The logistics behind national stadium tours

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Over four million tickets sold. 151 shows. Nearly $1B in revenue. Hydraulic platforms, laser lights, pyrotechnics, fireworks, jumbotrons, multiple shape-shifting stages – that’s Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in a nutshell. After each show, it’s all carefully packed onto trucks and sent to its next stop, creating one of the most technical and overwhelming logistics challenges night after night. There’s no room for error. How do they do it? 

Shomotion, a trailblazer in the concert logistics industry, is one of the companies behind the Eras tour, and many other top stadium tours. We spoke with Michael Scherkenbach, CEO of Shomotion, to delve into Shomotion’s unique journey, from Michael’s roots in his family trucking business to becoming the wheels behind some of the top entertainers in the country.

A family legacy

Scherkenbach thinks fondly of his early days helping all facets of the family trucking company in Chicago. He cut his teeth there, and his own experience in trucking informs how he runs Shomotion. 

Shomotion’s niche is the intricate world of hauling staging and structures, with a particular focus on football stadium tours. The company first stood out by hauling for smaller artists and relishing in their rapid growth. Shomotion leverages DAT’s load board to reduce deadhead miles, find extra business in the offseason, and price their services competitively.

Concert hauling presents unique challenges and perks. There are unique complexities with transporting large and intricate components, often requiring custom cargo securement systems and extra safeguarding from theft. As you’d imagine, there’s not a large theft market for stages or pyrotechnic displays – there isn’t a very active black market for stages. 

Shomotion’s journey through the concert and entertainment space is marked by impressive clientele, including Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Coldplay, and Metallica. 

DAT: A key to Shomotion’s success

Scherkenbach acknowledges DAT One as a game-changer from both carrier and broker perspectives. “It’s a competitive advantage to use DAT – it makes us so much more efficient,” he said. Despite losing entertainment contracts in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, DAT products enabled Shomotion to find business and continue operations successfully. They buoyed their business by carrying loads found on DAT One, biding their time until it was time for concerts to resume. 

Eventually, the world opened back up, and the summer of 2023 saw some of the world’s top entertainers hit the road to reconnect with their fans after shutdowns, which led Shomotion to where they are today: The road warriors behind Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. 

“Talent in this industry is sourced from all over the world – you get to meet awesome people,” Michael said. Scherkenbach’s team was the recipient of Swift’s famous $100K bonuses over the summer. 

Shomotion’s innovative use of DAT products echoes the rhythm of success in the logistics industry. Their ability to navigate challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and remain agile positions them as a trailblazer in the ever-evolving world of transportation. 


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