Trade Show Budgets: What You Need to Know About Drayage

Calculating Drayage for a Tradeshow

What is Drayage?

If this blog is your first introduction to the term drayage, let us introduce you. When it comes to exhibits for your trade show or expo, drayage is the handling of materials from a carrier or warehouse to your trade show booth location. Drayage fees, sometimes known as material handling, are charged for the process of unloading your trade show packages, moving them to your booth space, removing the empty crates before the show and returning them after the show, as well as reloading after take down. Drayage cost is separate from shipping your display to and from the venue so be sure to include the cost for drayage and be aware of the drayage ordering deadline. Confused, nervous or worried? Don’t be! Read on for more information on drayage and keeping your trade show budget in a good place.

How Are Drayage Costs Calculated?

Drayage cost is typically calculated using things like weight, number of pieces, package type, and local labor rates. When you consider the weight of the trade show materials, technology, signage, product samples, and marketing materials, drayage costs quickly become a significant exhibition expense. Ordering early to get discounts and packing ‘light’ are two ways to save on your drayage costs. Additionally, skidding, or packaging, all of your materials together can help your budget since there are minimum charges for every shipment so fewer individual shipments is best.

More on Drayage Costs

Most shows have additional charges for loose pieces. The best way to save here is to consolidate your show items into as few individual pieces as possible and consolidate loose items onto pallets or into crates.

Special handling charges can be incurred for items that have to be unloaded to ground level before being delivered to your exhibit space (such as stacked or cubed items), items delivered without a bill of lading, and non-skidded items that don’t have loading hooks or lifting bars. You can avoid these and extra charges by following the requirements in your exhibitor handbook or FAQs.

Now that you and drayage are best buddies, there’s nothing left to worry about! Trade shows can be extremely beneficial to a business and should be considered in your marketing plans. If you’d like more information on how to have the best trade show booth, or tips on how to have a great show, contact us today!

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