DHL Innovation Day
The annual DHL Innovation Day, which took place in Germany yesterday (7 December), brought together supply chain professionals, entrepreneurs and startups to “reimagine the future of tech in the industry”.
DHL also used the event to announced the winners of its Innovation Challenges.
US-based Vecna won the Robotics Challenge, while the UK-based parcel start-up Parcelly took home the prize in the Sharing Economy Challenge.
For the Robotics Challenge, which was hosted in collaboration with DELL EMC, finalists from Singapore, Switzerland, and the US demonstrated their prototypes live. The robots were designed to autonomously navigate a warehouse and collect boxes of varying sizes from shelves to place in a cart. The winner, the Piece Picking Robot from US-based Vecna, received a grand prize of 15,000 euros, as well as a chance to participate in a proof-of-concept with DHL.
Finalists of the Sharing Economy Challenge also presented their solutions aimed at rethinking the status quo of access and ownership. Out of over 60 submissions from around the globe, Parcelly took first place with its platform that coordinates convenient package drop-offs at local businesses, along with immediate notification and flexible pick-up times.
“We are encouraged by DHL’s openness to logistics strategies that challenge conventional business models,” said Sebastian Steinhauser from Parcelly. “We are absolutely on board with adapting to customers’ changing needs by extending the capabilities at the first and last mile of the DHL network, allowing dynamic on-demand pick up and drop off.”
In a statement issued today (8 December), Matthias Heutger, Senior Vice President DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation, commented: “The pivotal forces of digitalization and globalization are reshaping our world, and DHL is committed to facilitating innovation that prepares us for these changes.”