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4 Vital Things to Consider When Comparing Shipping and Event Shipping Bids

One of the most important steps in choosing your shipping and event logistics partners is evaluating the myriad of bids submitted after you send out a request for proposal (RFP). You want a logistics provider that will deliver your goods safely on time without setting you back financially.

Choose AMR Group for Your Shipping & Event Logistics Needs

There are a lot of logistics providers in the United States dealing in both domestic and international freight. It can, therefore, be a challenge having to go through the many different bids before choosing what is good for you and your client. So, what do you consider when comparing these unique bids to ensure you get the best partner for your shipping business? Consider the below aspects when comparing bids from your potential events and logistics partner.

Compliance with Necessary Requirements

Your bid sheet is a list of wishes you would like fulfilled. An event logistics partner who is keen on providing the best of service will strive to meet all the specified requirements you put out on your list. Checking for compliance is specifically helpful when filtering a large number of bids.

You need to ensure your potential logistics provider, or even your current one, meets all the quality requirements required for the job. It is also vital to check the bidders comply with both commercial and legal requirements, like licensing and insurance.  This will help you decide how suitable a bidder is for you by gauging the readiness to which they do what you ask of them.

Price

Typically, the bidding comparison process is aimed at finding an event logistics partner that offers a combination of both cost-effectiveness and value. You have to protect your bottom line while still ensuring you provide quality services to your clients.

You don’t necessarily have to settle for the lowest bid as is the norm. It could signify desperation on the part of the bidder, which may expose you to poor services. You should be aware of how different providers charge so you can have a precise estimate on the best value.

Bid Presentation

A well put together bid is clear and leaves nothing for the assumption. A quality bid will reflect all your requirements and clearly outline all the details about the different aspects of the logistics process. Although making a decision based only on the bid presentation may seem shallow, it goes a long way in making the whole process easy.

The more detailed a bid is, the higher the level of accuracy which shields you from unforeseen budget shocks in the future. It also gives you a candid picture of the proposal, so you know what to expect when you finally sign the contract with your preferred logistics partner.

Inclusions and Allowances

Every shipping and events logistics bid has primary requirements. However, some services may not be included by bidders to achieve the desired low costs.  Some offer large allowances which may end up leading to high additional costs. It is critical to check these aspects to ensure you get as close an estimate as possible, so you don’t miss out on essential service chasing cheap offers.

Checklist of Important Costs to Keep in Mind:

  1. Does the international shipping quote include costs for on-site material handling and drayage? An experienced event forwarder usually includes this up front.
  2. Does the international shipping quote include the type of customs entry to be performed? You can save money by doing a temporary import if the circumstances are right. Your shipping partner should ask you questions about this if they know what they’re doing.
  3. Does the international shipping quote include costs for storage of your empty crates and packages during the event? Normally, this is a necessary (and expensive) need for international trade shows.
  4. Does the international shipping quote cost include some information about the international exchange rate or currency used? Currency rates fluctuate often and sometimes, these changes drastically alter your cost.
  5. Does your shipping quote include cargo insurance as an option? Many companies don’t offer custom-crafted insurance policies to cover your goods during shipment AND during the trade show.

Contact AMR for Your Shipping & Event Logistic Needs!

The success of your goods’ delivery depends on the choice of your shipping partner. Contact AMR Group today at 702-800-6385 for all your shipping and event logistics needs both in the US and worldwide. We are proud of our long-standing track record of shipping products around the world with no failures.

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The Benefits of Partnering with an International Freight Forwarder

When you are trying to get your trade show or event exhibits shipped overseas, you need the help of an international freight forwarder. There is a lot that goes into exporting and importing good that can make the logistics very challenging to handle if you aren’t familiar with the process. That’s where AMR Group comes in. With years of experience in the industry, we understand what’s necessary to facilitate the shipping process, saving you a lot of time and trouble.

How exactly can an international freight forwarder help with shipping your trade show and event exhibits? Here are just a few benefits you will enjoy when you choose to work with AMR Group.

The Benefits of Partnering with an International Freight Forwarder

Navigating Customs

If you have ever traveled internationally, you know how frustrating and time consuming it can be to deal with customs. What makes the process even more challenging is every country has a different set of specific procedures that must be followed. This means it’s a new experience every time you need to ship somewhere different.

