The summer convention season is quickly approaching, so many businesses are preparing for their upcoming trade show appearances. Exhibit display materials can be bulky and difficult to transport, especially when working with custom exhibits and large booths.
Are you looking for a company to help you transport your exhibit materials to your trade show venues? When exploring shipping options for your business, follow this guide to align yourself with the right freight company. These steps will help you ensure you partner with an experienced and trustworthy business.
What To Look For in a Freight Company
There are many freight companies on the market ready to serve you and your business. However, you must inspect your freight company options carefully to avoid shipping nightmares and poor service. Here are some of the qualities to look for in a freight company.
It is important to consider where you will ship your supplies and if your future shipping partner services these locations. Some businesses travel all over the country for trade shows, especially when attending some of the larger events that attract thousands of attendees. Before investing in a freight company, always double-check their service area and confirm the locations of the shows you want to attend.
Some shipping companies have smaller focus areas, while others support long-distance shipping across the country. For example, here at West Coast Exhibit, we specialize in shipping to venues in California and Las Vegas. However, we also offer shipping to major cities across the United States.
Cost and Budget
Before considering your freight service options, you must know your business’s budget. Shipping costs are a factor when planning your trade show appearances. Remember to account for shipping costs along with booth fabrication costs, product and merchandise orders, trade show passes, and other costs associated with attending a show.
Compare your budget with freight and shipping costs as you consider your service options. Many shipping companies will offer a free consultation, where you can discuss your budget and how much their services will cost you based on your distance, shipment size, and more.
Experience in the Shipping Industry
Working with an experienced company is crucial for any type of business. Experience in the freight industry will help your shipping partner navigate challenges such as delays, shutdowns, customs, warehousing, and more. Trustworthy companies should be transparent about their experience in the shipping industry. You can often find this information on a business’s About page of their website. This is an excellent reference for learning more about a company and its skills.
The freight company’s credentials and certifications also contribute to their experience. Whether a company has the proper credentials and certifications will help you understand whether they have the proper training, security requirements, and experience to provide shipping services.
Communication is vital in the shipping and freight industry. Having professional and clear communication with your freight service promotes clarity, keeps you updated on shipping and delivery times, and reduces the risk of issues arising along the way.
Communication is crucial for navigating issues such as shipping delays, which have become more common in recent years. Experienced shipping companies will know how to navigate delays and effectively communicate with their clients when issues like these arise. The last thing you want is to arrive at a trade show venue without your materials. This is why many freight companies provide tracking details and notifications that help you keep track of your shipments and when you can expect them to arrive.
Customer Feedback and Testimonials
Finally, once you have researched and made observations about the company, seek out feedback and testimonials from previous customers. Depending on the company’s level of experience in the industry, they will have some sort of feedback forms or opportunities to collect reviews based on their service.
If a company can’t provide references or reviews, it could be a sign that they haven’t had much experience in the industry, haven’t taken many customers, or don’t provide stellar service to garner positive reviews. Both positive and negative reviews can help shed light on a company and the quality of its services, so be sure to investigate both ends of the spectrum.
Services To Look For
When selecting a freight forwarding company, make sure to review their services carefully. You want to ensure that the company you choose provides the steps of the shipping and handling processes you need to cover. For example, look for packing and storage, inventory management, cargo space, handling, delivery, and unloading.
Some shipping companies within the trade show industry may also specialize in display construction and management. If you’re working with a smaller team, having a professional team to assist with your booth management can make all the difference. If these are some of the services you’re looking for, consider finding a trade show exhibit house that offers both display management and shipping.
Find a Freight Company That Caters to Your Industry
Whether you simply need to deliver your trade show materials from point A to point B, or you would prefer assistance with additional processes, you can rely on West Coast Exhibit. We provide a trade show exhibit house that offers everything from booth fabrication to shipping. We can help you with every step of the trade show preparation process and ensure that your display materials arrive safely at their destination. With West Coast Exhibit, you can trust that you’re receiving the best in customer service, communications, and shipping and handling for your trade show materials.
Choosing the right freight company could mean the difference between your materials arriving in one piece or being broken and unusable. Don’t let your business’s months of hard work and planning go to waste because of a bad shipping service. Remember this guide on how to align yourself with the right freight company for your business needs. If you’re looking for a shipping business that meets all the criteria above, choose West Coast Exhibit. We offer high-quality and professional shipping for trade show materials nationwide.