June 25, 2024
International Exhibition Construction Equipment and Technologies

Trade shows are bustling events where exhibitors showcase their latest products and innovations. To ensure a smooth and successful experience, understanding trade show shipping terms is necessary. Familiarizing yourself with these terms can help you deal with the complexities of logistics and avoid potential pitfalls. Here is the essential terminology every exhibitor should know.

Advanced Warehouse

An advanced warehouse is a temporary storage facility where your exhibit materials can be sent before the trade show. This allows for early delivery and can reduce the risk of delays on the day of the event.

Key Points:

  • Early Delivery: Ensures your materials are at the venue ahead of time.
  • Priority Handling: Materials are among the first to be delivered to the show floor.
  • Reduced Stress: Minimizes last-minute complications on the setup day.

Bill of Lading (BOL)

A Bill of Lading is a legal document that serves as a receipt for the goods being shipped. It outlines the details of the shipment, including the type, quantity, and destination of the goods.

Key Points:

  • Shipment Details: Includes important information about the cargo.
  • Legal Document: Acts as a contract between the shipper and carrier.
  • Proof of Receipt: Confirms that the carrier has received the goods in good condition.


Drayage refers to the transportation of exhibit materials from the loading dock to the trade show floor. This service is often provided by the event organizer and is typically charged based on the weight of the shipment.

Key Points:

  • Short-Distance Transport: Covers the movement of materials within the venue.
  • Weight-Based Fees: Costs are usually calculated per hundredweight (CWT).
  • Mandatory Service: Often required by trade show venues for all exhibitors.

Material Handling

Material handling involves the unloading of your shipment at the venue, moving it to your booth, and loading it back onto the carrier after the event. It includes services such as uncrating and re-crating of your materials.

Key Points:

  • Comprehensive Service: Includes all aspects of handling your materials on-site.
  • Specialized Labor: Utilizes skilled personnel for safe handling.
  • Booth Delivery: Ensures materials are placed directly at your exhibit space.

Target Date

A target date is the specific date and time by which your materials must arrive at the trade show venue. Meeting this deadline is critical to ensure your materials are delivered on time and avoid additional fees.

Key Points:

  • Critical Deadline: Ensures your exhibit materials arrive when needed.
  • Avoid Late Fees: Helps prevent additional charges for late deliveries.
  • Scheduling: Allows for proper planning and coordination of your shipment.

Marshalling Yard

A marshaling yard is a staging area where trucks and shipments are queued before being allowed into the venue for unloading. This helps manage traffic flow and ensure a smooth delivery process.

Key Points:

  • Staging Area: Temporary holding area for trucks waiting to unload.
  • Traffic Control: Helps manage the flow of vehicles into the venue.
  • Organized Unloading: Ensures efficient and orderly delivery of materials.

Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarder is a third-party logistics provider that arranges the transportation of your exhibit materials. They handle all aspects of shipping, from documentation to coordinating with carriers.

Key Points:

  • Logistics Expert: Manages the transportation process for your shipment.
  • Documentation: Handles necessary paperwork and customs requirements.
  • Carrier Coordination: Works with multiple carriers to find the best shipping solution.

Return Shipping

Return shipping involves the logistics of getting your exhibit materials back to your business after the trade show. It’s important to plan this to ensure a smooth and timely return.

Key Points:

  • Post-Event: Covers the transportation of materials back to your facility.
  • Prearrangement: Planning ahead ensures no delays in return shipping.
  • Reliable Carrier: Choose a carrier experienced in handling trade show returns.

Simplify Your Trade Show Logistics with D/C Export & Domestic Packing

Understanding the essential trade show shipping terms can significantly improve your event logistics. From ensuring timely delivery to managing material handling, being familiar with the terminology helps you communicate effectively with your logistics providers and event organizers.

For expert trade show shipping services and support, contact D/C Export & Domestic Packing at (800) 985-7225 or email websitesales@dcexport.com. Our comprehensive trade show services cover everything from packing and transportation to on-site handling and post-show logistics. Let us handle the logistics so you can concentrate on showcasing your products and growing your business!