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Aug. 8 2006 05:12 PM

A dramatically transformed and expanded program of workshops, symposiums and special speakers will be the hallmark of the 2004 National Postal Forum. One of the new features for package shippers will be an all-day Packages Symposium on September 21 and an eight-workshop Package Shipping Track that will be offered over the course of the four-day Forum. There will be no shipping-track workshops during the all-day Packages Symposium so package shippers will be able to take full advantage of both programs. New this year, a Professional Shippers Certificate will be awarded to Forum participants who complete any three Package Shipping Track workshops.
�Package shipping is an important component of business operations across all segments of our economy,� says USPS Package Services Manager Jim Cochrane. �And the landscape is changing quickly. Our offerings at this Forum are designed to keep participants up to speed on the latest industry developments in packaging, transportation, consulting and logistics.�
The Forum � to be held at the exciting, new Washington, DC Convention Center from September 19-22 � will be the first under the new once-a-year schedule. �Moving to an annual schedule has allowed us to strengthen our programs and broaden the scope of our workshops and special sessions,� explains Postal Service�s Marty Emery, manager, Customer and Industry Marketing, who has led the planning activities for this year. �We now have 102 workshops scheduled, of which 66 are brand new. We�ve created two new professional certificate programs, and six in total, which will complement the new workshops. And we�ve developed six targeted day-long symposiums for professionals who want to attend but who have limited time available.�
The symposiums include both Marketing and Government on Monday, September 20, and Small Businesses on Wednesday, September 22. Three symposiums � Periodicals, Packages and Remittance Mail � will be featured on Tuesday, September 21. Each will include interactive panels, industry speakers and special networking events, including receptions. A special general session hosted by Postal Service Chief Marketing Officer Anita Bizzotto and Chief Operating Officer Pat Donahoe will kick off the Tuesday Forum activities.
�Mail is universal,� notes Cochrane, �but package shippers face unique challenges and need specific, targeted solutions. The new symposium program and Package Shipping Solutions Track address those needs.� Also new in 2004 are registration discounts available to early registrants, industry associations as well as organizations planning to send several attendees.
A spectacular lineup of featured speakers, a new general session and an off-site closing reception will help wrap up the final day of the Forum. Wednesday�s main-stage presentation � a general-session luncheon � will feature Tim Russert, managing editor and moderator of Meet the Press. He anchors The Tim Russert Show, a weekly interview program on CNBC and is a contributing anchor for MSNBC. Russert also serves as senior vice president and Washington bureau chief of NBC News. Russert�s a terrific speaker and we�re fortunate to have him as part of the program,� says Emery. He will offer his unique perspective on the ever-changing world and how current events impact daily life.
Also new to the 2004 Forum will be the closing reception on Wednesday evening, which will take place at the Smithsonian�s National Museum of Natural History. The museum will be closed to the public for the event and Forum attendees will have exclusive access to exhibits like the Hall of Dinosaurs, the Hope Diamond and a special traveling show on the history of baseball.
Packages Day Symposium
The first-ever Packages Day Symposium at the Forum will be on September 21. Hosted by U.S.  Postal Service Vice President for Product Development Nick Barranca, the symposium features nationally known executives from the country�s leading retailers, consolidators, shippers and logistics managers participating in panels, speeches, discussion and networking.
Attendees will hear how these experts developed strategies and tactics to meet the challenges facing their companies. They will also be invited to join their peers at a private luncheon where keynote speaker Ralph Moden, USPS senior vice president for Government Relations, will provide an inside-the-beltway look at issues facing the Postal Service and the shipping industry today. Forum participants will explore the mailing industry�s largest exhibit hall, with its unique learning labs and its one-of-a-kind NASCAR race simulator. They�ll finish Packages Day at a special networking event hosted by Barranca.
The focus of Packages Day will be four interactive industry-focused panels.
� The Future of Retail, Internet and Catalog Sales � In this provocative panel, executives from, JC Penney, Cabela�s and other leading retailers will discuss changing business models, marketplace strategy and their visions of the future of retailing, including their strategies for customer retention, cost containment and revenue generation.
� Package Applications for Priority Mailers � Packaging is an integral component of fulfillment operations for large corporations. In this panel, packaging industry top executives from Cenveo, Inc., DuPont, Weyerhaeuser and others discuss trends and innovations in packaging materials and supply chain management. Participants will learn how the U.S. Postal Service and industry partners are working together to enhance the eco-effectiveness of our packaging products and processes through economically sound and environmentally responsible business decisions. Shippers will benefit from a discussion of the strategies and applications for Express Mail and Priority Mail packaging and custom packaging options for volume mailers. They will also gain insight into the future of expedited packaging, packaging inventory and supply chain management options for their companies.
