DHL launches first Open Innovation competition on City Logistics

Bonn, 10/04/2011, 11:30 AM CEST
DHL delivery vans at highway junction

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DHL Solutions & Innovations (DSI) is aiming to further develop their existing concept for City Logistics in an innovative way.

DHL is the first logistics provider worldwide to start an Open Innovation competition on City Logistics. Open Innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use ideas gathered from a variety of external sources in addition to ones generated internally, as they look to advance their technology. It is already a well-known tool in the automotive, technology and consumer industries.

With this contest, DHL Solutions & Innovations (DSI) is aiming to gather ideas and input from academics, politicians, IT experts and others, to further develop their existing concept for City Logistics in a collaborative and innovative way. With several innovations such as the Consolidation Center, the DHL Smart Truck, the Packstation (24/7 Service Point) and other “green” ideas, DHL is at the cutting edge of the market when it comes to urban logistics.

“With growing cities all over the world, the challenges of city logistics and urban living are becoming more and more demanding. Solutions for decreasing traffic and getting cities greener are crucial for the future. DHL knows that the logistics industry plays a significant role and we want to broaden our approach to City Logistics by also inviting people outside the company to contribute their perspective,” says Steffen Frankenberg, Vice President at DSI. “With the views of others we can better identify the challenges and generate ideas for new logistics solutions. We are asking participants to really think outside of the box.”

Three categories

The Open Innovation competition focuses on three categories: 1. Logistics efficiency in urban areas (operational solutions), 2. Green city and urban living (regulations) and 3. Digital logistics (software and IT solutions). By asking academics, politicians, public authorities and citizens in big cities, DHL will bring together specialists from different fields to discuss challenges and ideas. The contest is conducted via a web-based platform, where ideas and experiences are submitted and discussed in an open forum. The complete platform is open from October 18, 2011, onwards. The final date for submissions is 28 November 2011.

A jury of experts from different fields and backgrounds will evaluate the submissions in December and name the winners of the contest in the first quarter of 2012. DSI’s City Logistics team will moderate the process and together with the experts, identify partners for the development of new solutions for transportation, delivery, IT structures and urban regulations.

Overview of competition categories:

  1. Logistics efficiency in urban areas. What can improve the logistics flows of goods and services in and out of limited environments? What new logistical challenges can be expected in the future? What kind of solutions can be developed to respond to these challenges?
  2. Green City and Urban livingWhat defines a truly green city and what does it take to become one? What are the key challenges a city faces in the coming 50 years, and what kinds of regulations must be adopted to face these challenges?
  3. Digital logistics. Which IT Solutions could improve logistics with respect to traffic management, traffic prediction, warehouse management, etc.? What are the innovative criteria behind these potential solutions? What are smart next-generation IT solutions?


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