The third annual UPS X-Port Challenge allows qualifying start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses to compete for $10,000 in international shipping credits with the company.
Last year, when 3-D printing and laser engraver BoXZY needed exporting expertise, the start-up company turned to UPS. The global logistics provider offered a variety of global trade solutions and up to $10,000 in international shipping credit.
BoXZY entered and won the UPS X-PORT Challenge and expanded its growth in international markets. Since winning, BoXZY has continued to grow its international sales, acquired customers in countries where it hadn’t previously conducted business and adapted its products to provide a better experience for international customers.
“The majority of the world’s commerce lies outside the United States, yet exporting remains a challenge for most small businesses,” said Bill Seward, UPS U.S. International president. “Our business solutions help remove some of those barriers, and this contest is another innovative way to help our customers grow in international markets.”
[Read more about UPS logistics services: UPS Launches Reverse Logistics Tool for Small, Mid-Size Retailers]
With on-demand consumer fulfillment becoming more important, especially with the exponential growth of e-commerce and speed-to-market manufacturing, shipping expertise is now a more vital component of the supply chain than it has ever been.
While UPS reported increases in second quarter revenue and profits, executives noted that the spate of retail store closings poses challenges to the top and bottom line and that global growth was important for countering that.
David Abney, chairman and chief executive officer of UPS, said, “We continue to invest in our network to expand our capabilities, our market presence and our global reach.”
For the X-PORT Challenge, interested companies that qualify in participating markets submit an application online on the UPS X-Port Challenge page listing their specialty, global appeal and market challenges. A team of UPS employees will then evaluate the applications based on criteria such as uniqueness, presentation, market demand and global readiness.
The top 10 applicants from each participating market will pitch their business to a panel of judges from the local international business community. The judges will then select the top three finalists as prize winners. The second and third place winners will receive $2,500 and $1,000 in credits respectively in UPS export shipping.
The X-Port Challenge exposes participants to valuable insight and resources from the expert panel. Previous winners have increased their understanding of international markets, grown sales in other countries and acquired new customers abroad. The challenge is open to eligible businesses incorporated and registered conduct business under the laws of the states where UPS is running the competition.
This year, the UPS X-PORT Challenge will offer an additional opportunity for businesses to earn more shipping credits through a virtual run-off. The top three contestants with the most votes will be invited to a national pitch-off competition held the first quarter of 2018. This pitch-off competition could earn the winner a grand prize of $25,000.