Global shipping can be a minefield of red tape and corruption not to mention the time factor involved when shipping to an event or tradeshow. Someone’s job could depend on it (literally). Imagine for a moment you are a marketing manager tasked with getting the company’s latest gizmo to a tradeshow in Dubai. Your company is counting on you to make sure the “star of the show” arrives on time and within budget. By the way this event just became much more high profile since the CEO will be there along with 50 of your top company sales people will be on hand to witness the unveiling. Better get to work, right?
The first step is to go to your corporate logistics department, right? Wrong! In our experience shipping for events and tradeshows is very different from most company’s corporate, day to day logistics process. The hurdles are not only higher but they are altogether different. The right answer is to reach out to someone who knows events and knows tradeshows. Not only that but also knows how they work outside the US and Canada.
Shipping to events and tradeshows overseas is very different from shipping to shows in the US and Canada. There is no such thing as a general service contractor like GES or Freeman and most of the time there is no “advanced warehouse”. The other problem is customs clearance. Your general cargo forwarder is not usually in tune with who the appointed onsite freight forwarder is and therefore they will not have inside knowledge about the requirements including all deadlines and specific types of import customs regulations for that specific country. ATA Carnet, Temporary import bond, permanent vs. temporary import are all foreign to most general cargo forwarders and you most likely don’t have the time for them to “go to school” on these subjects. So, what to do, what to do?
The answer is to reach out to an event logistics expert like AMR Group. If you don’t know anyone in the field its best to rely on your trusted colleagues from the industry to provide referrals. If you don’t have access to a network of colleagues then it may be of benefit to ask the show organizer for a referral or visit the website of the professional trade association for exhibition logistics professionals called IELA (International Exhibition Logistics Association) at www.iela.org. There you will find a list of professionals who can help you.
Trust is important because someone’s job may be on the line. Trust is important because your company reputation could be damaged and the outcome may affect future sales. Trust is important because it helps relieve some of your fears of the unknown.