Event logistics planning should be detailed, especially when it involves air freight. The fact is that both the event and the air freight involved are expensive. Timing is the primary factor. Event logistics can get complicated. Hence, it is best to break down the process into sections and subsections.
– Export -> Documents
– Re-export -> Documents
– Import -> Documents
- Document storage
– road transport
– air transport
– Own staff
– Forwarder staff (co-ordination!)
- Contact and Communication
- One of the key point in logistics is timing. While planning this point, you need to take into consideration:Delays : material supply, lorry arrival or departure, driver drops out, holidays
- Customs : inspection, demand for more papers, bureaucracy,
- Equipment : not available or wrong equipment (pallet-jack too big
Event logistics as a single factor may not be expensive. However, certain elements can increase cost. Make a list of all possible points such as
- Waiting charge – lorry company might charge if the driver has to wait! usually amount per hour or half an hour. add-on!
- Pick up cost – how many lorries will be required?
- Weight Volume ratio – Is the volume factor higher than the total gross weight per package?
- Repackaging – transport can damage packaging. Repackaging might be needed. Airlines don’t accept goods with visible damage
- Replacing transport pallet – if the freight pieces are on pallets and pallets (skids) are damaged, you need to replace them
- Damage to equipment – damage might involve, power failure, equipment replacement etc.
- Communication charges : telephone charges, fax charges, mobile charges are very expensive
Your equipment may be sensitive and expensive. A strong packaging is needed to keep the items safe during transport.
- Sturdy – Use sturdy cartons. Seal the lower part
- waterproofing – not needed but is good to do. Use waterproofing inside the cartons
- Wood – MUST be IPPC standard. IPPC logo MUST be visible. That applies to dunnage, as well. Particle boards are exempt.
- Air Freight Security measure : Seal ALL slits. Any opening is classified as ” in danger of being manipulated”
- Foils : use transparent foils for wrapping the outside. Talk to your freight forwarder. Certain countries demand black foils
- On pallet please : Your freight forwarder cannot move freight by hand. Use pallets so that pallet-jacks can be used for transport
- Dangerous goods : CAUTION: Lithium batteries! talk to your freight forwader. The batteries may not be permitted on passenger aircraft
- No Overhang: freight should fit within the inner area of the pallet!
Customs might order an inspection. The officers do not have much time. They need to inspect other cargo as well. You may not have much time either! Event logistics must go fast. Hence, it is import to not the following points
- Have a list of all your equipment
- In the list give numbers: which item is in which box
- Label the cartons with the corresponding numbers
- Each carton/crate must have a label of
- Ask the freight forwarder if anything special needs to be mentioned on the outside
- Labels must be waterproof and may not fall off the cartons
- Do not attach GPS equipment to pieces (locating purpose) without consulting the freight forwarder. Such equipment may not be permitted by airlines
- Let the pieces carry the event label. so that airport staff can keep the freight together
Outer measurements are the ones that the freight forwarder needs. the sequence is always
- number of pieces
- unit (cm or in)
Round up the measurements. It helps to be on the safe side.
Include the pallet while measuring!
Refer to the floor load tolerance article here, if your equipment includes heavy weight goods
Equipment list is an indispensable document! Make a well organised list.
Number the items and note the carton number which item is in which carton
Include short descriptions Not long names.
Include serial numbers (customs may ask)
4. 0. Customs
What documents does your local customs authority demand?
If you are using ATA Carnet – do NOT damage the metal seal
Is an export permit required? Your Customs Permit authority might need 4 to 6 weeks for issuing the permit. Ask in advance. Keep the original. Make copies
Export Declaration might be needed as per your country regulation. cut off time for submission to customs?
What documents do the customs authorities in the country of destination demand?
Always get in writing. Make a check list.
After the exhibition the freight forwarder at the airport of departure will need to go through the re-export formalities there.
- Make a list in advance of all the requirements. The freight forwarder who exports from your country will have a partner agent in the country of the event.
- Ask for the timing required. Customs offices might close early. You need to know when the freight needs to tendered for customs approval
After the event, your equipment will return. You need to hand over any necessary papers the freight forwarder might need
Keep a list so that you don’t lose time
If freight gets stuck at the customs, demurrage charges will arise! It is almost currency per kilo per day. Between the volume weight and gross weight the higher weight will be taken for calculation
- Arrange for door delivery
- Before signing of the delivery receipt check for damage
- ALWAYS sign off “Received Pending Assessment”.
- Inspect the goods IMMEDIATELY
- Table a letter of liability IMMEDIATELY (Letter of Liability Without Prejudice Pending Claim)
- Report lost items within 7 days or within the limits prescribed in your country.
5. Document Storage
Always store excellent copies of ALL documents in such a way that your staff can access them in the country of destination
Keep the documents on the person. The customs authorities might demand them
- Keep the freight ready before the lorry arrives.
- Waiting time will be charged
- Have one or two pallet jacks ready.
- If your store-room or warehouse has no ramp, you need to inform the lorry company. A tail-lift will be necessary
- Forklift available?
- Is an articulated lorry needed? If yes, can it drive in? Can it dock?
6.1. Air Transport
- Check for dangerous goods!
- Do not use old cartons. If you do, then they should be strong. If they are cartons certified for dangerous goods, remove the signs. Else the airline will refuse the goods, thinking that they are hazardous. Zero tolerance here!
- No overhang on pallets!
- Give the freight forwarder the right dimensions. Airlines check
- Demand the Air Waybill (AWB) from the freight forwarder. It will be a House Air Waybill (HAWB)
- Do not ask the freight forwarder for the Master Air Waybill. It is only for the freight forwarder (contract between two agents)
- Use a reliable airline!
- Ask for the airline and the flight route BEFORE signing the contract!
- Assign roles to your staff.
- Who does what.
- Who accompanies the freight? or When do they fly?
- Who will be available for contact when freight arrives at destination
- Does he or she have the documents, information etc?
7.1. Freight Forwarder
- Who is your point of contact
- His or her contact details: email, CELLULAR phone
- If he not in office who will replace him?
- Contact details of the agent in the country of destination
- Who will be co-ordinating the freight?
- Booking dates confirmed?
- Rooms allocated?
- Event rooms inspected?
- Flooring= Marble or mosaic? If yes, you cannot use pallet jacks. You need carpets or cartons
- Storage facility available?
- Is the storage close to the even rooms?
- Raised threshold? If yes you will have problem rolling in the pallet jacks!
- Closing timings: when can the freight forwarder tender the freight? when can it be retrieved?
- Parking area: can the freight forwarder park his vehicle. He may need time before he can drive off.
- Lifts for large equipment?
- Pallet jacks available at the venue? If not, your freight forwarder in the country of destination has to lend you one or two. charges?!
Have a list of equipment you need
Pallet jack in your warehouse
Pallet jack at destination
Forklift available in your warehouse? At destination?
Power adapters! country of destination will have a different socket size!
Secure boxes with locks (number locks please! Have had stories of keys lost) to store expensive equipment
Mobile phones and chargers!
10.0. Contact And Communication
If communication breaks down, your show can be ruined. arrangements to be made for cases when mobiles phones do not function! Last but not the least Patience!