The Challenge

How We Deliver, Tomorrow.

Moving goods is now faster than ever thanks to advancements in automation and technology. In an increasingly connected world, the materials handling industry is a silent hero. It provides the equipment and systems that enable the timely and precise delivery of all the things we couldn’t live without. Tomorrow brings even more change: future evolutions but also changing consumer needs and environmental pressure mean the only way forward is innovation.

In this Smart Logistics Challenge, the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) is challenging you to re-think how companies can best make use of Logistics 4.0 to meet the emerging demands of the future.

Come up with a game-changing solution for one of the three real-life cases outlined below and upload your submission. As a finalist you will then get the exclusive chance to join forces with leaders in the industry to polish your concept to completion. Take this opportunity to gain unique insights into some of Europe’s top companies and revolutionise the materials handling industry!

How the competition works

Register icon


Get started and receive detailed instructions
Register here

Conceptualise icon


Develop a solution for one of the cases presented by FEM

Submit icon


Upload your submission by 30 March 2018

Finalise icon


Polish your concept for the final round with the help of an expert jury panel

Get votes icon

Get votes

The public vote for their favourite projects


The Smart Logistics Challenge is open to students from across Europe. Students from the following countries are eligible to compete:

28 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

Non EU countries: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Turkey and Russia.

To be eligible you have to be above 18 years old and enrolled in a university program at any level. Students from the following programs are welcome to submit their work: Business, Engineering, Design Engineering, Software Engineering, Industrial Design and Product Design.

Applicants can participate individually or in teams of up to two (2) members. When competing as a team, you must pick a team leader who will be responsible for the registration and all the communication regarding this challenge.


Choose from any of the following three real-life cases around the theme “Logistics 4.0”, and present your idea for the future of material handling and logistics.

delivery icon

Enablers of e-Commerce

Business context: Reshape the supply chain to accommodate customer needs

In Europe alone, around 25 million packages are delivered every day. Customers are buying online at an exponential rate with no sign of slowing down even in the next decade. How will companies be racing for e-commerce fulfillment in 2027?

Your task is to propose innovative solutions in logistics environments to address the needs of e-commerce customers. You may propose technological and/or business solutions.

Market Insights

  • The traditional supply chain is linear. Each link in the chain is related to its immediate, previous and next link.
  • The new e-commerce supply chain is circular. The customer is at the centre and connected to almost all the links in the chain.
  • At the same time, e-commerce customers have specific purchasing habits and requirements - such as one-hour delivery, fresh items and high share of returned goods by customers. This means that delivery now needs to be more flexible and innovative, especially in the storage and handling of goods.
  • Trends and technologies that are impacting the industry include:
    • Internet of Things
    • using big data for process improvement
    • customization and predictability
    • blockchain
    • machine learning through artificial intelligence
    • self-driving vehicles
    • 3D printing
    • and more
  • Business volumes increase quickly, with annual growth rates often being above 50%.

Read more

cobotics icon

Cobotics in Logistics 4.0

Business context: When people and robots work together

Cobotics are supposed to be the new tools of the future. Working together with operators, they are meant to make logistics better, faster and more efficient. What happens in the warehouse when humans and machines collaborate and how will this revolutionise the industry?

Your task is to imagine future cobotic systems that positively impact one or more aspects of logistics and equipment handling . This could be anything from efficiency to rapidity or safety, physical effort, error rate and so on. You may propose technological and/or business solutions.

Market Insights

  • Human workers are increasingly assisted by robots to perform certain logistic tasks. This includes picking, sorting, storing and transporting etc. Cobotics marries the advantages offered by human actions with the very latest robotics technology.
  • With an annual 50% growth, the cobot market is now the fastest growing segment of industrial robotics. It is forecast to hit $3bn in global revenue in 2020.
  • Cobotic systems can
    • take many different forms (co-manipulation, exoskeletons, robotic vehicles…)
    • interact with the operator in different ways (coworking, supervising, operated…)
    • help with different tasks (carrying, locating, picking, sorting…)

Read more

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Logistics in a Sharing Economy

Business context: Digital platforms offer a lot of opportunities to share tasks, jobs or equipment for the logistics industries, including suppliers and users of materials handling equipment.

Many industries have been disrupted by the Sharing Economy and logistics is no different. What do you think this means for the materials handling sector and how will the industry be transformed?

Your task is to imagine how sharing economy principles can be applied to develop new business models, new value streams and partner models in logistics.