AMR Group very familiar with dealing with customs, which allows us to streamline the process for you. We know exactly what documentation you need and what must be done to ensure customs compliance, so you are never left worrying you did everything right.

Global Tracking

With so many stories about packages getting lost in shipping, it can be a bit unnerving to have your trade show and event exhibits traveling around the world, and you don’t even know exactly where they are. Our team of experts gives you peace of mind by offering around-the-clock tracking. You can watch the progress of your goods all the way from the warehouse until they reach their final destination. You can rest easy knowing where your exhibits are and they are on track to arrive right on time. We also keep in touch with you every step of the way.

Simplicity

When it comes to shipping products around the world, there are a lot of “moving parts” that come into play. Trying to effectively manage all of these parts is a big job. It takes a lot of time to compare prices and negotiate services. We will be your one point of contact, handling all of the moving pieces for you.

Problem Solving Solutions

Even in the best circumstances, unfortunately unforeseen problems can arise during shipment. You might not know what to do when your packages are rerouted or delayed, but an international freight forwarder knows exactly what to do in order to get things back on track.

Savings

Because we work with a high volume of air freight, sea freight and truckloads, our team is frequently able to negotiate lower terms with carriers. As a result, you gain all of the benefits of working with an international freight forwarder while also enjoying savings on shipping you would be unable to negotiate on your own.

AMR Group has been a trusted international freight forwarder since 2011. We ship trade show and event exhibits to over 60 countries, including Mexico, China, France, UK, and Russia. We can handle everything from small boxes to large crated exhibits or products. We are proud of our long-standing track record of shipping products around the world with no failures. For more information about our services, contact AMR Group at 702-800-6385 or info@amrworldwide.com.

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The U.S. Exhibitions Market Is a True International Market

The United States Exhibitions Market is home to a diverse variety of industries, locations and cultures. Each of the 50 states offers various convention platforms and exhibition venues that fit the needs of every industry. The busiest and largest convention centers are located in Las Vegas, NV; Orlando, FL and Chicago, IL, with Chicago’s McCormick Place being the largest at 2.6 million square feet.

Culturally, the venues span from fast-paced, big cities, like New York, to rural settings at country fairgrounds. Venues for exhibitions and trade fairs are strategically located in places where many international influences in language, entertainment and food can be found. Below is a brief look into the U.S. exhibition market.

Let AMR Group Handle Your Exhibit Shipping Needs

Lots of Ports of Entry
There are many ports of entry in the U.S. where freight can be shipped; the challenge is knowing which airport or seaport to ship to for the intended destination. The destination climate can also affect the success of the event, with conditions like heavy rain, blizzards and hurricanes causing delays and even cancellations in the past.

Ocean Shipping
If you are planning to bring in a full container via ocean freight, you need to plan early to avoid delays from bad weather or missed schedules by the vessels. However, you can still experience delays due to customs inspections, which may require your merchandise to be stored at the port for extra days.

Balancing between the arrival of the container and date of delivery without having to incur extra charges can be a daunting task. This is because the seaport only allows for 5 free days of storage before you have to move it. If the show provides an advance warehouse, it would be better to move the freight there, although you will incur additional handling costs from the general contractor.

General Contractors
Most shows in the U.S. are handled by a general contractor, such as GES or Freeman. The contractors handle your shipment upon arrival at the exhibition venue whether you are taking it directly to the stand or to the advance warehouse. Normally, they have set tariffs they directly bill to you for the services they provide.

When delivering directly to a venue, the contractors usually provide a marshalling yard where the truckers check in and receive a number and wait to be called to the venue to offload. This helps in relieving congestion that would otherwise occur in convention centers with limited space for the trucks. You should, however, be ready for long waits that last anywhere from a few hours to a whole day.

Targeted Move-In
Targeted move-in refers to a schedule some contractors provide of how goods should be delivered to the show, complete with specific dates and time. Delivering out of the stipulated time results in extra charges, which is why delivering to the advance warehouse is a better choice. If you are not comfortable with the delivery date, you can apply for it to be changed by the contractor.

