Press release - 15 January 2024

W² Labs returns to continue Wincanton’s global search for emerging technology to transform the supply chain sector

Wincanton has launched the fifth edition of W2 Labs, an innovation lab designed to discover emerging ideas and tackle some of the industry’s toughest challenges. Created and run in collaboration with corporate innovation partner L Marks, W2 Labs is Wincanton’s innovation programme which encompasses several initiatives to foster supply chain innovation and bring together an ecosystem of industry-leading partners. 

Since 2017, W2 Labs has driven collaboration with 26 early-stage businesses. These technologies include wearable technology which helps workers reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries; autonomous mobile robots; continuous labour optimisation-fuelled by machine learning; global asset intelligence and visibility; online recruitment assessment tools; and innovative approaches to utilising spare freight and warehouse capacity

Building on the success of the previous labs, this year’s programme will invite a range of technologies and solutions to focus on some new and exciting areas of the Wincanton business. A wide variety of businesses will be selected to join the lab and receive mentorship from Wincanton’s subject matter experts and senior management. Furthermore, applicants will have the opportunity to trial their solution in a live environment. 

Applications open at 09:00 am on the 15th January 2024 seeking solutions to the following challenges: 


Robotic technology has the potential to revolutionise fulfilment operations- to drive flexibility, increase capacity and improve efficiency in the warehouse – and to ultimately achieve a smoother customer experience. We are searching for partners to help us deliver cutting-edge and cost-effective robotics solutions for our customers. 

Our specialist robotics team are hearing from innovators who have created hardware-agnostic software and control systems for warehouse automation and robotics that work for eFulfilment and beyond with the added benefit of agile deployment. We welcome universal solutions that can integrate with existing and new infrastructure to meet the dynamic demands of modern fulfilment. 

Digital transport  

To achieve efficiency and sustainability for our customers, it’s crucial we leverage pioneering technologies to extract as much value as possible out of our transport operations. Digitisation and intelligent transport optimisation are key to this goal. 

We are looking for innovation partners with solutions that will supercharge our digital transport capability. Enhanced plan vs actual analytics, machine learning and predictive insights will enable us to unlock potential. We are open to discovering cutting-edge technologies in AI and data analytics to shape and improve decision-making and foster cost savings and sustainability, streamlining customer experiences. 

Security and resilience 

We are vigilant and proactive when it comes to the safety of our people, our operations and the security of our customers’ assets. To best serve our customers and ensure their operations remain resilient, we are looking for innovation partners with transformational and resilient solutions to enhance security. 

Our team are particularly interested in solutions which offer an intelligent front-end platform that can ingest and analyse multiple, disparate CCTV feeds, cyber security for robotics and automation (including Cloud based software), non-invasive security search technology, proactive safeguarding of our assets, and security for our mobile workers, for example HGV 

James Wroath, CEO at Wincanton, commented: 

“This year’s W2 Labs categories embody Wincanton’s focus on delivering efficiency, sustainability and security for our customers." 

“Through W2 Labs Wincanton is proud to create opportunities to collaborate with global talent to help us deliver on our promises to our customers, our colleagues – and to drive emerging technology and innovative thinking for our industry.” 

Daniel Saunders, CEO of L Marks, commented: 

“W2 Labs has consistently delivered on identifying and implementing new innovative technologies at Wincanton. These solutions are bringing value to their customers and driving innovation in the logistics sector. We are proud to continue our partnership with such a forward-thinking organisation and working together to create the supply chain of tomorrow.” 


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