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1 in 4 Trailers on Road Empty, Can Standards Help? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rob Guerriere   
Mar 01, 2010 at 02:16 PM

This past week I had the pleasure of visiting with a supply chain leader and CEO of VICS (Voluntary Inter-industry Commerce Solutions), Joe Andraski.  I asked Mr. Andraski, "What is the most game changing new supply chain technology on the market today?"   His reply may potentially take 25% of the tractor trailers off the road.  Imagine the impact that will have on the environment, oil consumption, road safety and maintenance, not to mention cost efficiencies.  The new program and collaborative platform is called Empty Miles, and has been put together by VICS, GS1 US and Canada.

Map of Daily Truck Traffic 2020

While Mr. Andraski is tooting his own horn, he is in a position that gives him visibility on what new initiatives are working with industry leaders.  VICS and the GS1 are standards organizations supported by worldwide leaders of several industries reliant on the distribution of goods.  Mr. Andraski meets regularly with companies, indentifying inefficiencies and marries them up to new technology based on standards and best practices.  That is exactly why the GTBP was interested in talking with him.

The problem became apparent to VICS a couple years back when holding a transportation summit.  One major retailer stood up and proclaimed that they waste 25,000,000 miles per year with empty trailers.  That is when the light bulb went off for Mr. Andraski.

Empty Miles is an Internet based service that allows shippers and carriers to upload their entire routing guides or just shipping lanes that are in need of a backhaul.  The platform then maps out the routes, filter searches, and matches up shippers with empty trailers.  The service is only a year old and currently has 40 major companies utilizing the platform.  Macy's is one of the first VICS members using the platform.  Empty Miles matched their empty backhauls with Schneider National.  The result:  1,500 loads matched up that would have been empty, saving tons and tons of carbon dioxide, particle matter, nitrous oxide, thousands of gallons of diesel fuel, and nearly $1MM in transportation savings for Macy's alone. 

The cost for Macy's to use Empty Miles is $1,600/year.  You don't need a calculator to compare the ROI to any other supply chain initiative.  And you don't need to be a business wizard to see how this simple idea of a collaborative effort put forward by a non-profit standards organization will have a major effect on our lives.  There are over 250,000 carriers operating in North America today.  While match making efforts for backhauls have been in place for some time mainly by transportation brokers, having a scalable technology solution put forth by a standard organization sounds like a formula for success.  Add in the market timing of rising fuel costs and a recession, and you have the most game changing new supply chain initiative on the market today.

"We are offering an opportunity for people to share transportation data in a way that they've never had visibility to do before - all with the support and guidance of VICS, the GS1 US and Canada".  Joe Andraski  For more information on visit http://emptymiles.org


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Last Updated ( Mar 02, 2010 at 02:53 PM )

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