events on the move vancouver canada

Event Logistics 101

Shipping Tips

  • Know the description of your shipment. Record the size, color and shape of each piece along with a number on the shipping label. This may sound like a lot of work, but when your carrier tells you that only 8 of the 10 pieces are in Toronto, you need to know which 8 they have and, more importantly, which 2 are missing. The description of the pieces (a blue Rubbermaid bin for example) will help the carrier locate the missing piece when they do their warehouse check. In the meantime, you know what is missing and can begin planning for your other option.

    Tip: Record the size, color and shape of each piece and match your description with the number on your shipping label

  • Track your shipment every day. Tracking your shipment is the job of a good freight forwarder. However, if you want be in control, track your shipment yourself – even if it means calling the freight forwarder every day to get an update on the progress. Sometimes your shipments can be tracked on-line. If you are tracking your freight and you see it sitting in a city for more than a day, there could be a problem. This is called a “stalled shipment” and often indicates a service issue.
     
  • Get a Proof of Delivery (P.O.D.). The most important step in the shipping process is the final proof of delivery. This is when the bill of lading gets a signature and the carrier is no longer responsible. When the proof of delivery is you, you are able to verify that everything is in good order. However, when you ask the hotel to do it for you, you are trusting that they will take the time to ensure that all the pieces are there and that there is no damage. It is essential to get the name of the person at the hotel who signed for your shipment.

    Tip: When you’re getting confirmation of the piece count, ask the consignee to actually count the pieces that are in their storage or warehouse, rather than read it off of a bill of lading. It is helpful when you don’t tell the person how many pieces there are supposed to be. This way there is a higher likelihood that they will actually count the pieces.

  • If it is really important – carry a copy with you. There are some documents that are going to be critical to your event or presentation – it could be business cards, presentation folders, registration forms, evaluation forms, awards or certificates. Take one copy of each in your briefcase or carry-on and save a back-up on your computer. This way if everything else falls to bits, you can take that one brochure or registration form to a local printing or copy center.
     
  • Prepare for return shipping in advance. Consider your return shipping before you leave and have the bill of lading pre-filled out (except for piece count). Take your customs documents and complete your return shipping labels. If a Commercial Invoice is required, use the original and cross out what is not being returned. Alternatively, save the commercial invoice to disk or on your lap top for easy updating for your return shipment. Ensure your carrier will not have any problems with the pick up of your shipment at the conclusion of your event.