Panalpina announces winner of ’Innovative Thinking’ Award

Cardiff University partner Panalpina has announced the latest winner of its annual Strategic and Innovative Thinking award.

Every year, the Switzerland-based freight and logistics giant invites students from Cardiff University to work with senior managers and share ideas on supply chain innovation.

Cardiff Business School MSc student Giulia Zorzi claimed the 2017 prize for ideas on changing international trade flows, and the supply chain benefits for distributed manufacturing.

Guilia, 28, from Italy, studied Management, Finance and International Business at Universita di Milano (Milan University) before undertaking an MSc in International Transport at the Business School.

Guilia said: "Panalpina offered me a great opportunity to participate in a live business project, and they really appreciated my research..."

Now in its fifth year, the award helps students develop business skills, and benefits Panalpina by improving their operational efficiency.

Mike Wilson, Panalpina’s Global Head of Logistics and Manufacturing, said: "The prize has real-world implications for our business. It’s not just about students doing some research as a ‘side project’: many of the ideas generated from the prize are taken up by our business and integrated into our business strategy and plans."

The Award helped to build a whole new globe-trotting career for its first ever winner, Chinese student Kaicheng Xie.

After graduating from Guangzhou University, Kaicheng studied for an MSc in Logistics and Operations Management at Cardiff University - and had the chance to pitch for the Panalpina Award for Strategic and Innovative Thinking in 2013.

Not only did Kaicheng win the prize, he was hired by the Basel-headquartered company, and has turned his research ideas into reality. The 28-year-old first joined Panalpina’s team in Singapore, but has since moved to Dubai and works in Panalpina’s Logistics Manufacturing Operations team.

Kaicheng said: "Panalpina has been a great place to develop my career and travel the world. The company has provided amazing opportunities. I began as Regional Logistics Engineer Asia Pacific in Singapore, but have moved to Dubai as Country Logistics Business Improvement Engineer, UAE..."

This year’s Panalpina Awards attracted student entrants from Cardiff University’s Business School and the School of Engineering, developing smart new ideas on topics including e-commerce solutions and additive manufacturing.

Cardiff Business School’s Fevos Charalampidis and Hrishikesh Pawar, who are leading a two-year research project to develop an approach to help customers assess their supply chain’s ability to introduce 3D printing, awarded Giulia the prize, together with her academic supervisor Wessam Abouarghoub.

Giulia added: "Receiving the Panalpina Award for Strategic and Innovative Thinking is a marvellous honour for me. I’d like to thank my supervisor, Dr Wessam Abouarghoub, and the Panalpina team at Cardiff Business School, especially Hrishikesh Pawar, for their help and support."

A Cardiff entrepreneur will meet business mogul Sir Richard Branson after winning £5,000 in a regional Virgin Media Business competition.

  • Dr Wessam M.T. Abouarghoub

    Lecturer in Logistics and Operations Management