As Christmas gives way to New Year, the focus on reverse logistics will increase for many retailers and suppliers, particularly for those who deliver would-be Christmas gifts over large distances with a no-quibble returns policy.
Research from B-Stock, an American company that specialises in liquidising excess retail inventory, reveals that some of the most popular categories of gifts are also, logically enough, among those most likely to be returned.
This includes novelty clothing, such as that intended for children with funny slogans printed on the front, toys that are part of a short-lived fad, kitchen gadgets, random powertools and unusual recreational equipment like hoverboards.
Overall, the company saw a spike of 61% more stock returned in the first quarter of 2017 compared with before the Christmas holidays, and its research shows that around one in every three people will return at least one gift in the new year.
Sudden surges in returns present their own challenges for reverse logistics, and even if you don’t handle the collection and transport of items yourself, there may be ways to optimise the disposal or redistribution of returned items when it comes to sending them out again.
Improving reverse logistics with 4PL
4PL is the natural way to improve reverse logistics, as it takes a joined-up approach to all of your logistics operations, whether outbound deliveries or items collected for return – and running your own reverse logistics service can help to reduce empty running of your fleet.
You may in fact be required to offer a collection service of some kind, due to your environmental commitments or if your products contain certain controlled or hazardous substances.
Whatever your needs, 3T Group can discuss reverse logistics as part of an overall 4PL service to optimise everything from warehousing and storage, to freight and final-mile delivery.
Call us on 0116 2824 111 to learn more about how our transport management systems can help improve efficiency in your unique circumstances.