The fourth annual Parcel Shipping & Distribution Forum took place September 11-13, 2006 at the Hyatt Regency in Rosemont, Illinois. This year’s forum featured more than 470 small-shipment logistics professionals who took part in three full days of educational seminars, special events and a one-of-a-kind exhibit floor.

‘Considering all that has taken place in the industry over the past year through consolidation and bankruptcy, there was a lot of food for fodder’, explains Joel Dunkel, president, EventEvolution Management Inc. producer’s of Parcel Shipping & Distribution Forum. ‘All that change led to some great conference sessions and great dialogue in our special events like the Carrier Roundtable and Shipper Summit’, said Dunkel.

The Big 4 took center stage at the annual Carrier Roundtable luncheon which featured executives from USPS, DHL, FedEx and UPS. Hot topics included the newly announced UPS Dimensional Weight Program and the USPS 2007 Rate Case. Another area of discussion revolved around this issue of drivers or lack thereof. With B2C volumes growing aggressively, both the national and regional parcel carriers expressed concerns about hiring enough quality drivers to handle the volume.

As a counter to the Carrier Roundtable, Parcel Shipping & Distribution Forum introduced a new featured called; The Shipper Summit. The summit featured executives from Crate & Barrel, CDW Corporation, Claire’s Accessories and Collections Etc. Moderated by Dan O’Rourke, editor of Parcel Shipping & Distribution, the summit allowed attendees an open forum to ask a wide variety of questions of a panel of the their peers.

Federal Express sponsored two all-day pre-conference workshops that featured educational sessions followed by site tours of the FedEx ground hub (Carol Stream, IL) and CDW Corporate Headquarters (Vernon Hill, IL). ‘We received a tremendous amount of positive responses from the more than 70 attendees who took part in the pre-conference workshops and tours and we look on expanding on the program in 2007’, said Dunkel.

In terms of the exhibits, the exhibit floor featured forty-seven companies which was an increase of (14%) from 2005 with square footage growing by (10%). Parcel Shipping & Distribution Forum once again partnered with the United States Postal Service (Official Transportation Partner), Pitney Bowes (Official Logistics/Transportation Management Partner) and DHL (Official Global Supply Chain Management Partner). The philosophy of dedicated-non-compete exhibit hall hours provided attendees and exhibitors with ample uninterrupted quality time to do business. ‘Thank you for a great show. We were really pleased with the contacts we made and thought it was very much our time and money’, explained Andra Knapek, Spee Dee Delivery.