Nov. 21 2006 03:24 PM

In its fourth year, the 2006 Parcel Shipping & Distribution Forum was better than ever



The dreary rain and dismal weather that plagued Chicago the week of September 10th may have delayed a few flights, but everyone who managed to battle the elements to attend the Parcel Shipping & Distribution Forum agreed that the hassle to get there was more than worthwhile.


The Forum began on Monday, September 11th, and attendees chose to participate in one of two pre-conference tutorials that were sponsored by Federal Express. After the morning sessions and luncheon, attendees had the opportunity to tour either CDW Corporation (a leading provider of technology products and services for business, government and educational facilities) or the FedEx ground hub in Carol Stream, Illinois. Both tours demonstrated how simple innovations in both technology and packaging can make these fast-paced, time-critical environments streamlined and more efficient. It was certainly humbling to stand in CDWs warehouse and realize that despite shipping over 100,000 packages a day, the company achieves a rate of less than one percent with respect to in-transit damaged packages. The company operates at a 99% accuracy rate, meaning that 99% of the packages that come through the warehouse every day reach the right recipient, at the right time, in the right condition. Talk about amazing!


Tuesdays and Wednesdays general sessions received rave reviews. This years Forum saw many familiar faces as presenters, but the sessions they presented were anything but common, and attendees loved it. New sessions were the norm this year and covered a wide range of topics. Those attendees who have supervisory responsibilities over their employees gravitated to Mark Taylors Become an Amazing Manager presentation, and he didnt disappoint. As one attendee enthused, Taylor presented information that was applicable to all organizations and all levels of management. Several participants mentioned that they couldnt wait to return to the office and put these tips to good use. Many of the attendees lingered after the session to speak with Taylor, hoping to get some additional insight and advice for the issues that plague them as supervisors.


Meanwhile, with ever-changing rates and regulations, shippers often feel at a loss when it comes to determining their transportation rates and budgets. So its no surprise that Rob Martinezs presentation entitled, Are You Keeping Up with the Joneses? Benchmarking Transportation and Rates was well-attended, and those who came gleaned valuable information and specific examples, which could be put to use upon their return. He gave great information on what to capture, and the quick benchmark in the room was a great interactive example of questions to ask and the benefits [that result], raves Kimberly Cox of Bracco Diagnostics, Inc.



DHL also made a big splash with its $5,000 in free shipping giveaway. Any attendee at the show was able to fill out a card that was entered into the drawing. The cards had a question of the day that attendees were encouraged to answer, although they were not required to answer in order to be eligible for the giveaway. Many chose to answer the question What do you see as the big surprise of 2007? and their answers ranged from humorous to creative to thought-provoking. Someone ventured that PARCEL Editor Dan ORourke would shave his beard (a prospect he immediately shot down), while Rob Martinez speculated that FedEx and UPS would form a monopoly named FedUp. After much laughter over the given responses, the winner was selected from a drawing, and Mark Taylor walked away with the grand prize of $5,000 in

free shipping.


A New Look

We were proud to re-launch Parcel Shipping & Distribution, which is now known simply as PARCEL. In addition to a new, updated look and a dynamic, interactive website, we also introduced PARCELs sister publication, B2Cexpress. As its name implies, its targeted to business-to-consumer shippers, and if the interest demonstrated at the show is any indication, this book will be around for a long time to come.


We Couldnt Have Done It Without You

And, as always, a very special thanks to our sponsors and partners. Once again, Morgan Stanley sponsored the Carrier Roundtable Luncheon, which featured executives from USPS, DHL, FedEx and UPS discussing such hot topics as the newly announced UPS Dimensional Weight Program and the USPS 2007 Rate Case. The United States Postal Service sponsored an outstanding opening-night reception, where attendees were treated to incredible cuisine and a piano performance while networking with new and old friends. We also want to thank our corporate partners USPS, Pitney Bowes and DHL for supporting our mission and the industry.



As they say, Alls well that ends well. The delayed flights and rainy weather were no match for the enthusiastic shipping and logistics professionals who made their way to this years Forum, and they were thrilled at the myriad of information they were able to take back to their respective organizations.


Next years Forum is already in the works and will be held October 29-31, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency OHare in Chicago. Its never too early to get a head start on a good thing, so start making your plans to attend today!