The UPS Smart Logistics Challenge

UPS is partnering with AstroLabs in advance of Expo 2020 Dubai to bring the world’s best logistics technology startups to Dubai for the unique opportunity to pilot their solutions with UPS in an emerging markets context.

UPS has outlined three categories of challenges – Connected Customer Experience, Last Mile Optimization, and Upstream Goods Validation – and is seeking innovative startups with ready-to-deploy solutions in each field.

Selected companies will have the opportunity to pitch in front of UPS for a proof of concept showcase and will receive mentorship from top UPS executives and AstroLabs experts during a three-day market entry program in Dubai.

UPS is the Official Logistics Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, a mega-event that is expected to attract millions of visitors over its six-month duration. Successful startups will have a chance to showcase their solutions at the World Expo, an incredible platform with more than 180 countries expected to participate and hundreds of thousands of visitors on peak days.

Applications for the Smart Logistics Challenge have closed and the selected companies will be notified shortly

"Innovation and technology have always been part of UPS’ focus. Our experience around the world has taught us that winning ideas come from working with others. That’s why we are proud to be working with AstroLabs to launch the UPS Smart Logistics challenge. I can’t think of a more exciting space for partnership - we have a big focus on the small businesses that this project will bring together."

Jean-Francois Condamine
President High Growth and Emerging Markets, UPS

Calling all logistics technology startups...

What is the UPS Smart Logistics Challenge?

This is a unique fast-pilot program designed to give your logistics technology company the opportunity to run a proof of concept showcase with UPS in Dubai. You will plug in to a network of mentors at UPS and benefit from a three-day market entry program in Dubai, culminating in pitches to top UPS executives.

Who qualifies?

UPS is seeking startups that have proven ready-to-deploy solutions to one or more of the key challenges as outlined below.

What are the challenges?

Connected Customer Experience

  • Provide consignees real-time useful information and tools
  • Notify customers with accurate delivery times with specific delivery windows
  • Allow customers to schedule delivery and pre-pay for fees and COD orders after the order has been received by UPS
  • Driver/customer communication platform

Last Mile Optimization

  • Automated correction of delivery addresses in an emerging markets context
  • Geocoding of addresses
  • Real-time delivery exception resolution tools

Upstream Goods Validation

  • Unique tagging of high value consignments to protect against loss and fraud (GPS, RFID/NFC, etc.)
  • Blockchain solutions for customs compliance

Applications for the Smart Logistics Challenge have closed and the selected companies will be notified shortly


Participants will have access to a range of UPS executives throughout the program and will have the opportunity to interact with them during their time in Dubai. Lead mentors include:

Jean-Francois Condamine

President High Growth and Emerging Markets at UPS

Dara Otwell

Director, Expo 2020 Marketing and Activation

Alan Williams

Vice President, Expo 2020 Sponsorship & Operations

Patrick Loos

ISMEA Vice President, Logistics & Distribution

Renzo Bravo

ISMEA Vice President, Marketing

Andrew Sleiman

ISMEA Head of Legal

Paolo Granata

ISMEA Industrial Engineering Director

Roberto Campi

ISMEA Marketing Director

Jim Kearney

ISMEA Chief Financial Officer