The event planner called to report that the booth had arrived, but the promotional and food items were on the lam. If my client didn't act fast, he'd have no morsels to distribute in his booth – but plenty of egg on his face.
Exhibiting at a food show without your tasty vittles is like a bride showing up to her nuptials sans wedding dress: It's embarrassing, and guests wag their tongues for years to come. The folks at Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill came within inches of just such a faux pas at the Food Automation and Manufacturing Conference and Expo.
Typically, Golden Krust, a manufacturer and distributor of Caribbean food products, offers trade show attendees yummy samples, including everything from curried goat to jerk-chicken sandwiches. Since it's a family-owned firm, employees often wear many hats. Larry Mead, the company's national sales director and the person in charge of this show, was no different. Thus, in preparation for the event, he opted to hired talent straight from the show's exhibitor kit – specifically a carrier to transport his materials and an event planner to manage deliveries and supervise setup.
Larry's plans started out as smooth as rum punch, but three days before the show opened, the event planner called to report that some freight was missing. Specifically, the booth had arrived, but the promotional materials and food products were on the lam. If Larry didn't act fast, he'd have no morsels to distribute in his booth – but plenty of egg on his face.
Not surprisingly, Larry wasn't about to fork over more cash to a carrier that had not only failed to deliver but also lost his savory snacks. So he went searching for help from an outside source. That's where I came in.
Larry contacted FreightCenter Inc.and asked if we could provide last-minute assistance as well as handle a relatively delicate and refrigerated shipment. The answer was "yes" to each question, as I'd managed both trade show and temperature-sensitive freight in the past.
First, I got in touch with the original carrier and discovered that the initial shipment was unexplainably delayed at a carrier terminal. And even if it was freed up immediately, it wouldn't make it to the venue in time. So our only solution was to arrange for the pickup and delivery of a completely new pallet of products and promotional items before the clock ran out.
Next, I put Larry to work boxing up the necessary product and readying it for shipment. I then hunted down a carrier that could provide refrigerated transport and specifically requested a driver with trade show experience.
After a bit of scrambling, Larry and I got his products to the show in plenty of time for the event coordinator to put the finishing touches on the display and prep the food samples for the attendee onslaught. I was also able to save Larry some cash in the process. Granted, he was out $600 for the first shipment, which I assume he recouped from the carrier later. But our final bill for a rush shipment across 1,200 miles was considerably less than the original tally – much to Larry's relief. What's more, Larry remains a customer to this day, thanks in no small part to our ability to render aid when his apps went AWOL.
— Craig Bowman, truckload logistics specialist, FreightCenter Inc., Palm Harbor, FL