Moving show to a new venue can be challenging from a logistics point of view, as EN Editor Saul Leese discovered when he caught up with CEVA Showfreight, who delivered SPE Offshore at P&J Live for Reed Exhibitions.
CEVA has been long been associated with SPE Offshore (SPEO) but this year its move from its traditional host; the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) to TECA – The Event Complex Aberdeen sponsored by P+J Live, created a whole host of new challenges.
Exhibitors and contractors had become accustomed to the old venue, how it worked and the do’s and don’ts. As a result, CEVA had to rewrite the ‘rule book’ from scratch.
CEVA, Reed Exhibitions and the venue began planning the logistics operation 10 months out, and even held meetings, whilst the new venue was still a building site. They agreed on traffic flow direction, signage, storage areas, loading bay protocols, access points for vehicles, locations of offices and services desks and technical information such as floor loading specifications. In fact, CEVA were ‘guinea pigs’ and they found themselves creating an operational blueprint for the venue that is now being used for other events.
Head of operations at CEVA, Chris Hughes, said: “All this information had to be incorporated into a logistical guide that was distributed to all exhibitors. It was a huge amount of work and not something you could simply cut and paste. It sounds easy but at every turn there was a new challenge. We’re good at overcoming obstacles but some of the roads and car parks hadn’t even got a name, which was completely insane.”
As SPEO drew closer, CEVA’s dedicated team were on hand to answer calls from bewildered exhibitors who were confused about logistical changes.
The smooth running of any event logistically is often determined by waiting times and vehicle transition from the lorry park to the unloading areas. To reduce congestion onsite CEVA decided to buck their usual trend, and create a vehicle reception away from the new venue. Chris adds: “We produced vehicle passes and provided directions to all drivers. On arrival at TECA CEVA traffic staff guided vehicle to the correct loading doors scanning the relevant paperwork along the way. This allowed CEVA via its VRS system to monitor all movements, transition times, as well as time spent at unloading areas. The system provides invaluable information to the organisers post show as CEVA could identify busy peaks in vehicle movements, how long any vehicle was onsite and where the busiest areas were during build up and breakdown times.”
CEVA also faced some unusual and large-scale challenges at the event including a crated robot exhibit originating from the US which needed to be intricately positioned in the middle of the hall. Due to the value and high levels of activity on surrounding stand the exhibitor wanted this exhibit delivered as late as possible for installation. CEVA’s heavy lift experts were called in to devise a safe route of passage, and a complex lifting plan.
Another extremely large exhibit, a 12 tonne subsea vessel was also challenging to get to a stand. After liaising with the onsite health and safety team, to ensure the most effective route was selected CEVA’s heavy lift team produced a method statement, which saw a 16 tonne forktruck supported by an expert banksman carefully navigate the gangways through the busy hall to its final stand destination.
CEVA, who have been around for 25 years, specialises in event logistics to organisers and exhibitors and offers a multimodal transport solution (road, sea and air) designed to take the hassle out of exhibiting by offering a door to stand service.
CEVA Showfreight handles over 100 official logistics appointments around the world in a wide range of industries. Events include The Farnborough International Airshow, Integrated Systems Europe, TEFAF (fine art exhibition) BBC Gardeners World Live and The Crufts Dog Show. As well as direct organiser appointments, CEVA Showfreight includes the like of Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Sony, Epsom and Schlumberger as key accounts.
International exhibitors rely on CEVA to arrange all necessary customs formalities and once the freight arrives at onsite CEVA’s expert handling and heavy lift team will arrange unloading and final delivery to stands. In addition, CEVA operates empty case service ensuring exhibitors packing cases are collected from stand during build up and returned swiftly once the event has finished in order to facilitate breakdown.
So what makes CEVA different?
Resources – CEVA is a global company with significant resources. Operating in over 160 countries across 1000+ locations. Thanks to CMA CGM’s recent acquisition of CEVA the above numbers have increased significantly.
People – CEVA has industry experts in every area of our logistics delivery. The average experience of their 8-person management team is over 20 years. They have array of passionate personnel that that have many years of experience and who are well known throughout the industry.
Technology – CEVA Showfreight was the first UK exhibition logistics company who went totally paperless. This was done by creating a back office system called Showmate that was totally dedicated to the event industry. It allows CEVA to produce instant information about a shipment, its whereabouts and allows forktruck drives to secure a digital signature using PDA technology. Working in realtime also allows CEVA to schedule work accurately, reduces forktruck movements onsite, produce daily job sheets as well as instant invoicing.
Health and Safety – Ensuring safety at work for CEVA staff and all other stakeholders is their number one priority. Utilising state of the art equipment, investing in developing skills and training their staff whilst utilising accredited safe systems of work ensure they stay ahead of the game.
Quality – CEVA Showfreight have official accreditations in the areas of H+S OHSAS 18001, Quality 9001 and Environmental 14001. These are the bedrock of everything they do and form the framework of their delivery.
Compliance – CEVA we are committed to conducting their business in full compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements, as well as observing the highest ethical standards.