JOINOLOG Logistics Hackathon

The German Jordanian University (GJU) in collaboration with JOINOLOG and HELP Logistics has held from 18th to 20th of May, a JOINOLOG Logistics Hackathon in its innovation center. 

The successful Hackathon event focused on humanitarian logistics challenges in the region. Participants were about 30 GJU students from various backgrounds, including technology, logistics, and humanitarian sectors.  

They gathered to come up with possible solutions to three main challenges in delivering aid efficiently and effectively to camps and beneficiaries: 

  • Challenge 1: Ensuring the delivery to/of the aid materials to the actual beneficiaries 
  • Challenge 2: Estimating the quantity of the aid materials per family 
  • Challenge 3: Alternative collectors 

During the event, teams worked hard, brainstorming innovative solutions, and developing prototypes to improve humanitarian logistics operations. They tackled key aspects such as supply chain management, transportation, distribution, and information management systems. 

The Hackathon fostered a spirit of collaboration, with participants sharing their expertise and leveraging cutting-edge technologies.

Throughout the event, mentors and sector experts provided guidance and support to the teams, ensuring a robust exchange of ideas and the practical application of solutions (soft skills, financing, business models, prototyping and ideas pitching). Participants had the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and GJU professors, gaining valuable insights on complex challenges faced in humanitarian logistics. 

At the conclusion of the Hackathon, teams presented their solutions to a panel of judges, consisting of industry experts from HELP Logistics, ACTED, a JOINOLOG member and a GJU logistics professor. The presentations showcased innovative approaches, demonstrating the potential for significant positive impact in humanitarian logistics operations. 

The event sparked a sense of enthusiasm and commitment among the participants, as they witnessed the transformative power of technology in addressing humanitarian challenges. Collaborative efforts, creative thinking, and the drive to make a difference were at the heart of this successful Hackathon, paving the way for future advancements in humanitarian logistics in Jordan. 


JOINOLOG – Seminar Series 

Idea and Vision 

JOINOLOG’s main objective is the creation of a seamless network of logistics stakeholders in Jordan. By connecting all vital players in the field, the project seeks to promote research conditions and innovation transfer. One of the key steps that will help realize this project concept is the seminar series that recently took off under the umbrella of JOINOLOG. 

The event series is aimed towards all actors of logistics in Jordan, with its principal goal being the connection of these groups and the exchange of current ideas and trends. 

To this end, JOINOLOG invites two logistics experts per seminar edition. With a given umbrella term, they present current hot topics of their sector. The event includes two speakers from different backgrounds to reflect differing points of view and wider expertise. The first speaker is from Jordan, while the other is an international speaker. 

JOINOLOG’s vision of collaboration in the logistic sector is realized by the interactive form of the event: The ensuing discussion on the given topics brings fruitful results and encourages networking between actors, which otherwise might not have interacted. By bringing them together, JOINOLOG aims to discover similarities and project synergies which can be used by further cooperation of the participants, ultimately strengthening the innovative power of logistics in Jordan. 

Process and Execution 

To prepare the seminar, it is critical to identify an umbrella topic – a theme for the event that both speakers and the audience will be interested in. With this, the team can pick a suitable pool of candidates for the speakers, in both the national and international dimension. A date is set which will consider usual and international business hours. Thereafter, the availability and interest of the speakers is verified. Lastly, the practical and technical preparation begins by identifying a suitable platform, marketing the event, and finalizing the timeframe. One of the project directors moderates the seminar edition and leads the discussion and panel.  

The seminar’s duration is around 70-90 minutes, with the first speaker presenting his part, followed by the second speaker and lastly a Q&A period takes place along with a panel discussion between the presenters and the audience.  

First Edition of JOINOLOG Seminar Series: Digitalization 

The first seminar of the series took place on the 19th of September 2022. The vast topic of “Digitalization in Logistics” was presented by two speakers. Mr. Rafiq Alotti, Country Manager at Hapag-Lloyd AG in Jordan, who talked about Digital Business and Transformation in Logistics”. His presentation emphasized the importance of introducing digital solutions to modern logistical challenges. The second speaker, Mr. Hein Kerstgens, Corporate Representative and Director Board Projects at Rhenus SE & Co. KG, who gave a presentation on Digitalization of a Tri-modal Hinterland Container Network – COLA, the example of Rhenus’. In fascinating case studies of his company, Mr. Kerstgens provided examples from logistical practice, in which the digital transformation is being executed. 

In the seminar, opportunities, benefits, and challenges of the path towards digitalized logistics and the importance of the ongoing transformation towards digitalization were conveyed to an interested audience. The speakers also shed light on current success cases of digitalized companies and captured advantages of digitalization.  

The seminar had a successful takeoff with many logisticians, logistics students and interested people attending and participating in the discussion. Future seminar editions will cover a range of different topics, such as sustainability in supply chains, humanitarian logistics, innovation in logistics and current trends in logistics. 

Why do we need JOINOLOG in Jordan?  

In a country like Jordan, logistics plays a vital role. The logistics and transportation sector accounts for over 8.2% of the GDP and is expected to grow in demand from 5% to 6% by 20301. An innovation center can be a supporting factor in achieving and maintaining these KPIs in a more sustainable and efficient way. The logistics sector in Jordan can be described as business-friendly, with 325 licensed transportation and logistics companies operating in Jordan in 20182

There is a massive space for improvement in the field of logistics in a country like Jordan, where logistics can become a main leading industry. The overall objective of the project JOINOLOG is the conception of an innovation center for logistics that will be the first of its kind in this field in Jordan, which will support the vision of improving the overall quality and system of logistics.

JOINOLOG has many aspects that can support the landscape of logistics and supply chain in Jordan, one of the important offerings that JOINOLOG can provide is to create a network that will link together all vital players and will serve a wide range of beneficiaries to promote research conditions, innovation transfer and governance structures.  

To achieve the previously mentioned goals, JOINOLOG has already been in contact with multiple parties who are active in the logistics field. Such as the Jordan Logistics Network (JLN), future collaboration will focus on logistics related seminars and activities. Or HELP Logistics, with whom a productive cooperation on humanitarian logistics can be achieved. These examples stand for many other stakeholders who have shown interest in JOINOLOG and its mission. 

The focus is on collaboration through joint research projects, training and events, exchange of content and promotion of innovation in logistics. The center’s orientation will be vital to its sustainability, thus offering a platform for sustainable collaboration among logistical stakeholders.  

Therefore, another important aspect of the creation of JOINOLOG is that it can support in developing new opportunities through the cross-sectoral communication and interaction created through its platform and beneficiaries.  

JOINOLOG will additionally serve as a supporting pillar for university students, business professionals and members to propose related research topics to be considered for further research development under the umbrella of JOINOLOG. Through this participatory approach, the research of the center’s projects will always stay close to real needs the industry and society perceives. 

One other, but particularly dominant aspect of JOINOLOG is that it offers clustering opportunities. This point especially has multiple advantages that can be reflected on the Jordanian landscape. The first advantage is that through clustering, knowledge will increase, which will benefit all related parties. Seemingly unrelated organizations will be able to collaborate through their shared interest in scientific solutions to logistical challenges. Also, through clustering innovation transfer will be done more efficiently.  

Jordan can sustainably benefit from investing in an innovation center like JOINOLOG, especially with the considerable growth in the transportation and logistics sector. Jordan’s geographical location makes it a focal point for the MENA region, demonstrating the need for coordinated logistical efforts. 

1 Sector Profile Logistics and Transportation, Jordan Investment Commission 2017. 
2 Sector Profile Logistics and Transportation, Jordan Investment Commission 2017.