Your trade show booths, banners, tents, lighting and other display items are crucial to the success of your trade show appearance. They can help you attract people to your booth, convey the information you need to convey and stand out from the other presenters at the show.
Imagine if you arrived at your next trade show only to find that your display, which you shipped to the show, got damaged during transport. If the damage is minor, you might still be able to use the display, but it may not be as effective. You might also need to invest extra time and money in repairing or replacing damaged items. How can you avoid such a situation? The answer is by using shipping cases.
What Are Shipping Cases?
Shipping cases are containers designed for shipping, transporting and storing event exhibit items such as graphics, banner stands, collapsible displays, lighting and other accessories, full-size exhibits and more. They’re typically made from hard plastic and feature secure latches and straps that ensure they remain closed.
Some shipping cases are designed with a specific display product in mind, while others are designed for more general use. They come in a variety of sizes and may have room for just one item or everything you need for your exhibit.
Certain cases are made for shipping using typical ground shipping services such as UPS and FedEx. Other, larger cases are meant for national and international freight shipping via truck, train, ship, air or some combination of these methods.
Why Use Shipping Cases?
Why should you use shipping cases for getting your display items to your next event? Here are some of their benefits.
1. They Protect Your Investment
You’ve invested in high-quality materials and spent time designing the perfect graphics for your exhibit. Of course, you want to protect your investment. Even if you purchase especially durable materials, shipping environments can be rough, and items could become damaged during transport — that’s a risk you don’t want to take. This fact becomes especially apparent once you consider the money you spent on going to the trade show itself. Without a quality exhibit, your trade show trip likely won’t be as fruitful.
One of the main advantages of using shipping cases is that they help protect your display items from damage. Shipping cases are designed to keep your displays safe during transport. If you use a shipping case, you can be confident that your item will be in good shape when it gets to the event location. Using cases can also help extend the life of your displays over the long term.
2. They’re Perfect for Shipping and Storage
Shipping cases are useful for all sorts of transport, including standard ground shipping and freight shipping as well as just putting your displays in your company or personal vehicle. In addition to shipping, cases also help to protect your display items while you’re storing them. With display cases, your exhibit items are always protected.
3. They Help You Stay Organized
Many shipping cases have room for multiple graphics and display items, which enables you to keep all of your exhibit features together. Doing so makes it easier to ensure you have everything you need and helps you avoid losing parts of your display. Shipping cases give you a simple, organized way to store your exhibit items.
4. They Make Transportation at the Event Easier
Not only do cases make shipping safer and easier, but they can also help you to transport your display once you get to the event. Many cases have handles and wheels that make it easy to transport your exhibit to your booth’s location. They also enable you to keep everything in one container, so instead of carrying multiple items, you just have to focus on getting that one case where it needs to be.
5. They Look Professional
When you roll up to your next trade show event with a sleek-looking, high-quality case designed specifically for your exhibit, you can be sure you’ll look professional. You can also be confident that your exhibit will look professional since it will still be in perfect condition after transport.
6. They’re Durable
High-quality shipping cases are designed to be durable and last a long time themselves in addition to extending the life of your displays and graphics. Many even come with a one-year limited warranty.
Features of Shipping Cases
Shipping cases come with a range of features that help make them secure, convenient and versatile. Here are some of the features you’re likely to find on a shipping case.
Many shipping cases come with built-in wheels that make it much easier to transport the case around convention centers and other event spaces. This feature is common on standard shipping cases, but you’re not likely to find it on freight shipping cases.
If your case doesn’t come with wheels, you can use a trolley roller, a device with vertical bars and wheels, or a similar piece of equipment to transport your display. A lightweight trolley roller, for example, is made specifically for Hopup™ and Embrace™ displays.
Many shipping cases also come with sturdy handles you can use to carry them. These handles are typically designed to be easy to grip so that you can safely and comfortably carry your display items.
Some cases, such as the OCE expandable case for Formulate® display products, are expandable, so you can adjust the size according to your needs. As a result, you can use the same case for various display sizes and minimize the shipping space you need.
4. Straps and Latches
Many shipping cases use locking latches and secure reinforced straps to help keep your items safe. These features ensure that your case doesn’t accidentally open during transport, which could lead to lost or damaged items.
5. Case-to-Counter Conversion
Some cases are also designed to be converted into counters that you can use in your event exhibits. Optional roll wraps and stretch wraps are available for these types of cases. To convert one into a counter, you simply wrap the graphic around it, covering all or most of the case. You can then use the case as a sturdy and visually appealing counter within your exhibit.
Choosing the Right Shipping Case
Wondering which type of shipping case is right for you? Here are four things to consider when you’re selecting a case.
1. Display Type
The type of displays you need to ship is one important factor. Some cases are designed specifically for a certain type of display, and if you choose one made for your display, you can be sure it’ll fit perfectly. Others are made for more general use. Before buying a case, check its dimensions and compare it to the dimensions of your display items.
Some cases are also designed to ship multiple items together.
2. Shipping Method
Also consider the shipping method you plan to use — namely whether you’ll use UPS, FedEx or freight shipping. For longer-distance shipments, especially international ones, you may need to use freight. UPS and FedEx also have weight limits for their standard shipping services. Typically, the weight limit for standard shipping is 150 pounds. If you’re planning to use this method, make sure the combined weight of your items and case is below the limit.
