Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New City Logistics Competition for All You Freight Experts

A Chance to Partner DHL - But Everything Comes at a Price
Shipping News Feature

UK - EUROPE – WORLDWIDE – DHL, part of German logistics group Deutsche Post DHL, has good news and bad news this week. First the bad news, as from the 1st January 2012 DHL Express will increase the price for its international express freight products by 3.5% for UK customers whilst the domestic rates will rise 5%. DHL Express adjusts its prices annually, taking into account inflation and rising costs in the 220 countries that it serves. Price adjustments will vary from country to country, depending on local conditions, and will apply to all customers where contracts allow.

Now the good news, in a bid to stay ahead of an evolving environment 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. To this end it has launched an Open Innovation competition on City Logistics. 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 18th October onwards with the final date for submissions 28th November 2011. Entry details will be available HERE.

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.

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.

The three categories can be précised thus:

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 Living. What 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?

So whether you believe your company can assist in improving the flow of freight throughout a city or you just have some innovative ideas you want to impart the new DHL initiative may well be worth looking into. Photo: Screen shot from Virtual City by G5 Entertainment