Forced Freight
Forced freight occurs when a carrier delays collecting the goods from the event’s venue. When this happens, the contractor moves the freight to a designated storage location and then, charges you for the service.

Usually, forced freight happens due to the Bill of Lading for the trucker or Material Handling Agreement, being filled out incorrectly or not at all. To avoid this, you should make sure to submit the right carrier details and destination address the agent has matches the one listed by the exhibitor.

New Truck Regulations
The costs charged by carriers have increased due to fuel surcharges and a regulation that took effect in 2018 requiring drivers to digitally log their hours. This has limited their operating hours, forcing carriers to book team drivers to ensure goods arrive at the intended destination on time. The resulting driver shortages has led to increased costs of transportation.

Types of Entries
Different entries are filed at customs for different types of goods depending on the type of material and purpose. In the case of exhibition goods, you can opt for Consumption entries, TIB’s or ATA Carnets, which are the most used entries for commercial goods not for sale in the U.S. Although a TIB and an ATA Carnet are both valid for one year, you can extend the TIB for up to 3 years.

Early Planning and Communication Is Key

It is common to make last-minute requests or tender shipments late, which is why early preparations are important. You need to research extensively about the shows and venue to plan accordingly. You can find information about your shows here. The more information you have early, the more likely the success for you and your customer.

AMR Group is here to help ease the burden of exhibit transportation and event logistics. We’ll ensure your shipment arrives on time at the right location. Contact us today at 702-800-6385 for more information or to request a rate.

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Get the True Vegas Experience by Checking Out These Hidden Gems

NAB beckons thousands of visitors to Las Vegas every year. After a long day of exhibits, leave the showroom floor behind you, and explore the best of Sin City. Here are some of the best hidden gems you won’t read about in your hotel brochure.

Classic Favorites

Explore These Las Vegas Hidden Gems During NAB Show

The Golden Steer

Opened in 1958, the Golden Steer is the oldest steakhouse in Las Vegas. You’ll feel like you’re part of the Rat Pack as you sit in the same red leather seats stars like Elvis, Sinatra and Muhammad Ali sat in while you enjoy the Best Steaks on Earth®.

Pamplemousse Le Restaurant

At Pamplemousse Le Restaurant, tradition never goes out of style. You’ll be transported to late 70s Vegas the minute you step in the door. One of the most romantic restaurants in Las Vegas, Pamplemousse serves classic French cuisine by candlelight, making it the perfect place for those who are traveling with their partners.

Hugo’s Cellar

Located inside Four Queens Hotel & Casino, Hugo’s Cellar is another local favorite for romantic dining. The experience begins with a long-stemmed rose for ladies and continues with delicious signature cocktails and cuisine, featuring tableside preparation of salads and specialty desserts. Sink into a comfortable booth, and enjoy a fine dining experience that is both romantic and fun.

New and Different

Rose. Rabbit. Lie.

Rose. Rabbit. Lie. is a modern take on the social clubs of the past. Watch a modern cabaret show while you dine on reinvented American classics. Their motto is to “be strange, but not a stranger.”

Sake Rok

Located outside the T-Mobile Arena, Sake Rok is not your average sushi bar. At this nightlife hotspot inspired by Japanese pop culture, expect the unexpected as servers who double as performers offer live entertainment in the form of lip-sync and dance performances. As the night progresses, this not-so-ordinary sushi restaurant transforms into a bar/lounge with a lively MC to keep the party rocking.

The Best Bars

The Griffin

The Griffin is a dimly lit, European-pub-style bar. Low-hanging chandeliers, wood-paneled walls and real fire pits create a cozy, intimate environment, perfect for a laidback night out. If you’re looking for something livelier, the back room transforms into a separate bar around 11:00 p.m., with a live DJ and all-night dancing. The Griffin offers something for everyone, whether you want to dance the night away, or chill with a cocktail by the fire.

The Laundry Room

If you’re fortunate enough to visit the Laundry Room, located next door to Commonwealth Bar on Fremont Street, you’ll definitely feel like you’re getting away with something. Access to this prohibition-style speakeasy is only available via a hidden door and to those with a reservation. In order to request a reservation, you must text your request to 702-701-1466. Reservations are not guaranteed, but if you do secure one, you’ll be able to partake in one of Downtown Las Vegas’s most exclusive experiences.

