Reverse Logistics - Nautical Cargo

What is Reverse Logistics and how can you effectively manage it.

Logistics is a complex business with many unforeseen events propping up which needs to be handled immediately. One such event which needs to be finely addressed and planned is Reverse Logistics. To understand the importance of this growing logistics operations it is worth diving into some of the latest statistics concerning reverse logistics.

According to the latest information from Statistica in the US alone the return deliveries are estimated to cost $550 billion by the year 2020 which is approximately 75% more compared to the previous four years figures. With the arrival of the E-commerce era, Reverse Logistics has been of extreme importance more so in a scenario where physical retailers have been replaced by online providers and sellers whose sales had predictively touched around $414 million in the year 2018.

What is reverse logistics?

To clearly define reverse logistics in the simplest ways, it stands for all related operations where goods need to be returned from the place of consumption to the place of their origin. This sounds strange as rather for any logistic operation aimed to deliver the goods to the final customer this is a reverse of what should be happening. Precisely why such operations in logistics is termed to be reverse logistics. Now let’s understand the reason for such a different kind of operation and the need of the day which has seen it evolving so fast recently.

Managing reverse logistics is not a thing of ease as we are trying to address a situation where the shipper needs to handle a disappointed customer who wants to return the goods purchased for probably a replacement. Hence basically the shipper or the 3PL agent has to retrieve the product and needs to ship the item back to the hub. The return can be due to a few reasons being damaged product or an item which does not satisfy the customer. This has to be precisely accessed which is the key in initiating a counter shipping operation.

Hence, to put it more precisely, reverse logistics is the process of moving the goods from the final destination or consumption for the sole purpose of either disposing of, remanufacturing, refurbishing or reinitiating a similar replacement order to the customer. It also includes the process of the management of surplus of products which are left as returned. It is worth to be noted that in the online retailing business at least 30% of all products ordered are returned in comparison with almost 8.89% products which are purchased in brick and mortar shops.

Reverse logistics can also be taken as a source of accessing the quality of the products and the efficiency of the operations of all parties involved as this is a direct indicator of how much your customer is satisfied with the product and the delivery operations. Hence one needs to address this with accurate planning and as far as possible to avoid it as items which fall under the reverse logistics can become a big source of concern to any organisations profits.

Having understood the importance of reverse logistics it should also be noted that with a good reverse logistics process in place companies not only be able to track returns but also get the desired value from the returned products. To implement a successful reverse logistics process the following points can be followed:

Real-time monitoring and tracking facility:

The company should have a very viable and state of the art process and platform that facilitates its customers to return the product with ease. The platform should have proper data capture points that will help to categories the products to be returned as damaged, defective or scenarios where a product needs to be replaced with a new one. This will give the shipper or the 3PL agency to ship back the product to their desired origin based on this categorisation also with the help of the real-time monitoring capabilities to ensure the product reaches its origin.

Engage with the best warehouse and distribution centers:

One of the many important factors that should be taken into consideration and aptly engaged is that of the warehouse management services and distribution centers. Reverse logistics is all about getting the product once delivered to the endpoint of consumption back to the original point. Hence one needs to strategically decide on the return and collection centers and have more than one collection centers based on the category of the goods returned to access and estimate the quantum of damaged goods or the ones that have to be replaced for redistribution.

Customer communication:

Any industry which is doing business that directly satisfies its customer’s, communication is of top importance. Reverse logistics is not of any difference as especially in this kind of processes one has to give utmost heed to the queries of the customers. Let us not forget reverse logistics is all about an unsatisfied customer who wants to return the products delivered. Hence to gain trust companies have to communicate constantly with its customers and need to listen to queries raised by the customers with possible and quick solutions which will leave them delighted.

Partner with a good 3PL logistics provider:

Logistics is a very complex industry and reverse logistics is one such operation which is very much complex. One needs to have a separate logistics department with an able human resource team to handle the reverse logistics services with a state of the art technologically equipped platform to manage all the data involved. Many companies have started outsourcing their reverse logistics operations to 3rd party logistics vendors that are well equipped in providing the much needed real-time tracking of the reverse shipments and have the best human resources to ensure the proper flow of goods to the origin. This not only reduces the investments involved but also will ensure the effective return management process.

Summary:

In an industry and business scenario where E-commerce has established itself as the driving factor for any seller, one has to indulge in identifying the problem areas to generate apt solutions. Return of goods is one of the most pertinent concerns and companies must have a solid game plan to reduce operational costs and time lags involved in reverse logistics. Ultimately the goal is to satisfy the customers in the best and fastest way possible.

LCL Logistic Services

E-Commerce the definite road ahead for Logistics

Before going further with the topic and relating e-commerce with logistics, let us have a quick review of what e-commerce and logistics actually means. E-commerce is the new marketplace for the current generation. It is an electronic platform or best to say an Electronic marketplace from where you would be able to sell and buy everything that you want, starting from daily grocery to exclusive electronic appliances all under one single roof.

On the other hand, logistics refer to everything that a business operates and manages from the starting point wherein products are collected and consolidated till the point the product reaches the end consumers which can vary from residential consumers to even corporate houses.

E-Commerce today is largely depended on the operations of the logistics company as a perfect partner not only to deliver the goods to the end party but also to act as a provider of perfect LCL logistics services which also includes warehousing capabilities to stock product a large number of products. A quick understanding of how e-commerce can prove to be the definite road ahead for logistics.

Relating the two E-commerce business depends on serving customers and catering to their consumable requirements. The things that you choose from an e-commerce website needs to get delivered to you at the correct time and in the best possible shape. This is where logistics comes into the picture even much before that. The product that you choose to buy from an e-commerce website has to go through several processes before it finally reaches you.

E-Commerce being just a platform or a window to the products available for purchase it is the ability and planning of the logistics company to fulfill the order thereby catering to all the needs of the customers and satisfying them to a full extent most importantly with a prompt and reliable delivery. This can be achieved only via a proper and credible logistic provider.

Hence its imperative to say that with the kind of business growth seen in the retail business coupled with the flourishing use of E-commerce as the best technological platform it would mean that more growth is progressing towards the logistics business as well.

The Cycle of e-commerce and logistics is well integrated with the logistics industry and it surely hugely depends on the logistics operations for its success. From a consumers perspective, all he/she does is to place an order for an item from an e-commerce website and all that is expected is a timely delivery and cost benefits.

When the delivery person comes to a customer’s doorstep in order to deliver their product then that delivery person becomes the face of the e-commerce company, so it is very important for any e-commerce company to have an efficient logistics system in place. Hence for their own good, the e-commerce companies sometimes themselves develop their own logistics division so as to monitor everything from their end and do everything necessary like improving the software, training more people and introducing many efficient techniques which would, in turn, help their operations. But it is not necessary and vialble for every E-commerce company to have their own logistics system and in such scenarios, they tie up with one, so that they can make the process of delivery more smooth and efficient for the customer.

Many Investments are done in this partnership so that the logistic company can improve their technical and human resource aspect so that the company would be able to improve their business and incomes and in return, they would invest more in the logistics.

It is the best time in business today as we are witnessing many new players bring up their E-commerce sites to sell a variety of products to the consumers thereby giving more leverage and opportunities to many logistics companies. Without a doubt, E-commerce is here to stay and transportation companies have to get well equipped to meet the growing challenges in such a big opportunity.