Amazon and CTL Announce Winners of Last-Mile Routing Research Challenge

Winners of the Amazon Last-Mile Routing Research Challenge were announced in a live webinar event held on July 30, 2021. Amazon and the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics created the challenge to engage with a global community of researchers across a range of disciplines, from computer science to business operations to supply chain management, challenging them to build data-driven route optimization models leveraging massive historical route execution data. The three winning teams were awarded prize money totaling $175,000 for their innovative route optimization models.

Winners ($100,000): 
Professor William Cook, University of Waterloo, Canada; Professor Stephan Held, University of Bonn, Germany; and Professor Emeritus Keld Helsgaun, Roskilde University, Denmark. 

Runners Up ($50,000): 
Xiaotong Guo, Qingyi Wang, and Baichuan Mo, doctoral students at MIT.

3rd Place ($25,000):
Professor Okan Arslan, HEC Montréal; and Rasit Abay, PhD student at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Read more:

MIT News: Last-mile routing research challenge awards $175,000 to three winning teams

Amazon Science: Winning Last Mile Challenge team addresses problem of combining mathematical routes with driver knowledge

Awards & Incentives

Participants will have the opportunity to work on a realistic and very challenging problem with large, real-world data sets provided by Amazon that are currently not publicly available to the research community. The problem tackled in the Last Mile Routing Research Challenge is applicable to any company and industry which has last-mile operations.


The winning team will receive an award of US$100,000. The team with second highest score will receive an award of US$50,000, and the team with the third highest score will receive an award of US$25,000. All awards will be divided equally among all team members.


All participants will receive a certificate of participation in the Last Mile Routing Research Challenge signed by the Amazon Logistics VP and the Director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics.

Career Development

In addition, the top 3 teams may be invited to interview with Amazon for research positions in the last mile organization and may be invited to present their work to students and faculty members at MIT.


All participants in the Last Mile Routing Research Challenge will be invited to submit an extended academic paper on their work for potential publication in a peer-reviewed proceedings document, and if possible, a special issue of an appropriate academic journal.

The most academically compelling submissions to the Last Mile Routing Research Challenge will be featured in a scientific review paper that MIT CTL intends to publish in order to raise the awareness of the academic community to the topic and to the contributions proposed by the participants in the challenge.

Similarly, the most promising solutions to the Last Mile Routing Research Challenge will be featured on a more applied level in a special report on state-of-the-art route sequencing methods, which will be targeting practitioners and will be published online by MIT CTL.

Lastly, MIT CTL will pick out individual contributions by interested participants in the Last Mile Routing Research Challenge and feature their work in practitioner-oriented media outlets, social media, or blog posts, targeting a broad public audience.