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How do I handle shipping and logistics for my exhibition materials?

Managing shipping and logistics for exhibition materials is a crucial aspect of successful participation in trade shows or events and requires careful planning & coordination to ensure that your booth and promotional items arrive on time and in good condition. Being late is not an option!

By carefully managing the shipping and logistics process, you can ensure a smooth and timely arrival of your exhibition materials, contributing to a successful and stress-free event experience. Let Displays 2 Go take care of your event logistics and collateral storage requirements ensuring that your exhibition and display kit gets where it needs to be on time and on budget.  If you are managing this part yourself you should always allow for unforseen delays.

Here are some frequently asked questions related to handling shipping and logistics for exhibition materials.

When should I start planning for shipping and logistics?

You cannot start this process too soon. Think about how you need to pack and transport your equipment, and if you are using any sort of third-party carrier it is important to allow for delays with shipping. 

What information do I need to provide to shipping companies?

Shipping companies will want to know weights and dimensions of each pack they are shipping, as well as destination.

How can I estimate shipping costs for my exhibition materials?

Freight costs are typically based on weight and destination. Weight calculations are often based on volumetric weight rather than actual weight, which can be a hidden cost and is worth checking if you need to plan cost accurately.  Different carriers have different methods for calculating volumetric weight. To save cost, use road freight as much as possible, rather than air freight.

What shipping options are available for exhibition materials?

In Australia the standard method is road freight, which is most efficient for larger shipments. 

How can I track and monitor the shipment of my exhibition materials?

Most carriers offer tracking services, although it is worth noting the tracking can be unreliable at times, and the quality of tracking varies significantly from carrier to carrier.

Are there restrictions or regulations for shipping materials to certain events or locations?

The biggest consideration here is delivering good directly to venues.  This is a risky approach because the chances of the items being undelivered or going missing on site are significant, and for this reason we do not recommend it.

What steps can I take to prevent damage to exhibition materials during transit?

Pack your gear well.  Freight carriers can be extraordinarily careless in the treatment of freight, so allowances need to be made for this to minimise the risk of damage.

How early should I arrange for materials to arrive at the event venue?

If delivering to the venue there is a limited window of time the venue will accept deliveries, but at the same time you want to be able to ship the goods with enough spare time to allow for delays. This can be tricky and is another reason why we suggest avoiding having freight companies deliver directly to venues.

What is drayage, and how does it impact shipping costs?

Drayage is using multiple freight methods (e.g. sea then road) to have good delivered.  This is typically an expensive method but can remove the administative burden on the exhibitor's sde.

How can I coordinate the setup and dismantling of my booth with shipping logistics?

We always recommend using an experienced provider for these steps, such as us.  If you want to manage this process yourself it can look appealing in principle however the correct scheduling of these steps is absolutely critical and fraught with pitfalls.  If you or someone on your team is not managing the process personally there is a greatly increased risk of the people resonsible simply not caring enough to make the right things happen.

Are there eco-friendly shipping options available for exhibition materials?

The most useful steps you can take here to minimise the enironmental impact is to (a) pack things as efficiently as possible, and (b) avoid air freight.


Here are Steps to guide you in selecting the right exhibition display for your needs:

1. Create a detailed Inventory
    • Develop a comprehensive inventory of all the materials you'll be shipping, including booth components, signage, promotional materials, and any technology or equipment.
2. Determine Shipping Deadlines
    • Check with us to determine the shipping deadlines and rules for the event. Some events have specific timelines for receiving shipments. For further information, take a look at our Logistics & Storage Management
3. Select a reliable Freight Carrier
    • Choose a reputable freight carrier or shipping company that specialises in handling exhibition materials. Consider factors such as reliability, experience with trade shows, and shipping rates.
4. Review Shipping Regulations
    • Familiarise yourself with the shipping regulations and guidelines provided by the exhibition venue and the event organisers. This includes rules related to dimensions, weight restrictions, and packaging requirements.
5. Labelling & Documentation
    • Clearly label all shipping containers with your company name, booth number, and a detailed list of contents. Ensure that you have all necessary shipping documents, including bills of lading and customs paperwork for international shipments.
6. Insurance Coverage
    • Verify the insurance coverage provided by your freight carrier and assess whether additional insurance is needed for high-value items. This ensures that your materials are protected in case of loss or damage during transit.
7. Packing Materials
    • Use appropriate packing materials to safeguard your exhibition items during transportation. This includes custom packaging for fragile or sensitive equipment.
8. Coordinate with Customs for International Shipments
    • If you are shipping materials internationally, coordinate with customs authorities to ensure that all necessary documentation is in order. Be aware of any customs duties or taxes that may apply.
9. Track Shipments
    • Utilise tracking services provided by the shipping company to monitor the progress of your shipments. This allows you to anticipate any delays and stay informed about the location of your materials.
10. Advance Warehouse vs. Direct to Show:
    • Decide whether to ship materials to an advance warehouse or directly to the show venue. Some events offer an advance warehouse option where materials can be received and stored before the show. For further information on our Exhibition Installations & Packdowns, click here
11. Schedule Delivery & Set-Up
    • Coordinate the delivery of your materials to align with the booth set-up schedule. Ensure that your materials arrive in time for installation and testing.
12. On-Site Supervision
    • Have a representative on-site during the installation to oversee the setup of your booth and ensure that all materials have arrived intact.
13. Arrange Return Shipping
    • If needed, make arrangements for the return shipping of your materials after the exhibition. Provide clear instructions and labels for return shipments.
14. Emergency Plan​


    • Have a contingency plan in case of unexpected delays, lost shipments, or other logistics issues. Maintain contact information for the shipping company's customer service in case immediate assistance is required.
15. Evaluate and Document
    • After the exhibition, evaluate the shipping and logistics process. Document any challenges, successes, or areas for improvement to inform future planning.