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• The Wall Street Journal reports that “U.S. retailers, the biggest shippers and receivers of goods hauled in the U.S., are trading competition for cooperation by teaming up to transport each others' goods ... The Empty Miles program currently has 46 members, including retailers, manufacturers and trucking companies. Members pay $1,600 a year for access to a website that lists shipping days, destinations and return routes for empty trucks, as well as support to facilitate coordination for shipments.”

According to the story, “The likes of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Macy's Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. are joining forces, at least on the highways of the U.S., to cut their transport bills and curb emissions by filling empty spaces in long-haul trucks with each others' merchandise.

“The Empty Miles initiative ... grew from an industry panel discussion two years ago about how trucks are still traveling U.S. highways without cargo after making deliveries, with retailers in essence paying for round trips when they are only shipping goods one way. The situation costs retailers millions of extra dollars a year while producing unnecessary emissions as the trucks head back without cargo. The issue of empty return trips has bedeviled the retail and trucking industries for decades. Despite making progress at avoiding empty trucks, the onset of the recession and concerns about fuel costs gave the vacancy issue extra urgency.”

The Journal notes that “the program was created by the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions Association, or VICS, a supply chain group that tries to make the delivery of consumer goods more efficient. VICS worked with GS1 US, an industry standards organization.

• The Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions (VICS) Association announced the winners of the 2010 Roger Milliken Lifetime Achievement Awards last night at the VICS/U Connect Annual Conference at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, TX. The Awards were given to Timothy P. Smucker, Chairman of the Board and Co-CEO of The J.M. Smucker Company, and Danny Wegman, CEO of Wegmans Food Markets. Winners of the Roger Milliken Lifetime Achievement Awards were decided by votes of the VICS Board of Directors.
The VICS Roger Milliken Lifetime Achievement Award honors the leadership and outstanding contributions of an individual who has advanced the entire industry over his or her entire career to date.
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