Market Insights

  • Contrary to business models based on owning assets and jobs, the sharing economy is all about having access to assets owned by others and jobs performed by others
  • By maximising the use of a product, the sharing economy improves return on investments, creates new revenue streams (from rental or from shared jobs, for example) and impacts positively on the environment
  • There is an increase in horizontal supply chain collaboration, where companies at the same level of the supply chain (between suppliers or between buyers, for example), establish partnerships to share resources
  • There is pressure to reduce emissions, increase delivery speed and customer satisfaction

Read more

Work Submission

Initial case submission

Your submission should consist of the following:

  • A submission title
  • A short description of your case solution (max. 150 words)
  • A presentation of your case solution in PDF format (max. 500 word idea description, 12-size Arial font, max. 3 pages, including cover page and visual illustrations etc, max. 15MB.).

Make sure to clearly state your objectives and ideas for a solution to one of the case challenges. Be creative and convincing!


The finalists of this Challenge will have one more month to polish their concepts to completion, with the help of mentors and leaders in the logistics field. The finished proposal must be submitted in the same format with max. 2,000 words (12-size Arial font, max. 5 pages, including cover page, including visual illustrations or graphs, max. 15MB). As a finalist you will also have the opportunity to submit additional supporting documents such as 3D-drawing or video. A jury panel of industry experts will select the winners of the grand prize.

Finalist concepts will also be exhibited for online voting to view for the TrendSpotter Award!

Your submission must also adhere to the following rules:

  • The solution must be submitted in English.
  • The submission must be your own creation, must not have been previously published anywhere else.
  • Only one entry per participant/team is accepted and each participant/team can register only once.
  • For team entries, members must nominate a leader and contact person.

Key Dates

Screening dates & processes

Following the competition deadline, a panel of industry experts will evaluate all the complete submissions to determine the finalists based on the judging criteria listed below.

Finalists will receive feedback from the jury between the end of May and the end of June 2018 to refine and further elaborate on their proposals for the final stage. The deadline for the final submissions is on 29 June 2018.

The finalist submissions will also compete for the most votes online to win the TrendSpotter Award during the period 30 July - 10 September 2018!

Experts and industry leaders will make the final decision and select the winners of the competition. Visit Prizes & Jury for more details about the jury.

Important dates

Competition deadline
Finalists designated
Finalists deadline
Winners announced
Public voting opens
Public voting closes
Award Ceremony

Judging Criteria

Each entry will be judged based on the following criteria:

Inovation icon


How creative and fresh your idea is

Relevance icon


How relevant the idea is in addressing the case task

Feasibility icon


Is the idea economically sustainable for the implementation

Implementation icon


The technical ease of implementing your idea

Terms & Conditions

The Smart Logistics Challenge competition is organised by the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) in collaboration with Sqore. When registering an account, all participants consent to accept Sqore's Terms & Conditions, which apply for all competitions organised by Sqore.

These include:

All users must provide submissions that the user has created him/herself.

All users must provide personal information that is truthful and accurate.

Sqore reserves the right to exclude users at their sole discretion.

The winner is solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to the acceptance of the prize.

Intellectual Property Rights
The applicant owns the intellectual property rights to their solution but approves that the entry is published in the form of a short description on the competition website during the competition period, between 30 July and 10 September 2018 when public voting is running. The winning submission will also be published by the competition organizer on the competition website, and in other media.

By entering this competition you also agree that the organizers the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM), Sqore and FEM partner companies Balyo, Linde, MoTuM, Stow, Toyota Material Handling and Vanderlande are allowed to present the winning entry in their own channels and for marketing purposes.

Use of the Applicant's Personal Data
The European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) will use the personal data you submit in connection with the competition for the purpose of administering the competition and evaluating the work. If you have any questions with regard to the use of your personal data or want to amend your personal data, please contact The Smart Logistics Challenge team at

Commercial Authorisation
By taking part in the competition, the finalists authorise the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) to use their surname, forename, university name, photo and work for any commercial purposes.

General rules
By joining the competition, you agree to abide by the Terms & Conditions in relation to your use of the competition website.

Entries not submitted in accordance with the terms and conditions, or entries that are incomplete or illegible will not be considered in the evaluation. The European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) reserves the right to disqualify entries that do not follow these terms and conditions or that may be deemed offensive, threatening, insulting, inappropriate, obscene, discriminatory, or in other ways does not comply with the spirit of the contest.

The use of false information is grounds for disqualification. The European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) is not liable for any damage or loss suffered by the participants during the competition period. In any dispute concerning registration of entries, the person who is registered as the owner of the account will be considered as the contestant.

In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) can modify or cancel the competition without prior notice.