You’ll also want to keep the size of the items you’re shipping in mind. Cases come in a variety of sizes. Choose one that fits your display without too much extra room to keep your shipping costs down. Items may also move around and get damaged in a case with extra room that isn’t packed carefully to prevent movement.
4. Portability Needs
Decide how important portability at the event is for you. If you’re using a standard shipping case, you have the option of wheels and handles to make it easier to move the case around the event space.
Popular Models of Shipping Cases
Here’s a selection of some of the most popular shipping cases you can get.
1. OCX Standard Wheeled Display Case
The OCX is a roto-molded shipping case designed for Coyote Popup displays. It has built-in wheels and a handle to enhance its portability as well as heavy-duty latches and a locking mechanism to keep your displays secure. The hinged lid has storage space for lighting built in. It also has graphic or fabric wrap options available so that you can convert it into a counter. It’s designed for standard non-freight shipping. Its interior dimensions are 23.5″W x 35.75″H x 13.07″D, and its exterior dimensions are 26.73″W x 39.49″H x 17.05″D.
2. OCA-2 Lighting and Accessory Case
The OCA-2 is a hard-molded case designed specifically for lights and accessories. It features secure straps to ensure it stays closed and is designed for non-freight shipping. Its interior dimensions are 32.81″W x 4.13″H x 13.75″D, and its exterior dimensions are 34″W x 7″H x 15″D. Its shipping weight is approximately eight pounds.
3. OCE Expandable Case
The defining feature of the OCE is the fact that it’s expandable. To adjust the case, you simply undo a latch on the back of it and pull the top part of the case upward. This process can adjust the height from 40″ to 64″. The OCE is designed to fit a variety of Formulate display products, including exhibit kits and hanging structures.
This case’s other features include built-in wheels, a sturdy handle and an optional stretch wrap graphic that enables you to turn your case into a professional-looking counter. These features make the case one of the most versatile on the market. Its interior dimensions are 13.75″W x 39.63″ to 64″H x 11.75″D, and its exterior dimensions are 16.75″W x 39.88″ to 64.25″H x 16.88″D. It’s designed for standard UPS and FedEx shipping, and its shipping weight is approximately 24 pounds.
4. OCS Small Graphic Case
The OCS small graphic case is perfect for storing and shipping rollable graphics and other display products. This blow-molded case has premium latches and a push-and-turn locking mechanism to keep the lid secure. To make it easy to transport, it features easy-to-grip molded handles as well as built-in wheels. It’s designed for standard shipping and has interior dimensions of 14″W x 39.81″H x 13.25″D, exterior dimensions of 18″W x 43.25″H x 16.5″D and an approximate shipping weight of 20 pounds.
5. OCB Banner Stand Case
The OCB banner stand case is designed for shipping a wide variety of banner stands as well as Formulate Lite displays. This hard molded case is adjustable and can fit banners of up to 39″ in length and 47.5″ in width. It can hold as many as three swivel-foot banner stands with bags or a bag and a premium stand. It’s designed for standard shipping. Its interior dimensions are 13.5″W x 30.29″ to 45.14″H x 5″D. Its exterior dimensions are 18.12″W x 34.49″ to 54.24″H x 7.40″D, and its approximate shipping weight is 14 pounds.
6. OCFM Freight Case
The OCFM freight case is an ideal case for freight shipping large exhibits. It has a maximum case depth of 8″, which allows you to transport up to eight flat panels in each case. Secure, reinforced straps ensure that the case stays closed during transport. It also has an interlocking surface that enables you to transport two cases together. Its interior dimensions are 35.75″W x 9.75″H x 47.25″D, its exterior dimensions are 38″W x 15″H x 49″D and its approximate shipping weight is 35 pounds.
7. OCT Orbital Curved Truss Case
The OCT is a large, round case made for freight shipping. It’s designed for general purpose use, and its heavy-duty build offers maximum protection for your display items. This case is stackable and can be moved using the built-in casters or a forklift. Its interior dimensions are 43.5″W x 33″H x 47.25″D, its exterior dimensions are 51″W x 48″H x 42″D and its approximate shipping weight is 138 pounds.
The SCRATE is a large, box-shaped, roto-molded case designed for general purpose use and freight shipping. This stackable case is perfect for shipping large exhibits as well as 4 x 4 panels and can fit as many as 24 layers of 4 x 4 panels at a time. It features heavy-duty lockable latches to help keep your items secure. Its interior dimensions are 50.81″W x 49.18″H x 25.12″D, its exterior dimensions are 59″W x 57″H X 33″D and its shipping weight is approximately 119 pounds.
Shipping Cases From SpeedPro Imaging
SpeedPro is your source for high-quality shipping cases for a wide variety of trade show display items, including popup displays, backlit displays, banners, exhibit kits and more. At SpeedPro, we also provide trade show display products themselves and have a wide range of products available. We specialize in large-format printing and have the equipment and expertise needed to create your display products to your exact specifications. We’d love to work with you and help you find the right solution for your next event. To get started, find your local studio today.