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VICS, GS1 Canada and GS1 US Launch Empty Miles Service

Friday, February 6, 2009

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ — The Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions (VICS) Association, GS1 Canada and GS1 US are launching a new solution to optimize truck transportation by reducing the number of trailers traveling without loads throughout the continent. The Empty Miles Service matches a company’s trailers that are returning empty with potential loads that can be collected and delivered along the return route. For participating companies, the VICS Empty Miles service will save money, produce revenues and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption across North America.

“The Empty Miles Service addresses a persistent problem facing shippers by reducing the number of trailers on the road without any product,” said William Merrigan, Vice President, Global Supply Chain, International Paper.

VICS members using real data in a structured pilot program have tested all functions of the Empty Miles Service. Pilot participants, which include several of North America’s largest retailers, consumer goods suppliers and transportation carriers, have found the Empty Miles Service easy to use, simple to operate and powerful in terms of results.

“Macy’s is examining every aspect of our supply chain to ensure that product arrives at our stores in the most efficient manner. Empty Miles is a key tool to help us accomplish this goal,” said Pam Sweeney, Senior Vice President – Systems, Macy's Logistics & Operations.

VICS Members can participate in Empty Miles for $1,600 per year. Non-Members will be charged $1,850 per year. Pricing is by year, not by shipment or mile, which encourages companies to take maximum advantage of Empty Miles. By registering more routes in the Empty Miles system, companies can dramatically increase the savings derived while minimizing cost per shipment.

“Pricing for Empty Miles offers an excellent value for companies. Empty Miles subscribers will include companies with unused capacity and shipping requirements that can be satisfied through a repetitive commitment, like regularly traveled backhauls,” said Joe Andraski, President and CEO of VICS. “Both VICS Members and Non-Members will be permitted to use the system since the more participants Empty Miles has, the more closely it will match loads with return routes.”

To help companies build a business case for Empty Miles, the development group at GS1 created a ROI calculator to measure direct financial benefits. The ROI calculator also determines the benefits of reduced CO2 emissions, which will help participants report carbon footprint improvements to management, trading partners and the public.

Other Empty Miles Service features include easy to use and convenient web-based access, a secure collaborative environment between shippers and carriers, user authentication and real-time searching for available lanes.

“The goal of the Empty Miles Service is to make it as easy as possible for VICS members and others to use, so we designed the interface with that in mind. With a minimal amount of training and configuration, transportation managers will quickly be reaping the benefits of the technology and saving their companies money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Art Smith, President and CEO of GS1 Canada.

About VICS
The Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards (VICS) Association has enabled companies in the retail and consumer-focused industries to eliminate billions of dollars of waste and delay. By creating voluntary guidelines, often referred to as “standards,” VICS has created new best practices that ultimately lead to lower costs and better availability of products for consumers. VICS’ volunteer members improve the flow of products and information throughout retailing and the consumer-focused industries that supply retail. The Association provides leadership and an environment in which executives can make a difference in their industry, their company performance—and their personal commitment to make the world work a little bit better. VICS’ members help define the next best practices in the industries and thus anticipate and optimize business processes and costs. Additional information can be found at www.vics.org.

About GS1 Canada
GS1 Canada is a neutral, not-for-profit organization that promotes and maintains global standards for the identification of goods, locations and related e-commerce communication, and provides education and awareness of these global standards. Learn more at www.gs1ca.org.

About GS1 US®
GS1 US is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the adoption and implementation of standards-based, global-supply chain solutions. Its solutions, including business processes, XML standards, EDI transaction sets, and the barcode identification standards of the GS1 System are currently used by more than 1 million companies worldwide. www.GS1US.org

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