Smart packaging experts win the Digital Logistics Award 2021

  • Participants of the Future Congress Logistics 2021 select the most exciting logistics start-ups
  • Award-winning companies are as diverse as logistics itself
  • Winners of the “Smart Logistics in Africa” special award win with app against product counterfeiting

The winners of the 5th Digital Logistics Awards could hardly be more different, but they are all involved in the currently most exciting topics in logistics – digitalization and artificial intelligence. At the finals in the battle for the prestigious innovation award for start-ups, start-ins and innovation teams at the digital future congress logistics 2021, a smart packaging solution, an intelligent data platform and clever text recognition software – and, of course, the companies behind these innovations – made a convincing impression. Prof. Dr. Michael Henke, Institute Director at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, congratulated the winning startups, but also stated, “Every team that took part in this competition is a winner and will go their way.” Now in its fifth year, the Digital Logistics Award saw the largest and most international field of participants to date in the competition for the prestigious innovation award for startups, start-ins and innovation teams, with 49 applicants from 17 countries.

After the pitches of the eight finalists, who were connected online to the Future Congress, the participating logistics experts were able to vote digitally for their respective favorites. Afterwards, moderator Darja Kramer from Digital Hub Logistics, initiator of the award, then congratulated the start-up Manyfolds from Munich on winning first prize, which comes with a prize money of 10,000 euros. The Bavarian and AllRead Machine Learning Technologies from Barcelona achieved the second and third prize, endowed with 5,000 and 2,000 euros.

The winner of the special award “Smart Logistics in Africa”, which was sponsored by the pan-European-African EU project DIGILOGIC, had already been selected by a jury prior to the congress. The winner in the category, which was endowed with 5,000 euros, was the start-up Chekkit Technologies from Lagos, Nigeria. The DIGILOGIC project is managed by Digital Hub Logistics.

In total, the winners raked in prize money of more than 20,000 euros. This year’s award partners were Duisburger Hafen AG – duisport, the innovation platform for start-ups startport, the management consultancy Ingenics, and the first pan-European-African EU project DIGILOGIC. The award was also supported by the Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg.

The group of eight finalists also included startups BitCargo (Berlin/Krakow), specialists in digital CRM, Filics (Munich), experts in pallet transport, IoT connectivity platform Moeco IoT (Berlin), and sustainability management platform Waves (Luxembourg).


The winners in detail:


• 1st place: The Munich-based start-up Manyfolds is on the winners’ podium of the award with its smart packaging solution. The company produces individual, size-optimized and environmentally friendly shipping packaging that saves an average of 40 percent “packed air” and as a result reduces materials and delivery traffic. Based on photos and dimensions of products to be shipped, Manyfolds’ algorithm creates perfectly tailored packaging, which the company then produces. Customers include medium-sized industrial companies, logistics store operators, retailers and manufactures.


•  2nd place: The Bavarian start-up stands for a neutral data platform founded on the initiative of global industrial companies. The aim is to structurally improve data exchange and increase the transparency of shipment flows in logistics. The company already maintains numerous partnerships in logistics – not least with the Silicon Economy development project “Digitization of Import Processes in Airfreight Fresh Logistics,” the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML’s central project for a platform ecosystem in European logistics.


• 3rd place: Barcelona-based startup AllRead Machine Learning Technologies, has developed a unique Deep Learning-based text recognition software. This recognizes, reads and digitizes serial numbers, sensor or meter readings, barcodes, license plates and many other structured codes in complex operating environments captured by mobile or fixed cameras. The software is used in ports or by airlines, among others.


• Special prize “Smart Logistics in Africa”: Chekkit Technologies, start-up from Lagos, Nigeria, has declared war on product counterfeiting, especially in the medical sector. The start-up’s app, which is encrypted with blockchain, is used to track products from the manufacturer to the customer and can thus save lives under certain circumstances.