Understand Material Handling

Understanding Material Handling Charges - Show Services Tips Part 2

As trade show experts we work hard to help educate our clients on the ins and outs of show services. Last month we discussed the difference between advance warehouse and direct to show shipments. This month we want to take some of the mystery out of material handling fees, and suggest ways to save you money.

The first thing you need to do when you get your show service kit is to look for the Advance Warehouse and Direct to Show shipping deadlines. Then the second thing you need to do is calculate your material handling (aka drayage) based on which warehouse you are shipping to. In order to save yourself headaches and money you need to consolidate your shipment into as few pieces as possible. Make sure you notice the minimum weight per shipment. Take a look at the example below and take note of the 200lbs minimum, this is often how overages occur with small package shipments.

Now you need to locate the material handling form, provided in your services kit, to determine the minimum weights and the standard time (ST) vs. overtime (OT) rates. You will notice there are different costs for Advance Warehouse or Direct to Show. But as we discussed last month, while the cost might be more to ship to Advance Warehouse you will still experience a cost savings when your labor is not standing around waiting for freight to arrive.

Things to keep in mind that could help you reduce your material handling expenses:

  • Skid your boxes together as one piece rather than shipping 6 pieces separately to save on the minimum charges below.    
  • Ship small packages to your hotel and hand carrying to your booth, such as last minute add on flyers or business cards etc. 
  • Give your truck driver a specific delivery time window based on the show’s straight time requirements – note below if your driver checks in at 2:00pm or after you could be charged OT.   

Understanding all the different show service fees and how they are calculated can help you better plan for your show and avoid surprise overages at the end.

We at Apple Rock are well versed in show services and will be happy to assist you in estimating your total investment for your next show.  Give us a call and see how we can take that stress off of you allow us to create a full service experience that you deserve.


Casey Greene, Account Manager

Casey is a resident trade show expert at Apple Rock, having been on both sides as a customer and an employee. She is small but mighty and knows how to get the job done. When not traveling the world supervising installs for clients she likes to spend her weekends with her family on the lake.