Successful Shipping for International Events Tips – Temple Rock

November 13, 2019

3 Tips to Successfully Navigate Shipping for International Events

International shipping coordination can be a complex task for even the most experienced project team members. Customs regulations, insurance protocol and transit fees can vary greatly between countries and territories. Having certainty that your production shipments arrive where and when you need them is paramount to the success of your project.


1. Local Sourcing Reduces International Event Costs

International shipping can be very expensive. Although your team may be most comfortable shipping and using all of their own equipment, it may not be feasible to send everything and stay within your client’s budget. Do your research and check to see which items can be sourced locally in the event site city. Not all technology may be available in every country and specific equipment integral to the show or custom client pieces will still need to be shipped, but it’s beneficial to know your options. For the components that must be transported, check with your carrier to determine the service option that best fits your timeline and budget and work with them to follow all customs rules and regulations carefully.

2. Understand All International Shipping Regulations 

Each country has different restrictions regarding what can and cannot be imported and distinct documentation policies for shipping. Enlisting a reputable shipping carrier ensures that you will have the right customs forms to safeguard your products while being exported and imported back into the US, preventing unnecessary delays. An ATA carnet, sometimes called the “passport for goods,” is a globally-accepted declaration document allowing temporary exportation and reentry into the US tax-free for up to one year. Event-specific gear that is covered by ATA carnets includes commercial samples, professional equipment and goods for fairs or exhibitions.

3. Air Vs. Sea Transportation for Global Events

Whether you need your equipment immediately or have time to choose a less expensive and slower method, the transit time ultimately dictates the best approach. While shipping via air is safer, faster and able to accommodate any last-minute additions that may arise for your event, there are size and weight limitations as well as regulations for materials that are considered hazardous. Heavy or bulky shipments will incur significant surcharges and those on the dangerous goods list such as aerosols or pyrotechnics are not permitted by air transportation, period. Shipping your items via sea container may take a month or two to get to your destination. Although sea containers are much slower than air, they offer more capacity and value. Ocean freight is also a greener option as the carbon emissions are trivial compared to air freight.

Temple Rock has produced shows in over 30 countries. We have the connections and expertise to make sure everything you need for your event gets from point A to B and back securely, safely, on schedule and on budget. For more information about international events, check out our 6 Tips to Creating a Successful International Event article or contact us directly.