Recap: DHL Innovation Challenges 2016

Our challenges in 2016 reflected two rising trends in the logistics industry – the need for greener, more sustainable logistics solutions and the need for automation to simplify and improve logistics operations.

The DHL Fair & Responsible Challenge and the DHL Robotics Challenge to prototype a last-mile delivery cart garnered strong interest from innovators from around the world that were eager to contribute new concepts and approaches. Within just four months, we received more than 100 submissions from over 30 countries spanning six continents.

Submissions came in from a great range of creative minds, including solo entrepreneurs, startups, research institutes, and engineering and design students. Today, DHL is actively helping the winners of last year’s challenges realize the ideas they pitched at the DHL Innovation Day on November 17, 2016.

DHL Fair & Responsible Challenge 2016

For the 2016 DHL Innovation Challenge, we focused on the important trend of Fair & Responsible Logistics – Creating Sustainable Logistics Solutions for the World of Tomorrow.

Three finalists were selected to pitch their ideas at the DHL Innovation Day.

These were Anne Gross from the Bauhaus University of Weimar for her idea “Air Parcel” – an inflatable parcel that can be used for multiple deliveries; Rahul Gujarathi from TUM Create for his idea “Eco Line” – a mobile parcel locker concept for public transport networks; Siva Rajendran from Totus Power for his idea “Circular Battery Logistics” – creating sustainable logistics packaging to facilitate the repurpose and reuse of e-batteries in developing countries.

Industrial design student Anne Gross was ultimately awarded as the winner of the 2016 DHL Fair and Responsible Logistics Challenge. DHL will help Anne bring her idea into the DHL Innovation Centers and test the potential to develop her idea into a proof-of-concept.

DHL Robotics Challenge 2016

Three finalists were selected to pitch and test their self-driving delivery cart prototypes live at the DHL Innovation Day.

These were startup Effidence from France, research institute BIBA from Germany and a team of budding engineers from the Technical University of Graz, Austria.

The three teams competed in the live challenge and the winner of the DHL Robotics Challenge 2016 was awarded to Effidence whose self-driving follow-me collaborative robot has since been tested at several DHL Supply Chain operational sites. Effidence has also been given permanent exhibits at the DHL Innovation Centers visited by over 10,000 logistics and supply chain professionals each year

We would like to thank all participants who submitted their time and effort towards both DHL Innovation Challenges and look forward to more innovation ideas in 2017!