Tour planning, tour optimisation & trade fair

Trade fair logistics: coordinating dismantling and assembly correctly

Traffic jam in front of the exhibition centre - everything is at a standstill. Trade fair time often also means stress time for the entire logistics. To ensure that set-up and dismantling run smoothly, a good strategy and coordination is necessary even before the start of the fair. This is because classic dock & yard management systems reach their limits when it comes to process optimisation for trade fairs. So what can the organiser do for trade fair logistics? And how can software for route planning help?

Much untapped potential in trade fair logistics

A typical morning on the first set-up day of a trade fair: A hundred articulated lorries try to reach the event site at the same time. Outside the gates, the trucks stand close together waiting to be let in. Especially trade fair sites located in city centres cause heavy traffic in the surrounding streets. There is also a lack of space on the grounds themselves when all the exhibitors want to set up their stands in a small time window. Transport comes to a standstill: traffic jams and logistics chaos cause a lot of frustration and conflict potential for all companies involved.

Great potential for optimisation in planning remains unused. A solution specifically for trade fair logistics does not yet exist. The classic Dock & Yard Management System, which is used for example by food companies and parcel services worldwide, coordinates logistics processes at gates and ramps even before the trucks arrive with the help of time window management and access control on site. However, this system's service is still too immature for trade fair logistics: it cannot implement any other functions such as the spatial distribution of capacities on the site and their rescheduling.

Make proactive arrangements for trade fair logistics

Das Ziel der Optimierung der Messelogistik ist nämlich, ausreichend Platz für Transporteure und deren Fahrzeuge zum Ein- und Ausfahren freizuhalten. Noch bevor das Eventstattfindet, müssen verfügbare Messehallen, Parkflächen im Ladehof und die zur Verfügung stehenden Ladetage bestimmt werden. Finden mehrere Veranstaltungen parallel statt, wird es umso komplexer die Logistik zu planen. Dabei hilft eine IT-basierte Simulation der erwarteten Anzahl der Fahrzeuge und der zur Verfügung stehenden Ladeflächen. Anhand komplexer Parkmusterlässt sich so eindeutig feststellen, wie viele Fahrzeuge unterschiedlicher Größen in der Praxis Platz finden.

Planners should also consider whether there is enough space for a vehicle at a given time when booking. Among other things, the organiser can also stipulate that large exhibitors may arrive three days before other exhibitors due to their longer set-up time. The reservation of so-called VIP spaces additionally offers trade fair companies an offer of interesting extra-pay models.

Calling up vehicles in a targeted manner with the help of planning software

If the organiser also uses route planning software, it is possible not to direct the vehicles directly to the exhibition grounds on set-up day. Instead, the drivers first register at a collective parking area. After registering the vehicles that have arrived, the transporters can be given clearance to drive onto the actual grounds. If disruptions occur, such as a vehicle blocking a parking space, traffic jams or gate closures, those responsible have to reschedule. Each customer should be given a new slot that is as close as possible to the original booking.

As soon as the vehicle arrives at the gate, the driver must present an entry code. Through this code, the dispatcher checks whether a slot is booked at that time. The loading bay manager records all operations to match them with the planning. This methodology fulfils the visit and loading requests of customers at trade fairs and gives them the certainty of receiving the desired time slot. A similar procedure then applies for dismantling, only in reverse order.

After the fair is before the fair

Once the fair is over, important aspects for reporting need to be documented: How many vehicles were on the grounds? On which days did they come? Which loading yards were particularly busy? How many transport delays were there? With this data, the trade fair organiser can analyse how the planning worked in practice. He can use the knowledge gained for his event logistics in the following year.

Software solutions for route planning have more extensive services than a classic dock & yard management system. For example, time management and the coordination of transports can be matched with the available space. This supports exhibitors, their transport service providers as well as organisers and stand builders. By clever pricing of new services, additional revenues can also be generated that far exceed the costs of a software.

Sie sind selbst Messelogistiker und wollen die Organisation Ihrer Events optimieren? Get in touch with us: Together we will work out how the set-up and dismantling for your event can be optimally coordinated.

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Optimise your trade fair logistics with suitable route planning!
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