What is Reverse Logistics?

by | Jun 28, 2019 | 3PL, Warehousing

Traditional logistics works like this:

You receive an item from a manufacturer or reseller, sell it to a customer directly, and the process ends when the customer uses the item. Reverse logistics works the opposite way. It involves moving goods beyond their typical final destination.  Let’s take a closer look at why your reverse logistics strategy matters.


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There are a variety of reasons a customer may return your items. They may be damaged, defective, or simply fail to meet their expectations. Regardless of their reason for returns, it’s essential for you to have a reverse logistics strategy in place that can effectively handle these returns. You’ll need to figure out how to receive, inspect and test the items, verify they were purchased, and more.

If you’re in the e-commerce business, reverse logistics may be one one of the greatest operational challenges you face due to the large volume and cost of processing returns. By coming up with the right reverse logistics strategy, you can enjoy improved customer satisfaction, lower storage and distribution costs, and a lower investment on resources.


Recalls may also lead to returns. If your items are recalled because of a hazard it may pose to your customers, you can expect them to be returned. Recalls are generally more complicated than everyday returns because a potential hazard is likely involved and the item may be subject to certain regulations and/or liability concerns. Therefore, they require a very specific reverse logistics strategy.


Sometimes, your customers may send items back to you so you can repair them. Repairs can be beneficial for you because they can help you recoup costs and become more sustainable. Without a strong reverse logistics strategy in place, you may spend too much time and money on labor or repair parts. Tracking and visibility are key to efficient repairs.


If you receive returned products because customers are simply unsatisfied with them, you can repackage them and return them to inventory. As long as there is nothing wrong with them, repackaging can help you resell goods and make up for lost revenue. An efficient reverse logistics strategy can streamline this process.

Recycling or Disposal

More and more businesses are looking for ways to become more sustainable. You may encourage your customers to send their items back when they’ve reached the end of their useful lives so you can dispose of them in a safe, affordable, and environmentally friendly way. This may include working with a third-party recycling company to dispose of your items.

Get Help with Your Reverse Logistics Strategy

Designing a strong reverse logistics strategy is no walk in the park, especially if you’re new to this concept and don’t have internal resources to help you out. Fortunately, you can count on Amware to help design and implement a reverse logistics strategy. Contact us today for more information.

Contact Amware

About Brad Mullins

About Brad Mullins

Brad Mullins is the Chief Operating Officer at Amware and is responsible for ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of all Amware's business practices. His effort and expertise in business management and transportation logistics, combined with a focus on positive customer experience, have had a direct and positive impact on Amware's clients, agents, partners, and vendors.