The Importance And Issues Of Reverse Logistics

Table of Content

The procedure of planning, implementing, and commanding the efficient, cost effectual flow of natural stuffs, in-process stock list, finished goods and related information from the point of beginning to the point of ingestion for the intent of conforming to client demands.

Rearward logistics includes all of the activities that are mentioned in the definition above. The difference is that contrary logistics encompasses all of these activities as they operate in contrary. Therefore, contrary logistics is:

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The procedure of planning, implementing, and commanding the efficient, cost effectual flow of natural stuffs, in-process stock list, finished goods and related information from the point of ingestion to the point of beginning for the intent of recapturing value or proper disposal.

More exactly, rearward logistics is the procedure of traveling goods from their typical concluding finish for the intent of capturing value, or proper disposal.

Remanufacturing and renovating activities besides may be included in the definition of contrary logistics. Change by reversal logistics is more than recycling containers and recycling packaging stuffs. Redesigning packaging to utilize less material, or cut downing the energy and pollution from transit are of import activities, but they might be better placed in the kingdom of “ green ” logistics. If no goods or stuffs are being sent “ backward, ” the activity likely is non a rearward logistics activity.

Reverse logistics besides includes processing returned ware due to damage, seasonal stock list, restock, salvage, recalls, and extra stock list. It besides includes recycling plans, risky stuff plans, disused equipment temperament, and plus recovery.

Leading-edge companies are acknowledging the strategic value of holding a contrary logistics direction system in topographic point to maintain goods on the retail shelf and in the warehouse fresh and in demand.

The contrary logistics procedure can be broken into two general countries, depending on whether the contrary flow consists chiefly of merchandises, or chiefly of packaging. For merchandise returns, a high per centum is represented by client returns. Overall client returns are estimated to be about six per centum across all retail merchants. Return percentages for selected industries are shown in Table.

In each instance, return per centums were established by several different houses.

Sample Return Percentages

Magazine Publishing 50 %

Book Publishers 20-30 %

Book Distributors 10-20 %

Greeting Cards 20-30 %

Catalog Retailers 18-35 %

Electronic Distributors 10-12 %

Computer Manufacturers 10-20 %

CD-ROMs 18-25 %

Printers 4-8 %

Mail Order Computer Manufacturers 2-5 %

Mass Merchandisers 4-15 %

Car Industry ( Parts ) 4-6 %

Consumer Electronicss 4-5 %

Family Chemicals 2-3 %

Clearly, return rates vary significantly by industry. For many industries, larning to pull off the contrary flow is of premier importance.

Relatively, direct or catalog companies have higher return rates than most other retail channels. It is non unusual for a direct retail merchant to hold return rates above 35 per centum. The average degree is about 25 per centum. These catalog houses have had to better their direction of the return procedure. An exclusion to this is build-to-order, direct computing machine makers that have lower rates of return than computing machine makers that sell through traditional retail channels.

Most catalog houses have developed returns plans internally. They utilize their contrary logistics capablenesss strategically. As the old expression goes, necessity is the female parent of innovation. Because return rates for many of the catalog retail merchants have traditionally been high, a decrease in both the figure of returns and the cost of those returns was needed.

One peculiarly good illustration of adept contrary logistics direction is the J.C. Penney Catalog Division. They struggled for many old ages with high rates of return. Their catalog division operated independently from their retail shop division. By believing about the profitableness of the whole corporation, and puting aside some hard accounting patterns, they have been able to develop a system that rewards the retail shop directors for working to cut down expensive returns. When consumers decide to return a catalog purchase, they bring it back to the nearest shop.

The shop directors are incented to disposition the point through the retail shop. If the point is non sold in the shop, so it is sent back to the catalog distribution centre.

Rearward Logistics Activities

Typical contrary logistics activities would be the procedures a company uses to roll up used, damaged, unwanted ( stock equilibrating returns ) , or outdated merchandises, every bit good as packaging and transportation stuffs from the end-user or the reseller.

Once a merchandise has been returned to a company, the house has many disposal options from which to take. Some of these activities are summarized in Table 1.3. If the merchandise can be returned to the provider for a full refund, the house may take this option foremost. If the merchandise has non been used, it may be resold to a different client, or it may be sold through an mercantile establishment shop. If it is non of sufficient quality to be sold through either of these options, it may be sold to a salvage company that will export the merchandise to a foreign market.

If the merchandise can non be sold “ as is, ” or if the house can significantly increase the merchandising monetary value by reconditioning, renovating or remanufacturing the merchandise, the house may execute these activities before selling the merchandise. If the house does non execute these activities in-house, a 3rd party house may be contracted, or the merchandise can be sold outright to a reconditioning/remanufacturing/refurbishing house.

After executing these activities, the merchandise may be sold as a reconditioned or remanufactured merchandise, but non as new.

If the merchandise can non be reconditioned in any manner, because of its hapless status, legal deductions, or environmental limitations, the house will seek to dispose of the merchandise for the least cost.

