Hermes hackathon inspires future logistics innovation

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A multi-platform live chat application and an enhanced GPS tracking solution designed to drive down fuel consumption were among ideas concocted by students in a hackathon organised by Hermes.

Hermes staged the event alongside Leeds Beckett University in order to encourage the innovators of tomorrow to bring pioneering ideas to life. To facilitate this, Hermes granted the students special access to its sophisticated development portal and the company’s APIs.

Five student teams competed against industry thought leaders from the Hermes Innovation Lab, in an attempt to create the next big delivery solution in just six hours. The judging panel was formed of: Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes; Chris Ashworth, CIO at Hermes; Zoe McClelland, Head of Business Strategy, Operations and Enterprise at Leeds Beckett; and Sean Davis, Technical Consultant from Google, who flew in from Switzerland specifically for the event.

The winning group, Team 404, devised an application to streamline the shipping process for myHermes customers, including increased functionality when printing multiple shipping labels. Team 404 also impressed the judging panel by examining different ways it could potentially integrate with external APIs, belonging to organisations such as eBay and PayPal. Each team member received an Amazon Echo Dot as a prize.

“Taking part in events like this gives us access to students who are thinking outside the box. They’re not constrained and we see some ideas that we would never have thought of. It’s a good chance for students to meet us and show us some of their great ideas. We’re always recruiting and will provide start-up funding if we see an idea with real potential and look at sponsoring a team to take that idea forward.”
– David Turner, Head of Innovation at Hermes

Hermes are often dismissed when it comes to innovation – a result of operating at the economy end of the delivery market. Nothing could be further from the truth however, whilst customers may be looking for cost efficiencies, it’s innovation which drives down the price almost as much as scale.

Hermes have a dedicated Innovation Lab to develop world-class delivery solutions such as self-tracking parcels, intelligent delivery using location-based services and new tracking experiences.


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