The City of Boston contains two major convention centers that play host to a variety of tradeshows and the like throughout the year. The newest one, The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center located in South Boston, opened in June of 2004 and is the largest exhibition center in the Northeastern United States with some 516,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space.
The Hynes Convention Center located in the heart of downtown Boston opened in 1988. With just 193,000 square feet (17,900 m2) of exhibit space, it’s smaller than its younger brother in South Boston, but convention guests prefer it due to its proximity to all the history and tourist attractions Boston has to offer.
The tradeshows rotating in and out these convention centers provides Boston’s economy with a rich and substantive boost; the trucking for these shows is a niche but important facet of the local trucking industry. Products, booths, and other miscellaneous freight have to be shipped in quickly and then packed up and shipped back out again with little turnaround time. More often than not, smaller, local companies with dock-high box trucks (like First Call Trucking & Courier) will handle the pickup at the convention center. They will then deliver the freight back to their own warehouse or an LTL terminal so that a larger truck/trailer can pick up the items and deliver them back to their origination or the next tradeshow in another city. Smaller trucks and companies work better for this type of trucking due to, among other things, their flexibility. A few other reasons to choose a smaller, local company, like First Call Trucking for your tradeshow trucking in Boston are listed below:
1) Detention times at the convention center. If you are a carrier and you are picking up or dropping off at a convention center, you must be prepared to wait. There’s a lot of truck and freight traffic at these events and like any event that draws a crowd, you can expect lines. A LTL carrier with multiple picks and drops for the day will not have time to sit around and wait. If he has to, you as the client paying for his services will likely be charged an exorbitant amount because it means he will be losing part of his load because of waiting for your convention center freight.
2) Traffic in downtown Boston. Boston was not built for cars let alone trucks. Large, big-rig tractor/trailers have major difficulty maneuvering the narrow Boston streets, especially during rush/lunch hour when pedestrian traffic is heavy. Smaller box trucks are better suited for zipping around Boston’s historic downtown area. At First Call Trucking we have a fleet ranging in size from 16ft to 26ft box trucks. Most have lift gates if a loading dock pickup/delivery is not possible or trying to be avoided due to time constraints.
3) Union drivers and most LTL carriers will only pickup standard size pallets. Unfortunately, a lot of tradeshow material is oversized, and/or shipped loose. Best to let our carriers pickup and re-package at our warehouse to insure proper handling and avoid “load refusals”.
4) Corresponding to my previously aforementioned point, most LTL and union carriers employ “no touch” drivers, meaning the drivers will not touch the freight, or help you load it. Frequently when picking up or dropping off at a convention center, this type of added service is needed. At First Call Trucking and Courier, our drivers carry pallet jacks, empty pallets, blankets, dollies, and two wheelers for inside pickups and deliveries. We are always willing to help load and/or unload our trucks and will do everything possible to make your delivery a seamless one.
For general convention center pickup and delivery rate information, see our tariff sheet here: http://www.firstcalltrucking.com/services/area-based-tariff.
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