Highland, Ill. - Over 500 people from over 300 stores in the Highland packing and shipping industry attended the 2019 Retail Shippers Expo in Dallas, Texas in late August. The Expo featured daily breakout sessions, software training, an industry trade show with over 40 vendors, and evening entertainment.
Attendees also heard from special guest speakers Jim Cochrane and Gina Schaefer. Cochrane served over 40 years with the United States Postal Service and currently serves as the Chairman of the Parcel Shippers Association. He asked the attendees if they were “future-ready” and understood the changes coming at them.
One major area where technology has disrupted the status quo is delivery. Cochrane explained how more regional delivery companies have appeared and currently occupy just over 7% of the market share. This is just one example of what he calls the “Amazonification” of delivery, which has shortened the timeline for a package to arrive to better gratify customers. “People start to get anxious when it’s not there after one day,” he said.
Schaefer is the Co-Founder and CEO of 12 Ace Hardware stores in Washington DC; Baltimore, Maryland; and Alexandria, VA. Schaefer grew her company to 11 stores within a 12-year timeframe and now employs 260 staff as part of her multi-million-dollar business. She is passionate about bringing small shops back to “Main Street” and revitalizing urban centers to grow small businesses.
Her challenge to Expo attendees was to constantly ask what works best and to develop core values that will enable their business to grow. The goal is to pilot, prove, and report on what’s working.
There was much excitement during the Expo as a major announcement was pending from the event’s host, Retail Shipping Association (RSA). Since last year’s Expo, RSA worked diligently to achieve a competitive advantage to increase package volume held by the major carriers and their corporate stores. The challenge has always been the number of stores willing to agree to act together under a single brand to get the attention of important retailers like Amazon.
RSA announced at this year’s Expo a new national program called, “PackageHub Business Center,” or PBC. Stores maintain their individuality (logos, name, uniforms, etc.) while following certain requirements that will protect and reinforce the PBC brand. The objective is to improve “last-mile delivery” needs allowing customers to pick up all their packages in one convenient place. This prevents the now common headache of figuring out where to retrieve the package you missed when the first delivery attempt was made.
PBC is still in the development stages. The first goal is to have 500 stores signed up for the program before proceeding. It was last estimated that at least 250 stores were signed up for PBC by the end of the Expo.
The RS Expo is held every year and continues to provide the best environment for learning, growing, and networking with other store owners and operators. Eliot Deters, President, and CEO of the Highland shipping center, The Mail Box Store, said this year’s convention was great. “Over the past 13 years, I’ve had the honor and the opportunity to attend a trade show and an industry training event every year,” Deters said. “The RS Expo this the ear was like none other I’ve attended before. The increased attendance is an excellent sign of what our industry is going towards and I look forward to the future of this industry and being part of something that is bigger than myself.”
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
We are a small, family-owned and operated business based in the Midwest with a variety of services. Our goal is to provide an exceptional customer experience in meeting their printing, packing, and shipping needs.
June 09, 2021 – Highland Printing and Shipping Store Opens Their 50th Store
January 27, 2021 – Local USPS Shipping Store Warning of Backlog and Delayed Shipping Times
December 13, 2019 – Rebranded Store for Packing and Shipping in Highland, IL Opens in O’Fallon, IL
October 23, 2019 – Highland Packing and Shipping Store Managers Gain Knowledge at RS Expo