Watch “Live from the Forum” 

At this year’s National Postal Forum, GrayHair Advisors hosted a thought-provoking series of “Live from the Forum” panel discussions that were recorded and posted on GrayHair Advisors’ YouTube channel. In this video, the panel discusses the PostalVision 2020 6.0 conference, which was held on March 15 – 16. Moderated by PostalVision’s director of community and brand development Kathy Siviter, the panelists were Jody Berenblatt, GrayHair Advisors’ senior advisor; Brian Bowers, chief technology officer, Bell & Howell; and Dr. Andrew Tipping, a principal at Strategy&/PwC who, leads the U.S. transportation practice. 

At its annual event, PV2020 bring together global industry leaders, visionaries, regulators, innovators, inventers, entrepreneurs, and supply chain experts to engage in the ongoing exploration of the needs of Americans in a future postal system to support the growth of business and ecommerce. GrayHair has supported PostalVision 2020 from the very beginning and recently supported the expansion of the PostalVision 2020 Initiative by becoming a Pillar level sponsor.

This year’s event was called “B2Me – Game Changers” and focused on how B2Me is driving changes throughout the supply chain and postal ecosystem as more controls are placed in the hands of demanding consumers of ecommerce.

In this discussion, Jody describes PV2020 as a “mashup of different stakeholders in the postal sector” a combination of startups and old school companies talking about the current issues. PV2020 is attended by a variety of people with different perspectives from politics, technology, marketing, operations etc. and this mixture of perspectives talking about the current issues makes PV2020 an event that is unique. Jody adds that learning about what new companies are doing and how they’re innovating improves the customer experience.

Brian Bowers gives an overview of a session he moderated called “Innovation and Invention in Transport & Delivery.” During the session, a representative from Workhorse discussed the company’s delivery drone, HorseFly™ and delivery trucks, which feature an all-electric drive train; Starship Technologies discussed its self-driving delivery robots. The session then went beyond these current technologies and discussed where last-mile delivery may be in the next 3 to 5 years: autonomous vehicles that can be used on roads. Bowers also mentions hybrids in which the vehicle is autonomous but a carrier is sitting in the passenger seat getting ready for the next stop. Later in the video, Bowers mentions that ecommerce is only 9% of the total retail volume in the U.S. and that although this number is comparatively small, the delivery world is already “busting at the seams” and the infrastructure already cannot deal with this volume. As a result, parcel lockers and cluster boxes will “definitely be a thing of the future.”

Dr. Tipping notes that tracking today is still about “where my parcel was lost” and is a scanning process that can tell you where a package was. However, with the Internet of Postal Things, there will be products that can deliver continuous tracking and tell you where your package is, which is different, he says.

These are just some of the highlights of the discussion. Click here to watch the full video and be sure to watch these other “Live from the Forum” videos from this year’s NPF on the GrayHair Advisors’ YouTube channel:

To access all the PV 2020 6.0 presentations and videos, click here