The Singapore Air Show is the largest show in Asia. This year, it had a record number of 900 exhibitors and 145,000+ visitors over a six-day period.
Agility Fairs & Events (F&E) Singapore was the joint Official Freight Forwarding and On-Site Handling Contractor for the show; moving freight, clearing it through customs, insuring cargo, and working on-site to help get equipment into place.
Agility F&E starts working on the show a month ahead of time. For the two weeks immediately before the Singapore Air Show, and the five days after it, up to 50 Agility staff are deployed each day to manage the incoming freight and help customers set-up, and then dismantle their booths and ship equipment back home.
It’s a job that takes extraordinary care, given the sensitivity and expense of the equipment involved. Moving the landing gear of a single airplane, for example, although only the size of a large office desk, can take up to four hours under the supervision of the airplane’s engineer.
It also takes creativity when things don’t go exactly as planned. For example, when the key to a massive truck used to transport aircraft parts to remote locations snapped in the ignition, Agility F&E had to use forklifts to move the truck on-site instead of just driving it to the exhibition grounds. Working side-by-side with the customer on a swelteringly hot and humid day, it took hours to get the truck moved safely into position.
Agility F&E Singapore handles more than 50 shows each year, but the Singapore Air Show is a special one for the team.
“We have to be very careful, very flexible, and very responsive,” said Iskandar Rahim, F&E’s Senior Project Manager. “We work closely with our customers to make sure that everything is handled properly – this is expensive equipment and requires extra attention.” He grins, “But despite the tremendous amount of work involved, it’s a lot fun. We get to see and move equipment up-close that other people only get to see on TV.”