Rearward Logistics Activities:

Tax return to Supplier


Sell via Outlet





Reclaim Materials



Packaging Reuse


Reclaim Materials



By and large, boxing stuffs returned to a house will be reused. Clearly, reclaimable carryalls and palettes will be used many times before disposal. Often, damaged carryalls and palettes can be refurbished and returned to utilize. This work may be done in-house, or utilizing companies whose exclusive mission is to repair broken palettes and refurbish packaging.

Once fixs can no longer be made, the reclaimable conveyance packaging must be disposed of. However, before it is sent to a landfill, all salvageable stuffs will be reclaimed.

European houses are required by jurisprudence to take back conveyance packaging used for their merchandises. To cut down costs, houses attempt to recycle as much of these stuffs as possible, and repossess the stuffs when they can no longer be reused.

Reverse Flow of Goods

The activities shown in Table are the types that are by and large considered the nucleus of contrary logistics procedures.

Each of these activities gives rise to some interesting inquiries, many of which will be addressed in this research.

However, from a logistics position, the larger issue common to all of these activities is how the house should efficaciously and expeditiously acquire the merchandises from where they are non wanted to where they can be processed, reused, and salvaged. Besides, the house must find the “ temperament ” of each merchandise. That is, for each merchandise, the house must make up one’s mind the concluding finish for merchandises inserted into the contrary logistics flow.

Strategic Use of Reverse Logistics

Rearward Logistics as a Strategic Weapon

When companies think about strategic variables, they are contemplating concern elements that have a long-run underside line impact. Strategic variables must be managed for the viability of the house. They are more than merely tactical or operational responses to a job or a state of affairs.

Not long ago, the lone strategic variables a house was probably to stress were concern maps, such as finance or selling. During the late seventiess and 1980s, some frontward believing companies began to see their logistics capablenesss as strategic.

Although more and more houses have begun to see their ability to take back stuff through the supply concatenation as an of import capableness, the bulk of these houses have non yet decided to stress rearward logistics as a strategic variable.

There is no inquiry that the handling of contrary logistics challenges is an indispensable, strategic capableness.

Competitive Reasons

Most retail merchants and makers have liberalized their return policies over the last few old ages due of competitory force per unit areas. While the tendency toward liberalisation of return policies has begun to switch a small, houses still believe that a satisfied client is their most of import plus.

Tax return Policy Changes

Some houses have begun to take a more aggressive stance with clients, and have attempted to cut down the figure of returns. Because of client service force per unit areas, it is hard to do a pre-emptive measure, if other houses runing in the same industry have broad return policies. If one participant in the industry has a broad return policy, it is hard for other houses in that industry to fasten their return policies.

Some retail merchants are get downing to rethink broad return policies, and equilibrate their value as a selling tool against the cost of those policies. Return policies are tightening3, as retail merchants look for ways to analyse the returns procedure, and to recapture dollars that were antecedently written on the expense side of the leger.

One ground for a generous return policy is that it leads to improved hazard sharing between Sellerss and consumers. In some channels, consumers can return anything to the retail merchants, the retail merchants and jobbers have broad return agreements with makers, and makers end up taking duty for the full merchandise life rhythm.

These broad return policies on occasion turn into “ Return Abuse ” policies, where the makers end up taking an excessive sum of hazard.

Clean Channel

Rearward logistics competences are besides used to clean out client stock lists, so that those same clients can buy more new goods. Car companies have reasonably broad return policies in topographic point, and a big contrary logistics web which allows them to convey back parts and constituents from their traders. These parts are frequently remanufactured, so that value is reclaimed. If new parts held by the trader are non selling good, the car companies will give the traders a generous return allowance, so that they can purchase new parts that they truly need, and hence, service the ultimate consumer better. Most car traders, and many traders in other industries, are family-based concerns with limited supplies of capital to put in stock lists. They frequently have less than province of the art stock list direction capablenesss. It is in the best involvement of parts providers to clean out their stock lists, cut down credit-line restraints, and better client satisfaction.

Protect Margin

This strategic use of contrary logistics is closely related to cleaning out the channel. Firms cleanse their stock lists and the stock lists of their clients and their clients ‘ clients using contrary logistics procedures. Some houses are proactive in their direction of downstream stock list, as opposed to simply being reactive. These houses have plans in topographic point that maximizes stock list freshness.

Fresher stock lists can demand better monetary values, which in bend, protects border.


While many companies have yet to acknowledge the strategic potency of efficient contrary logistics, it is clear that the tide is get downing to turn. There is more involvement in rearward logistics now than of all time before. Firms are get downing to do serious investings in their contrary logistics systems and organisations. One clear indicant of the strategic importance of a concern component is the sum of money spent on pull offing that component.

Given the volume of returned merchandises experienced in some industries, it is non surprising that the houses in those industries consider returns a strategic and nucleus competence.

It appears likely that companies in industries that by and large do non put much value on good contrary logistics patterns, will, over the following few old ages, find that doing investings in their return systems will heighten their profitableness. It is clear that for many houses, first-class contrary logistics patterns add well to their bottom line.

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The Importance And Issues Of Reverse Logistics. (2017, Jul 28). Retrieved from

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