Decarbonizing Transportation Solutions for the Middle Mile

Apply for an opportunity to pilot your technology with the world's largest online retailer on their journey to achieve Shipment Zero by 2030. Typical pilots with Amazon range from $75k-$2M.

APPLICATIONS CLOSE OCTOBER 4, 2022 AT 11:59 PM ET

What is Amazon Transportation Services (ATS) looking for

Shipment Zero by 2030

ATS is looking to partner with innovators across the globe to achieve Shipment Zero, an ambitious goal to reach 50% of all Amazon shipments with net zero carbon by 2030.  Through this challenge, ATS is seeking solutions that reduce both carbon emissions and the cost of operations of middle-mile logistics. The “middle mile” for Amazon begins when goods come into their network, mostly at ports, and ends when goods are delivered to its last-mile delivery partners. Middle-mile logistics includes transportation by air, water, rail, and road, and through specific building types in the Amazon network.

What You Could Win

___ Pilot Your Technology with Amazon

A typical pilot for emerging technologies with ATS can range from $75k-$2M, depending on duration and scope (e.g., feasibility studies, prototypes testing, etc.) necessary to determine KPIs.

___ Introductions to Climate Pledge Fund Investors

ATS partners with The Climate Pledge Fund to identify technologies that decarbonize its middle-mile operations.

___ Mentorship Sessions with ATS Industry Experts

Winners will have the option to participate in 1:1 mentorship sessions--whether you'd like feedback on product timelines, prototype testing, or insights on the biggest technology gaps, these sessions are yours to own.

Eligibility Criteria

At minimum, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Have at least two full-time employees
  • Fully comply with all local laws and regulations in the jurisdiction(s) where you operate
  • Middle mile only. Ideas must be related to middle-mile logistics. This includes transport between Amazon or 3P facilities by sort center, truck, air, sea, or rail. Transport to inbound cross-docks (first mile) and transport to the end customer (last mile) are not in scope.
  • Step change only. ATS will only fund projects that have the potential to decrease carbon emissions of the relevant transport mode by >= 20% when deployed at scale.
  • Must be globally scalable. ATS funds projects that apply to all markets and geographies.

ATS is not seeking project developers selling third-party products, companies without an operating prototype, consulting firms, marketing or PR agencies, or acquired startups.

Meet the Judges

Rodrigo Prudencio

Rodrigo Prudencio

Principal, Climate Pledge Fund, Seattle

Rodrigo Prudencio has over 25 years of experience in venture capital fund management, clean energy technology investing, sustainability, transportation, and energy and climate policy. He has built and managed teams in startups, investing, and non-profits. He's currently in Amazon's Global Corporate Development team leading investments for Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund. Previously, Rodrigo was on the Alexa Fund and running the Alexa Accelerator and Next Stage programs. He is compelled by big ideas that solve big problems.

Ari Silkey

Ari Silkey

Director, NA Surface Transportation – Minneapolis

Ari Silkey leads Amazon’s North American surface transportation network. Ari, a Business Journal 40 under 40 winner, has served as a member of the MN Governor’s Advisory Council on Connected & Automated Vehicles and is an Executive Committee Board member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, helping to shape the future of technology in transportation. He holds 20 years of Executive Management & Product Development experience in the consumer electronics and transportation industries. Prior to joining Amazon, he held senior leadership positions at Fortune 100 companies and has also co-founded several Start-Up companies. Over the course of his career, Ari has led the successful development and launch of more than 100 products that have positively impacted safety, productivity and sustainability.

Hannah McClellan

VP of Amazon Freight, Seattle

Hannah McClellan is currently the Vice President of Amazon Freight, the external-facing truckload shipping service built on the backbone of Amazon’s advanced transportation technology, 40,000+ trailers, and carrier network. She also leads Amazon’s Worldwide Returns, Recommerce & Sustainability organization, as well as the comprehensive portfolio of inbound transportation services offered to suppliers shipping inventory into Amazon’s fulfillment network. In over 11 years at Amazon, Hannah has held key roles across the Consumer Retail organization, including inventory management and operations for the physical media business, launching the first drive-thru pickup operation for the grocery delivery business (Amazon Fresh), and scaling the multi-billion dollar “Subscribe & Save” program to millions of customers around the world.

Chris Atkins

Chris Atkins

Director of ATS Sustainability

Chris’ team develops strategies to help accelerate the pace of change for decarbonization of commercial transportation. Chris has 20 years of leadership experience, including 11 years leading Amazon teams. Chris helped scale operations for Amazon Fresh, the company’s online grocery delivery business, where he managed multiple facilities in the Northeastern United States. Chris is a former US Army officer who deployed to Iraq from 2008-2009. Chris is passionate about big ideas and bold action to help solve the climate crisis.

Timeline

September 7, 2022

September 7, 2022

Application window opens

September 27, 2022

September 27, 2022

Live Q&A session
5:30pm ET

Watch the recording

October 4, 2022

October 4, 2022

Application deadline
11:59pm ET

October 28, 2022

October 28, 2022

Finalists notified

November 3, 2022

November 3, 2022

Virtual pitch event / Winners announced
1:00pm ET

January – June 2023

January – June 2023

Collaborate directly with ATS’ industry experts to co-create pilot scope of work

July 2023

July 2023

Commence pilot(s)

The Fine Print

  • Any funds that go towards a pilot will be non-dilutive. Neither Amazon nor Elemental is asking for equity in exchange for the funding.
  • This challenge is being hosted by Elemental Excelerator in collaboration with Amazon Transportation Services and is unrelated to Elemental’s Cohort 12 application process. If you are interested in applying to Cohort 12, please let us know here!
  • More details can be found in the Official Rules.

Questions

Please contact MiddleMileChallenge@elementalexcelerator.com.

About Amazon Transportation Services (ATS)

At Amazon, customers place orders from around the world. Amazon Transportation Services (ATS) identifies the fastest and most convenient way to move packages to their final destination. With people, innovation, sustainability, and safety at heart, they bring together sort centers, road transport, air transport, and reverse logistics — all powered in real time by the latest technology — to deliver smiles to customers. As part of Amazon’s mission to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, they are committed to building a sustainable business for their employees, customers, and communities. Amazon is driving toward a net-zero carbon future where the people that support their entire value chain are treated with dignity and respect. See more about their sustainability efforts at sustainability.aboutamazon.com.

Amazon Smile

There's More!

We are currently accepting applications for this challenge and two more! Click the link below to learn more about our other challenges with NextEra Energy and New Zealand's Ara Ake.