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moh

Shipping For Show Across Country

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Hi there,

I have a show coming up in June this year in New York.

Got 10x10 booth and need to ship work there since I'm based in Portland.

Anyone have experience shipping cross country for shows? Any carrier you'd recommend?

Any tips?

 

Thank you!

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I've never done it myself, but I've been in shows where the artists come from across the country and many of them need to ship their display/work. All the shows seem to recommend Art in Motion (http://www.artmoves.biz).

 

I know you will need to purchase a shipping crate, and learn how to pack it. I bet Art in Motion can give you advice on that.

 

Good luck!

ChenowethArts likes this

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I happen to be setting up for a big show today. I'm seeing a lot of these rather than crates. It looks like a sturdy plastic pallet with everything secured on with stretch film. Also note that the top box looks a little damaged.

 

post-1612-0-74761500-1487779405_thumb.jpg

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I would build a crate rather than trust cardboard boxes on a pallet. It's not uncommon for the shippers to hit the boxes with the forklift, or to set other things on top. To guarantee that they would survive shipping on a pallet you'd need to pack them as well as for shipping via UPS, and that will waste a lot of space and packing materials. With a good solid plywood crate you won't need to pack them nearly as well since the odd of them ramming the forks through the crate are pretty slim. Plywood sides with 2x4 corners is almost indestructible. Do you have to send your own tables and canopy and all that, too? That would be a lot of crates....

 

Check on if there's a price difference between a pallet or a crate because of size and shape, and if there is then build a crate that will fit on a pallet. If you need to supply your own pallet then go around to the backs of strip malls or business parks and you should be able to find one that someone is getting rid of. I always just leave my pallets out by the dumpster and someone takes them away.

LeeU likes this

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My husband is in shipping logistics. He says you should check with the show, and see if they have a preferred carrier, to start with, as that might 1) get you in on a bulk rate and 2) get you someone who knows what they're doing. If your show doesn't have a prefered carrier, you need to call shipping companies, and asking how much they charge for LTL (Less Than Load). It means you have either a skid or a crate for them to pick up. Be sure to specify you need a closed box (a semi trailer) as opposed to a flat deck, and also let them know they'll be picking up from your residence, and they'll need a power tailgate and a pallet jack. Most couriers will offer this service, so if you usually deal with, say, FedEx, you can call them up and ask for their LTL division (it's different than their express and parcel services). But do shop around: rates and their method of charging you will differ. They will either charge according to the dimensions of your crate or skid (dimensions x their going rate), or by weight.

 

Notes on packing: as said above, it needs to be packed to survive an amateur forklift driver putting their forks where they're not supposed to be at speeds they're not supposed to be driving at. Many people ship skids that arrive at their destinations in one piece, and reputable carriers should top stack a skid (not put anything else on top of) to avoid what happened to the one in Mea's image. This is where finding a reputable carrier is important.

If your trust level is low, building a crate is definitely your best option. Freight companies don't provide them.

Hope that helps!

GEP likes this

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You'll also have to check the timing of your shipment. You can't usually have it go straight to the show once it gets to town: that will be cutting it too fine. You need to allow a few extra days for insurance, in case of bad weather, truck breaks down, etc. Most freight companies will have a few days holding available before it has to be delivered to the show venue, but ask about any storage fees. Does the venue store anything? You'll have to check with the venue about what sort of truck their facility will accommodate (how high is the loading dock, is there a forklift or power jack onsite, do they need a power tailgate, etc.).

GEP and LeeU like this

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I was just chatting with a couple from the west coast who does shows everywhere in the country. They said they now have two booths, one they keep at home and one they store with Art in Motion year-round for east coast shows. This is cheaper than shipping their booth cross-country multiple times per year. You would need to do a lot of shows to make this worthwhile, but I think this speaks to the cost of shipping a display cross-country.

 

She even said "I mean our whole display is from IKEA. It's almost cheaper just to throw it away and buy a new one each time!"

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