Skip to content
Northern Powerhouse European Union

DHL launches sustainable logistics challenge

Global delivery services company, Deutsche Post DHL, has called on universities, inventors and companies to submit ideas for sustainable logistics to support the move towards a circular economy.

Global delivery services company, Deutsche Post DHL, has called on universities, inventors and companies to submit ideas for sustainable logistics to support the move towards a circular economy. 

The ‘Fair and Responsible Challenge’ calls on “visionaries” to submit ideas for innovative and practical business models or technologies that will help to facilitate ‘closed-loop’ services for the logistics sector.

The idea can be anything from a new product to a service solution to a packaging concept, as long as it generates value for society, the environment and businesses.

Competition winners will have the chance to jointly develop proof-of-concept with DHL and share a prize pot of €20,000 (£15,400).

‘Creating shared value’

Bill Meahl, chief commercial officer at DHL, said: “We are convinced that doing well comes from doing good. The challenge is to give fairness and responsibility a business-oriented approach. 

“Our concept is that companies should focus on creating shared value, turning social and environmental challenges into sustainable, fair and potentially profitable business models. The ‘Fair and Responsible Challenge’ aims to find new and innovative ideas to advance this vision.”

A second ‘Robotics Challenge’ calls for ideas to develop a prototype of a self-driving delivery cart that can autonomously accompany staff during ‘last mile’ delivery. The submitted prototypes need to be able to traverse typical urban and rural landscapes at walking-speed while at the same time carrying parcels.

“Our colleagues have to deal with an ever-increasing number of parcels that need to be delivered. As our couriers are currently required to manually push this volume through the streets, we encourage concepts that support our employees”, Meahl said.

How to enter

Entries to both competitions will be reviewed in a pre-selection process based on their functionality, potential to solve the given problem and its perceived commercial feasibility. 

Following pre-selection, a panel of logistics experts will select finalists for each challenge, who then have the chance to present their idea or prototype in front of 180 senior supply chain professionals at the DHL Innovation Day on November 17. Winners will be selected from a live-voting process.

Applicants must submit a written document and video explaining their idea by 28 September 2016. For further information, click here.