Understanding The Basics Of Reverse Logistics

Understanding The Basics Of Reverse Logistics

  • Avatar photo by Best Inc.
  • 03/05/2020

In e-commerce, you not only have to have a great product, market and advertise it, sell it, and deliver it – you also have to be prepared to handle returns or defective items. While this last step of the selling process may be often overlooked by businesses, it can easily be achieved through one simple strategy: Reverse Logistics.


Reverse logistics is a supply chain management technique whereby a company collects and reuses some part of their distributed good. Instead of the usual supply chain function of creating a one-way path for companies to reach consumers, this new strategy involves the creation of a supply chain network that works backwards, allowing consumers to reach the company. Businesses who have implemented the reverse logistics strategy are able to enjoy lower costs, better customer service, limit their environmental impact and become conscious corporate citizens.

Successful Examples Of Reverse Logistics


An excellent example of a successful reverse logistics system is Apple. Apple manufactures iPhones and other electronic products, which are sold in various stores around the world. Consumers purchase the iPhone and accessories, enjoying their personal devices until they cease functioning or are replaced by an upgrade. Customers who return to the store for a new device are offered discounts on new products in exchange for recycling their old devices with Apple. These old models are brought back to the factories, stripped, and their parts which are still in good condition are used in newer products. This recycling approach helps Apple be more environmentally friendly, and also save money on production costs.


With the implementation of several easy ways to collect and recycle their used bottles, Dasani is a prime example of reverse logistics. One of the collection methods implemented is the Dasani Bottle Bins initiative, placed in school campuses across America, for consumers to drop their empty bottles to be recycled.


UPS allows consumers to reuse boxes to ship items, saving massively on natural resources and overall expenses by consumers. In addition, UPS has recycling services to reliably dispose of unwanted goods.


Famous for collecting old and recyclable clothing of any condition or brand, H&M leads the way in reverse logistics in the fashion industry. The company offers consumers a discount voucher for every bag of clothes recycled, and the recycled clothes eventually make it to an all-recycled clothing line of their own. With this strategy, consumers can get involved with the brand, even if they didn’t purchase their outfits from H&M.

Importance Of Reverse Logistics

Aside from the environmental impact and cost savings of reverse logistics, there are also benefits to your company’s brand image. For example, there may be a need for certain products to be recalled, or a consumer may wish to return a wrongly delivered or defective item. Having a reverse logistics system in place to handle such two-way transfers will keep customers happy and avoid negative criticism or reviews of your business online. For an effective, reliable, and experienced reverse logistics provider, look no further than Best Inc. With 13 years on the job, we are the go-to full service supply chain company. Contact us today!