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US problem solvers: Changing the Game with Last Mile Delivery
business logistics technology innovation delivery last mile
top 25
37 months ago
Small pic lastmile

NOTE: Solvers must be located in the United States to be eligible for rewards. The top solvers will receive $250. 2nd through 5th place will receive $100 each. 20 honorable (6th-25th place) mentions will receive $25 each.

Every day, we get closer to an environment where customers can order any product and get it delivered to their doorstep right away. Companies are launching ‘next-day’ and ‘same-day’ delivery services, and fast, accurate delivery is a key component to a differentiated buying experience.

Successful players have leveraged technology to connect the locally available supply (such as restaurants and grocery stores) with customer demand and provide a seamless delivery experience. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Food delivery: Grubhub, UberEats
  • Grocery delivery: Instacart, Shipt
  • General merchandise delivery: Prime Now
  • Pure-play technology providers: Skipcart, Point Pickup
  • Major e-commerce players: Amazon

The final stage in the delivery process to the customer represents the biggest challenge and the largest expense – it’s called Last Mile Delivery.

Emerging technologies, though several years from maturity, are already threatening to disrupt the last mile delivery space (i.e. autonomous vehicles, drones, etc.). At the same time, legacy carriers struggle with ever-shrinking margins, a more hypercompetitive landscape and huge investments in shipping capacity that now sits idle much of the time. We would like your help to envision ways that legacy carriers can extract incremental value from these existing investments and capacity.


Tell us how can legacy carriers find value in last mile delivery investments and capacity. Specifically, answer the following questions in detail:

  1. What are your greatest pain points or frustrations from the point that you order a product to the point that it arrives on your doorstep? Be as detailed as you can here – talk about what frustrates you through every step in the process.
  2. Imagine a new product, service, or experience that could enhance product delivery. Describe what it is, how it would work, and why it would motivate utilize delivery services direct to your door. Be creative - nothing is too bold!
  3. How can existing large-scale shipping companies (think FedEx, DHL, UPS, USPS, etc.) utilize existing investments (including their brick and mortar locations, vehicles, and drivers) to tap into the last mile delivery space? (This can also be a continuation of your response in Question 2 if applicable).
  4. Can you think of other scenarios/products where you wish there was a last mile delivery service?

NOTE: If you attach your submission as a PDF, PPT, Word Doc, or other file type, you must still paste your answer text into the body of the submission window. Failure to do so will result in a lower score.

Answers must be submitted in English.

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • Level of detail
  • Creativity
  • Originality
Reward Tiers
5 Winners
will receive $130 each
20 Honorable Mentions
will receive $25 each
$250.00 A Washington University in St. Louis
$100.00 Square pic 60 img072 2 Harvard University
$100.00 Square pic 60 img 0377  2020 03 03 14 50 08 utc Honolulu community college
$100.00 P George Washington University
$100.00 Square pic 60 22729102 10155842657864664 7284227895460716342 n University of Central Missouri
$25.00 Square pic 60 6be95546d3ad8609795545599b1648ad West Virginia University
$25.00 T Denison University
$25.00 B University of Central Florida
$25.00 Picture?width=160 Kaplan University
$25.00 E Michigan Technological University
$25.00 Square pic 60 img 5276 University of Texas at Austin
$25.00 D Drexel University
$25.00 T University of Tennessee
$25.00 Picture?width=160 Penn Foster
$25.00 Square pic 60 10 31 14 pro Walden University
$25.00 S College of the Holy Cross
$25.00 Square pic 60 015365a   University of Maryland
$25.00 L University of Central Missouri
$25.00 Picture?width=160 University of Notre Dame
$25.00 Square pic 60 image West Virginia University
$25.00 M University of Mount Olive
$25.00 Square pic 60 images Eastern Michigan University
$25.00 Square pic 60 img 20180223 155726 975 University of Alabama at Huntsville
$25.00 M
$25.00 Square pic 60 headshot5 University of Michigan
Submission questions

How much money do you spend on online shopping (restaurant, grocery, general merchandise) per month?


What is your gender?


What is your age?