Skip to content

3 Reasons To Break Up with FedEx and UPS for Your Trade Show Shipping

As a logistics provider for tradeshows and events we occasionally use FedEx or UPS to transport small items both domestically and internationally.  They do a fine job under the right circumstances. 

However, there are times in the tradeshow process when it is advantageous to “break up” with them and go with a group of people who know the tradeshow shipping world like the back of their hand.

Here are three reasons why you should consider breaking up with FedEx or UPS and pursue a relationship with a Tradeshow Shipping Agency for your next event: 

1. They are not always there when you need them

How consistently does your material get picked up at the end of a show using FedEx or UPS?  Based on the three events we have worked recently, more than 7% of shipments were rerouted due to the carrier not showing up.  This causes additional cost, potential delays, and perhaps freight not making it to the next event. 

We worked with one company that shipped to over 250 events domestically.  We came up with a shipping solution to mitigate the risks by splitting the shipping responsibilities.  FedEx would ship into their events from the home office and NorthStar would pick up and return the material to their office. 

Occasionally, we would ship materials to the next event.  This particular customer realized an annual savings of over $22,000 by not having their freight rerouted from show site.  We can still be friends, but it is time to see other people!

2. Your relationship with them has no depth

When your event schedule jumps from a handful to a baker's dozen or more, the stress increases proportionally. 

One has to plan in advance where and when to ship the materials.  Will you ship show to show or back to your office between events?  If you refurbish during the season look out. Most companies have limited displays to ship around so timing is critical. 

Working with an experienced tradeshow shipping company can make all the difference.  For a seasoned tradeshow pro it may not raise the blood pressure, but for an inexperienced marketing coordinator it can be a lifesaver…and promotion builder. 

By establishing a relationship with a shipping partner one can build a reliable routine that saves time, cost, and headaches.

3. You want to get serious, but they don't 

When the number of pieces and weights for your tradeshow shipments jump from a simple pop-up display to several display cases and boxes it is time to make the switch.  Lugging your display case to the business office in hotels or convention centers worked when you had one case but that option is no longer feasible when your display grows. 

Having a number of pieces on a pallet calls for a different shipping partner.  A shipping partner that will wait to make sure your display gets to the next event in time.  Reliability of return shipments and cost all play a factor in this decision.

The inverse holds true as well.  If your display shrinks to a small pop up it may be beneficial to have your team drag it to the business center and ship it from there.  (Suggestion, make sure your display case has wheels & build enough time in your schedule to drop it off so you don’t have to run to catch your flight!) 

I am not advocating a “free love” scenario, but rather a measured approach to handle your tradeshow and event shipping relationships. 

When was the last time you evaluated your event shipping relationship?  You decide: is it working for you or not?