Understanding Exhibition Freight Charges

By Sandra Desouza
| 22nd August 2019

There are numerous elements involved in the exhibition shipping process; successful shipping requires knowledge of the documentation required and an understanding of the exhibition freight charges itemised in your quotation.

Certain freight contractors may include all potential costs, whilst others refer to them as exclusions or additional charges. Some do not provide certain services at all, leaving you to make other arrangements at your own cost.

A reputable forwarder will have no issues with providing you with an itemised breakdown of their charges, this enables you to compare quotations against others like for like and understand which quote provides the best value for money.

To give you an idea of the potential freight charges you can expect to see within your quotation, we have outlined some important factors that could impact your final charges.

Size, Weight and Volume of Cargo:
Chargeable weight will be whichever is the greater, the actual weight or the calculated volumetric weight. The size and weight of your cargo can both impact the cost of shipping.

Type of Cargo:
These costs will be dependent on any special handling requirements; perishable, dangerous, hazardous etc, and depending on the nature of cargo, the required permits and licences needed in place prior to shipping.

Carrier Costs:
The chosen mode of transport will have a bearing on costs and transit times, with seafreight being the cheapest with longer transit times, and airfreight the most expensive with shorter transit times. The distance and cargo routing will also affect shipping costs.

Consolidation / Independent Shipments:
Consolidated shipments will always be a cheaper option than despatching an independent shipment, as many costs are shared with other shippers for Sea, Air and Land.

Palletisation and Packaging:
Another outlay is when loose cargo is re-packed or palletised by the shipper to ensure goods remain consolidated and safe during transit, again the final repacked size and weight will impact costs.

Documentation Costs:
Arranging import and export documentation will incur applicable processing and administrative fees.

Insurance Charges:
Insurance for coverage and protection of cargo in transit will be an additional charge and usually can be secured via an independent broker.

Destination Costs:
It is important to understand and budget for destination charges and the services provided by the appointed local agent and third-party contractors, these are in addition to the transportation and handling charges incurred in country of origin. Certain charges vary greatly, depending on the location of the event and can be value based with minimum charges imposed.

Additional Surcharges:
Fluctuations in currency, carrier fuel costs, war and security surcharges, early storage fees, late arrival surcharges, demurrage penalties, additional waiting time when unloading/loading and weekend/overtime surcharges will be charged accordingly.

Administration Costs:
When organising, co-ordinating and managing the different elements of the shipping process, an administration charge is usually levied to cover costs involved. Using the services of a freight forwarder will save you time and hassle and provide you with their professional advice in order to save costs.

Additional Costs:
These can range from unpacking and repacking exhibition equipment, processing courier shipments for export documentation, manufacturing custom-built crates and flight cases for bespoke or out of gauge cargo, fumigation of wooden crates, drayage charges at US shows, to local duties and taxes for any items imported on a permanent basis usually billed at a later stage once known.

As with any service, you will find good freight forwarders, average freight forwarders and bad freight forwarders. However, accreditations can be a good benchmark of quality standards. Premier Showfreight are ISO 9001:2015 and certified by BSI we pride ourselves on supporting our clients, being transparent with our charges and always advising the best way forward.

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