Mercado Libre and Newlab

Mercado Libre and Newlab launched an open call inviting startups to participate in the Low Carbon Logistics Studio

Mercado Libre and Newlab launched an open call inviting mobility projects.

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Mobility pilot projects with a focus on reducing carbon emissions can apply until September 4th

Mercado Libre and Newlab, an international innovation platform with a regional headquarters in Montevideo (Uruguay), have come together to foster sustainable mobility innovation across Latin America. Through an alliance, the companies intend to address one of the key challenges that logistics companies face nowadays: the decarbonization of their operations.

To achieve this goal, a call has been issued for startups interested in participating in the Low Carbon Logistics Study. Registration is open until September 4th, focusing on low-carbon emission mobility pilot projects. The initiative is focused on applying emerging technologies to tackle critical challenges and make progress in the aggressive objectives that decarbonization poses, through the creation of a multimodal electric vehicles logistic network throughout Latin America.

“We are launching this open call to identify promising low-carbon mobility solutions from companies around the world and develop pilots in order to validate them”

Tiago Cunha, Director of Development and Optimization Transportation at Mercado Libre

This alliance is part of our efforts to accelerate the transition process of the greatest electronic commerce logistic network of Latin America towards a low emissions vehicle fleet.

Guadalupe Marín, Sustainability Director at Mercado Libre

Innovative solutions

The mission is to co-design and implement a series of pilots that help as test case studies for innovative solutions for the sustainable last mile logistics value chain of Mercado Libre in the following fields:

  • Micro mobility: the use of light vehicles such as electric bicycles, electric motorcycles, tuk-tuks, etc., leveraging technologies like efficient charging for emissions reduction.
  • Retrofitting/Hybridization: the transformation of existing last-mile distribution logistics vehicles with internal combustion engines into electric mobility, accelerating the transition to low-emission methods.
  • Shared private charging: an electric vehicle fleet charging solution designed to be installed in shared compartments in strategic urban locations.
  • Portable chargers for electric vehicles: offering reliable and intelligent portable chargers for electric vehicles in warehouses, promoting their profitable integration.
  • Optimization platform of electric vehicles: optimization of charging infrastructure, routes and electronic fleet administration for efficient and productive operations.
  • Internal logistics: Making the most of the different use cases of drones to look for better same-day delivery options post-purchase.

To register, click here. The first year of the project will focus on shaping a future vision for the last-mile mobility ecosystem. Key areas, such as reducing carbon footprint, enhancing infrastructure, and optimizing systems, will be explored to identify opportunities for innovative and impactful products and services. The goal is to advance through the implementation of pilot projects.

“Newlab constitutes a bridge between the specific needs of big companies such as Mercado Libre that want to lead the technological changes and the most innovative ideas of high impact entrepreneurs. We count on a very effective method to turn early-stage projects into ready-to-implement pilots. This is achieved by guiding corporations or governments in a collaborative journey with startups. Decarbonizing the economy and society is one of the most urgent challenges of our times and Mercado Libre is leading the way in the region”

Fernando de la Fuente, Newlab Latam Product and Program VP

The selected startups

The selected startups will have the opportunity to try their technologies together with Mercado Libre and Newlab, making the most of the business operations that Mercado Libre has in Latin America and Newlab LATAM HQ has in Uruguay, as well as the innovative mobility center that Newlab has recently launched in Detroit. They will also enjoy benefits including:

  • New labs, investments and exposition.
  • A subsidy funding pool shared among participating companies to support pilot development and offset associated costs.
  • Support from Newlab to grow and advance the pilot concept.
  • Constant support from the Newlab and Mercado Libre team, as well as a relevant network to incorporate technologies that foster solutions to promote low-carbon logistics.
  • Shared membership and Newlab infrastructure.
  • Engagement with industry, business, and academic field-leading experts through selected programs and office hours.
  • Access to testbed infrastructure at Newlab pilot locations, including Brooklyn Navy Yard, Central Michigan campus in Detroit, Uruguay, and more.

Newlab and Mercado Libre have recently made their alliance public. It is focused on speeding up the transition of its logistic network towards a fleet of vehicles with reduced emissions. Currently, Mercado Libre has a fleet of over 1000 electric vehicles in Latin America, one of the most important in the region. Over the next few years, the aim is to expand the fleet to up to 10,000 electric vehicles.

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