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Ways To Contain Your Trade Show Freight Shipping Costs

Jan 29, 2017

Trade shows can be a great way to interact with potential prospects, gather hot leads and see what’s happening in your industry. There’s a lot to know about trade show shipping. It can make the difference between your show experience being a success or failure. Not only that, if you aren’t careful, it can take a big bite out of your trade show budget. Previously we talked about tips to make your tradeshow freight shipping go smoothly. Below are 9 ways to contain your trade show freight shipping costs and avoid unexpected expenses. 

Trade Show Freight Cost Containment.jpgWeigh and Measure – Since it is common for freight companies to reweigh all shipments to verify shipping weight, be sure that you weigh and measure each item in your trade show shipment. Write the weight and dimensions on the outside of each box. This information will help you receive accurate advance shipping quotes and you’ll be able to better anticipate your shipping costs. 

Create a dense pallet or crate -- Make sure to pack all your boxes as full as possible since dimensional rates often come into play. Also, make your pallet taller instead of creating another separate one, whenever possible, and wrap securely. Consolidate your shipment into as few pieces as possible by packaging them on pallets. This will minimize your handling costs at the show hall, since charges there are typically assessed per piece.

Rent tables – It is usually considerably more economical to rent tables. Packing and shipping them can be difficult and costly. 

Shipping cases save in the long run – If you need to ship expensive computers, monitors, electronics or equipment it is well worth investing in shipping cases. Shipping cases will help protect your equipment while it is in transit. They may prevent the need to replace your equipment or, worse yet, from having to attend the show without it due to damaged equipment!

Show-to-Show shipping – If your company exhibits at multiple shows per year you should evaluate the potential savings of shipping to the next show location. Shipping back to your warehouse and then out to the next location may increase your annual trade show freight shipping expenditures.


Plan ahead – Be sure to include a margin of error in the arrival time of your shipment. You want to be sure your shipment is in time for the setup crew to work on straight time… not overtime. Another thing to keep in mind is to make every effort to ship everything together if possible. Otherwise you’ll end up paying the General Service Contractor a minimum charge per item for receiving small packages. This can really add up! 

Leverage volume discounts – Consider bidding annually, or consolidating all your corporate shipping needs, to get the best pricing from your shipping company.

Interlocking carpet panels – Instead of shipping a 10 foot long roll of carpet you may want to consider interlocking carpet panels that you can ship in a 2x2 shipping case. This eliminates high rental costs and shipping costs. Not only that, you won’t need a carpet pad! 

When you apply these cost-saving measures you will contain your trade show costs, making the process more profitable for your organization!

Still confused about trade show freight shipping? American Group has several years of experience successfully handling trade show freight shipments. Contact us when you’re preparing for your next show at 866.553.6608 or by email,