� The Benefits of the Consolidator in Package Shipping � Many large companies use a consolidator for package shipping and returns solutions. Consolidators team up with the U.S. Postal Service through such programs as Parcel Select and Parcel Return Services to provide competitive shipping alternatives. Businesses realize value pricing, increased convenience and enhanced package intelligence by leveraging the advantages consolidators offer. Top retailers and executives with industry-leading consolidator companies will lead this discussion.
� Solutions in Transportation and Logistics � Transport-ation and logistics solutions are critical business elements for shippers in today�s marketplace. This roundtable features experts discussing future trends within the air and ground transportation industry as well as the evolution of supply chain management processes. The nationally known business consultants on this panel are quoted in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fortune Magazine, Air Cargo World and the Journal of Commerce. Participants will learn what transportation changes are on the horizon and what they need to know to reduce shipping costs, improve service levels and grow business.
Package and Shipping Solutions Track Includes Professional Shippers Certificate
This track � which includes six brand-new workshops � is designed to help package mailers make important choices that can improve the efficiency of their shipping operations, control shipping costs and meet their customer�s expectations for service. Just ask Betsy Brockman, supervisor of Mailing Services for Secura Insurance of Appleton, Wisconsin. �I found the package shipping workshops I attended at the last National Postal Forum to be very beneficial,� says Brockman. �I gained important insights into shipping and billing practices that have enabled me to maximize my mail center operation over the past year. I look forward to participating in the new programs that will be available at this year�s Forum.�
Participants selecting any three of the workshops in this track will receive the Professional Shippers Certificate to formalize their learning experience. The workshops leading to this certificate will cover the critical decision areas such as price versus time-in-transit, how to select a mailing system, information requirements, tracking capabilities, packaging materials and much more. The workshops available in this track include:
� Avoid Those New Hidden Shipping Charges! � The commercial carriers announced a whole round of new (and higher) �accessorial� charges earlier this year. And if you�re like many shippers, all these new charges are wreaking havoc with your shipping budget. Did you know that these add-on costs have more than doubled over the last five years? This all-new, informative seminar will show you concrete steps to reduce or even eliminate many of these new �stealth� charges. Learn valuable tips from some of the nation�s leading shipping experts!
� International Package Shipping � Whether you are considering going global or you are a seasoned expert, this session is for you. Hear how you can grow your international business and reduce your shipping costs through USPS Global Delivery Services. Learn how international postal products and services can be customized to meet your specific company�s needs and help you achieve success in the global marketplace.
� It�s a Wrap: Package Options for Shippers � In this session, the audience will learn all about packaging products including Polywrap certification for parcels and issues surrounding Soft Paks. There will be a discussion of packaging products available including new flat-rate and pre-paid options. Custom packaging solutions will be presented as well as an overview of packaging products� environmental impact.
� Package Tracking Information to Improve Fulfillment Operations � The new, �smarter� barcode can help you trace, track and bill your packages. It�s easy to use and it will make you look like a hero! Delivery Confirmation is available at no charge to Parcel Select and electronic rate Delivery Confirmation. This session will show you how to use this information to improve customer service, measure the performance of your shipping partners and manage your return operations.
� Parcels & Manifesting � Learn new package shipping opportunities to use the Postal Service to support delivery of your products and to get the best value on your business dollar. The session includes �manifesting� � the most practical way to manage all your parcel postal needs.
� Pick, Pack & Ship: Smart Shipping Solutions � In this session, the audience will learn everything they need to know to have an efficient shipping operation that saves time and money and provides shipping tools that lead to the best shipping decision based on cost, features and time in transit. APIs, vendor solutions, software options and RFI will be discussed. The session will also cover package preparation requirements and systems.
� Returns Solutions � In this session, the audience will learn about the new Parcel Return experiment with an overview of the benefits and the requirements necessary to be part of this exciting, new program. The latest enhancements to the Parcel Select program will provide the audience with the latest on this excellent workshare opportunity. Online returns solutions will be discussed at length.
� Deadly Shipping Practices & How to Avoid Them � It seems when we look at controlling shipping costs, analyzing and negotiating is where we start. Often businesses disregard simple best practices that can mean huge savings. Whether you ship a few packages a day or a few thousand, this seminar will uncover little known procedures that, if overlooked, will cost your company big money.
Package shipping is big business for your business, and there is no better opportunity than this one to brainstorm strategies with the best and the brightest in the logistics, shipping, manufacturing, retail and service industries. In the ever-changing transportation and logistics arena, yesterday�s best value could be costing you time and money today. Late September is a beautiful time to visit the Nation�s Capital, and this trip will pay for itself many times over. So wrap up your registration and start packing!
Visit to access detailed information on the 2004 National Postal Forum schedule and information on the Washington, DC area. For other inquiries, call the National Postal Forum at 703-218-5015.