichever is applicable per the show manual), a check-in number is issued to the driver.  The driver then accepts the Order Form for Material Handling/BOL and loads your freight onto his truck and your shipment is on its way to its destination.  
Click here to find your show and to start planning. Important show information such as the show manual, move-in and move-out times, deadlines, and show services are located on the show's online resource and ordering page. If you have any questions contact the National Servicenter® at 1-800-475-2098. 

About the Author

As Director of Marketing of North American Exhibitions at GES, Christy’s passion for live events is only equal to her dedication in educating and assisting exhibitors and show organizers. 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.