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Today’s Pickup: Busting out at Home Delivery World; Smiley keeps lips zipped in San Bernardino

The staff of the Home Delivery World conference (Photo: Twitter/HomeDeliveryWorld)

Good day,

If there’s a conference that’s gaining momentum, it’s Home Delivery World (HDW). From a launch with just 200 attendees in 2013, last week’s 7th annual conference in Philadelphia drew more than 2,500. For 2019, HDW left its prior venue, Atlanta’s smaller and architecturally challenged AmericasMart, for the larger confines of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Yet it still wasn’t enough. Speakers whose presentations took place along the rim of the exhibit hall had otherwise solid and relevant content drowned out by the cacophony of exhibitors and attendees. Roundtables comprised of as many as 15-20 attendees each were so informal that they sometimes seemed chaotic. The Internet connection in parts of the hall was slow and unreliable.

Right now, HDW is chasing its tail, the tail being the surge in B2C deliveries that virtually everyone is trying to figure out because there is no roadmap. The conference will grow along with the inevitable increase in the segment. In addition, it will likely need more exhibit space as the focus on home delivery shifts to heavy goods and the larger trucks utilized to haul them.

In a reflection of the growing global interest in home delivery, the conference will hold its first European show next March in Amsterdam. For its U.S. and presumably future European shows after next year’s, the challenge for HDW will be to create a satisfying experience for  attendances that will be far larger than what it had in Philly.

Did You Know?:

That the average damage rate during delivery for large-format items ordered on-line is 21%, according to UShip.


“We are no longer in the delivery business. We are in the customer experience business. In order to transform the experience, we as an industry need to throw out almost everything we know about last mile for heavy goods, and rebuild it around the customer.”

—Darren Waxman, chief customer officer of delivery firm Pickup, on the growing demand for last-mile delivery of large-format items ordered online.

In Other News:

A Russian transport IPO

Rustranscom, a Russian rail freight transportation firm, plans to list its global depositary receipts (GDRs) on the London Stock Exchange in what would be the first initial public offering by a Russian firm since 2017. (Reuters)

UK logistics firm enters maritime trade

Logistics company Maritime Transport has officially launched an intermodal business supporting maritime trade. DB Cargo UK unveiled two branded Class 66 locomotives to mark the start of a 10-year contract to operate daily container trains from Southampton and Felixstowe to inland terminals on Maritime’s behalf. (Railway Gazette)

Uber tried to buy Lyft 3 years ago

Times, and circumstances, have certainly changed. (Inc.)

China freight demand stays solid

The total freight volume transported in China grew 7.1 percent to 51.5 billion tonnes in 2018, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. (Xinhua via Hellenic Shipping News)

The coming 5G revolution and its impact on transport.

How the latest-and-greatest speed could change how the business operates (Greenbiz)

Final Thoughts: wields its influence in myriad ways. Take, for example, San Bernardino International Airport. In mid-February, the San Bernardino Sun broke an article about the airport, in conjunction with industrial developer Hillwood Enterprises, Inc., developing an air logistics center. The Sun story added that the center was working with a launch tenant and that it could likely be Amazon. Given that California’s Inland Empire is the nation’s biggest distribution complex, this seems like major stuff. It also makes a great deal of sense for Amazon to capture the pole position at the facility. The airport authority issued no press release on the project. Neither the authority nor Hillwood returned FreightWaves’ phone calls or e-mails to talk about it. Nearly two months on, nothing other than the Sun article has been made public. What gives? What likely gives is that Amazon has zipped up its partners and imposed radio silence on the project. For those familiar with Amazon’s modus operandi, this is nothing new.

Hammer down everyone!

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.