Drayage: What is it and how do you keep the fees under control?

Imagine your company just had a great event. Your exhibit looked great, you generated leads, and even closed a few deals. But when you're looking over the bill, you get a huge shock. You see an enormous fee for drayage.

What is drayage? In the event world, drayage is the charges incurred for the movement of shipping containers (i.e., crates, pallets, boxes) from the venue's loading dock or the shipping vehicle, to the show floor. It also encompasses things such as removing the containers in which the items were shipped, storing them during the event, returning the shipping containers after the event, transferring everything back to the loading dock, and warehousing items post-event.

Drayage fees are typically charged by weight per 100 pounds, or CWTs. The cost per CWT ranges based on the event and the type of shipment. Items that require special care, such as fragile items, are billed at a higher rate.

This comes as a shock to many, but drayage costs are typically some of the most expensive parts of exhibiting at an event. These costs are often fixed and completely unaviodable, so it's important that it's accounted for well ahead of time to avoid surprises. Here are some tips to help you keep drayage costs down:

1. Try to send fewer shipments

If you send multiple shipments, you will be charged for each one, even if they are under the weight limit, envelopes and small boxes included. Send as few shipments as possible. Even better, try to only send one shipment.

2. Prioritize everything

Try to send as few items as possible. If you don't absolutely need to send something for a show, don't send it!

Have any great tips to cut down on drayage costs? Let us know below in the comments!

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