Ichabod’s Lounge

The perfect spot to kick back and relax with a cocktail, Ichabod’s Lounge is home to 24-hour dining and gaming, with live music nightly at 6:30. At this vintage-style piano bar, you’ll hear covers of classic artists like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennet. The restaurant and bar areas are separated by glass to allow a designated space for smoking and non-smoking.

Artisan Hotel Boutique

Artisan Hotel Boutique is a small, gothic-style hotel that doubles as an art gallery. Paintings and photos fill the walls and ceilings, and the dimly lit foyer filled with candelabras and ornate statues will make you feel like you’ve stepped into Dracula’s castle. With Las Vegas’s No. 1 after-hours lounge open 24/7, locals love the Artisan for its unique atmosphere that exudes mystery.

Not Your Average Shows

Zombie Burlesque

It’s 1958, and zombies have taken over. Zombie Burlesque grants a rare chance for the living to get a glimpse of zombie culture. A live band backs talented dancers in this hilarious depiction of a world where the living and the undead coexist.

Absinthe

Absinthe at Caesars Palace is not your parent’s cabaret show. This 90-minute show features a unique mix of circus, burlesque, and vaudeville acts. You’ll laugh at the outrageous comedy and witness jaw dropping feats of danger.

Opium

Step aboard the OPM 73 spaceship, and enjoy the galaxy’s biggest hits while you travel from Uranus to Las Vegas. Opium is an adult-only variety show that gives a nod to science fiction movies. You can purchase dinner packages starting at $95.

Purple Reign

If you’re a Prince fan, you’ll love this tribute show that takes you back to the era that propelled him into international superstardom. The show recreates some of Prince’s most memorable performances and portrays the energy and charisma of “The Artist” in his prime. Purple Reign is an energetic show that has locals and visitors alike buzzing.

These are some of the best local attractions in a city that’s brimming with a history often overlooked. If you’re traveling to Las Vegas for NAB this year, be sure to check out a few of them. For assistance transporting your exhibit items to and from the show, contact AMR Group at 702-800-6385 today.

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THE SCOOP ON HANJIN SHIPPING LINES BANKRUPTCY

Last Friday, a federal judge granted Hanjin temporary protection from vessel arrest and asset liens. A U.S. bankruptcy court in Newark, NJ is scheduled to rule this Friday, when the temporary protection order expires, whether to extend Chapter 15 privileges which protect Hanjin assets from seizure and ships from arrest.

There are currently five Hanjin ships now stranded off U.S. coasts. Three are located outside Los Angeles-Long Beach (LA/LB), one is outside of Savannah, and another is waiting to call the port of New York-New Jersey (NY/NJ). When the vessels eventually berth, importers will find stark differences in how much they have to pay to get containers released. The different approaches are already evident in how ports are handling stranded import containers. See below for information by port complex and other information regarding the impact to U.S. exports and equipment:

LA/LB and NY/NJ

In Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey, which are landlord ports, the private-sector terminal operators decide if they will allow a vessel to dock at their facility and how and when to release laden import containers. In most cases, they are demanding that beneficial cargo owners pay them up front for cargo-delivery charges before they agree to release the containers to truckers.

The Port of Long Beach reported Wednesday that Total Terminals International (TTI), which is jointly owned by Hanjin and Terminal Investment Ltd., reopened for delivery of imported containers to truckers, as long as the beneficial cargo owners paid the terminal delivery charges up front, but no vessels were docked at TTI. The port could not say why the terminal was refusing to accept Hanjin ships.

U.S. marshals have seized the Hanjin Montevideo at Long Beach at the behest of fuel suppliers owed nearly $800,000, according to local media. The Hanjin Greece, which had been anchored outside the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex earlier in the week, is now in Mexican waters to use reserve fuel not allowed in U.S. emissions control areas that mandate low fuel sulfur content.

Hanjin had three vessels at anchor or floating off the Southern California coast on Wednesday, but the vessels did not dock at TTI in Long Beach or at any terminal in Los Angeles-Long Beach. The Southern California terminals reportedly were awaiting a final ruling from the New Jersey bankruptcy court on Friday before taking on the expense of working the vessels.

