DHL Innovation Award 2010: Innovative ideas for logistics recognized

* Deutsche Post DHL honors most innovative customers, scientists and employees for the third time
* Awards presented as part of the DHL Innovation Day

The DHL Innovation Center honors innovative logistics solutions.

For the third time in a row, Deutsche Post DHL officially recognized pioneering logistics solutions with its DHL Innovation Award. The award ceremony was held yesterday as part of the DHL Innovation Day, an all-day event with “Space for Solutions” as its motto. The award was presented in three categories.

Tetra Pak, the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company, received the award for the most innovative customer; Dr. Ing. Stephan Mayer from the Technical University of Karlsruhe and Professor Helmut Baumgarten from the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) received the award for the most innovative scientists. The DHL Innovation Award 2010 for the most innovative employee went to a team from Japan: Keinosuke Miyazaki and Keishi Yamada from DHL Supply Chain.

“Future-minded, innovative logistics solutions are one of our top priorities and I am glad to see that our customers and employees feel the same way,” says Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL. A total of 45 patents for the Group were registered in 2009 alone. “With our DHL Innovation Award we want to promote new developments and practical solutions and at the same time, highlight our pioneering role in the logistics industry.” At the event, Appel officially recognized the award winners and held a laudatory speech in honor of the most innovative customer.
TetraPak: Sophisticated distribution center

The most innovative customer award is presented to companies that have implemented one of DHL Deutsche Post’s process or product innovations in the early stages of development, so-called “early adopters”. Tetra Pak is the Group’s first customer to have established a regional distribution centre in Shanghai, China, to cover its operations in Asia. Working with DHL, Tetra Pak set up a sophisticated Regional Distribution Center (RDC) in Shanghai combining bonded and non bonded warehouse solutions for the company’s spare parts business.
“Flexförderer”: Automatic re-routing without central infrastructure

The prize for the most innovative junior scientist was awarded to Dr. Ing. Stephan Mayer for his invention of the “Flexförderer”, a flexible conveyor system. The system runs on modules controlled remotely without a main computer or another central infrastructure. Should a malfunction occur in one of the segments, the system automatically finds an alternative route, thereby avoiding conveyor operation coming to a halt.

While the DHL Innovation Award recognizes a junior scientist for a practical logistics solution, Prof. Helmut Baumgarten received the senior scientist award for his life’s work. Baumgarten has been an influential force in the logistics industry over the past decades. He served as Vice-Chairman of the German Logistics Association (BVL) for many years and he also co-founded Germany’s first university department for logistics at the TU Berlin.
New container protects heavy goods

This year’s award for the most innovative employee goes to Keinosuke Miyazaki and Keishi Yamada. Both employees, who work in the Logistics Technology Design Department at the contract logistics specialist DHL Supply Chain in Japan, are responsible for developing the “Heavy Weight Returnable Container” and the “Air Protector”. Patents for both these developments are pending. The container is designed to protect large transports by fusing together two sheets of urethane, which is an environmentally friendlier alternative to plastic. The “Air Protector” protects sensitive transports such as IT servers from damage by using specially designed air pillows.

Before the award ceremony, experts from politics, science, associations and the logistics industry gathered at the DHL Innovation Day 2010 to discuss the future of logistics. One of the discussion rounds looked at the question of how the global growth as well as China’s and India’s increasing economic power will impact Europe and the logistics industry. Another discussion focused on the issue of security in logistics, and yet another took a look at dematerialization, or how alternative production processes and modern technology will impact future logistics solutions.