Expanding Multi-Modal Logistics to Drive Supply Chain Resilience


Decades of stagnant investment in transportation infrastructure have strained supply chains in the United States. The Increasing demand to move goods at a lower cost has led to a heavy reliance on aggregation as the primary means of control. While this approach has reduced costs, it’s also sacrificed flexibility and frequency, leaving trucks as the predominant mode of transportation.

Our Thesis

Newlab is championing a new approach to logistics that prioritizes decentralization, flexibility, and agility. By adopting a more distributed distribution network and leveraging autonomous transport options, the industry can enhance resilience and mitigate risks associated with bottlenecks and single points of failure. This paradigm shift will not only optimize energy consumption but also unlock untapped capacity within existing networks.

Opportunity Spaces

We have mapped three foundational innovation pathways critical to realizing future logistics systems as well as a landscape of disruptors developing new technology across them.

Node Optimization

Streamlining load transfers between transportation modes, such as rail and shipping, through modular and adaptable infrastructure solutions.

Route Optimization

Enhancing routing efficiency, providing real-time tracking, and improving transparency to optimize logistics operations.

Right-sizing Form Factors for Disaggregated Logistics

Embracing zero-emissions vehicles and vessels, along with intelligent and modular containers, to support sustainable and adaptable logistics practices.

Are you a startup addressing these challenges?

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Are you an industry leader, government, or investor looking to accelerate your R&D?

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Are you building technology, systems, or services that address these challenges?

Who should apply?

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Why This
Open Call Matters

Strong multi-modal logistics are crucial for creating resilient and sustainable supply chains on a global scale. By scaling alternative modes of transportation and establishing a robust intermodal infrastructure, we can drive operational efficiencies and unlock new capacity. Together, we can revolutionize the future  of logistics, ensuring supply chains remain agile, adaptable, and sustainable. 

Open Call Launch Date
Open Call Closing Date


Office Hours
Presentation Deck

About the Partner(s)

Pilot Sites

Piloting Sites Include:

  • The Port of Monroe, a critical gateway to the Great Lakes
  • The Transportation Innovation Zone (TIZ), a pre-designated zone with the city of Detroit where you can get fast-track permissions to test technology


For Startups

Paid Pilots & Investment

  • Receive non-dilutive capital to fund pilot projects in the next 12-months

Partnership Opportunities

  • Curated introductions and opportunities to co-develop pilots, scaled projects, and new use cases with potential customers

Testing Infrastructure

  • Access to pilot sites that enable rapid deployment in real-world operating environments

Strategic Visibility

  • Invitations to three convenings per year with industry and government stakeholders, and opportunities to showcase technology at Newlab locations in Detroit and Brooklyn

For Industry

Value Chain Collaboration

  • Opportunity to co-develop projects to de-risk novel technology with strategic partners

Influence Pilot Projects

  • Shape pilot scenarios and KPIs; nominate startup partners to participate in paid pilots

Access Deal Flow

  • Access to a pipeline of qualified startups in Challenge technology focus areas

Insights & Pilot Data

  • Receive synthesized insights and pilot data resulting from Challenge projects


  • Invitations to three convenings per year to assess progress and learnings against Challenge projects and engage with startups and technology demonstrations


Our point of view

Multi-modal Logistics Challenge
Why We Believe in Multi-Modal Logistics to Create Supply Chain Resilience
Newlab is leading a multi-million dollar challenge focused on supply chain resiliency, including paid pilots with startups, infrastructure projects, and a global coalition of startups, experts, corporate, and government partners.
Ford’s Michigan Central and Newlab Collaborate to Drive Sustained Mobility Innovation Investment in Detroit
Together, the companies will create an innovation ecosystem committed to helping shape the future of mobility.

Learn more about Newlab

About Us
Focus Areas
Michigan Central
Mercado Libre
Michigan Central
Mercado Libre