Savannah

In Savannah, by contrast, the operating port manages the marine terminal, and the Georgia Ports Authority is not charging Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCOs) to release Hanjin containers. It also isn’t charging demurrage on exports that were slated to sail on Hanjin. The Georgia Ports Authority noted that it is not consignees of Hanjin cargo at fault for the Korean line’s plight.

Charleston

To the north, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has waived the non-vessel delivery fee for export loads out-gated. At the Port of Charleston, an operating port, import loads discharged on or after Sept. 1 will be placed on hold until such time as all SCPA charges are settled. The SCPA will collect all port and throughput charges totaling $350 per container from the BCO/responsible party with authorization required from Hanjin.

Prince Rupert, Canada

The only North American port to actually work a Hanjin vessel on Wednesday was Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The Canadian port began discharging containers from a Hanjin vessel on Wednesday. The Hanjin Scarlet had been anchored off the coast since Hanjin filed for bankruptcy protection last week.

U.S. Exports

Most U.S. terminals are refusing to load Hanjin export containers onto vessels. The terminals will release the export containers to truckers, once again if the BCO pays the terminal delivery fee upfront. The BCOs then have the Hanjin containers trucked to their warehouse where the contents are transloaded into containers belonging to other shipping lines, and those containers are then delivered to the terminals where those lines call.

Containers

Truckers at ports such as Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey are bracing for fees that terminal operators are charging for demurrage, which is the cost of storing containers on a terminal after free time has expired, and detention or per-diem fees, which are charged for the late return of containers to the terminals after they have been unloaded at BCO warehouses. Some truckers and BCOs claimed that unusually large demurrage fees were being levied by the Maher terminal in New Jersey.

Chassis

Another residual impact of the Hanjin bankruptcy is the impact it is having on chassis availability, especially in Southern California. Fred Johring, chairman of the Harbor Trucking Association, said thousands of empty Hanjin containers are sitting on chassis at warehouses and parked on streets throughout the region, in effect taking those chassis out of service because terminals are refusing to accept empty containers at their facilities. This number represents almost 10 percent of the total chassis pool in Los Angeles-Long Beach, aggravating a chassis shortage that already exists during the peak-shipping season, Johring said.

For guidance and with regard to your shipments, please stay close to our operations and pricing teams. Please understand that the first available space option is most likely the best one.

AMR Group is diligently working to find alternative shipping solutions to these issues, and we will continue to monitor the market and provide updates to you accordingly.

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Trust in an uncertain world. Finding a qualified event logistics forwarder is key

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.

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Brazil Welcomes ATA Carnet Program

rio-olympicsJust in time for the largest sporting event in the world Brazil has started accepting ATA Carnets for temporary importation of professional equipment and exhibitions.  The use of this type of internationally recognized document (which allows goods to enter the country on a temporary basis without paying heavy import tariffs or duty and tax) will be limited as the program is rolled out around the country but, we hope its introduction will encourage foreign participation at Brazil’s hundreds of events and tradeshows each year.

Brazil hosts many international cultural, political, sporting events, conferences, and trade shows every year. By adopting the ATA Carnet system, Brazil is making it much easier for U.S. exporters to participate and exhibit at these events. Brazil is the largest economy in South America, the 8th largest in the word and the United States’ 11th largest goods export market. Modern infrastructure and facilities as well as a population of 193 million makes this market very attractive to U.S. exporters and investors.

AMR Group can arrange ATA Carnet’s for our customers as well as guiding your event and tradeshow shipments to their final destination on time, every time!  Brazil’s announcement should reduce transit times and costs in the future.

With this great news we look forward to providing you with ATA Carnets to Brazil! Contact AMR Group Inc today and be the first to enter Brazil on an ATA Carnet! You can reach us at +1-702-800-6385 or by email at info@amrworldwide.com.

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Cargo Insurance – a strong consideration

Liability is a word often used in the shipping industry and is the main reason one should consider obtaining Cargo insurance when shipping and especially for tradeshows.

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Supply and Demand in Logistics

When it comes to US exhibitors shipping full truckloads both to and from domestic tradeshows we frequently get asked why the rates are not always the same since it is after all the same distance. In the interest explaining why, it is most easily explained by the single biggest contributing factor which are “markets”.

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