What is Return Logistics?
3 Mins Read
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Countless companies around the globe have established robust supply chain logistics that ensure products reach their customers without little to no disruption. However, many businesses haven’t stopped to consider the importance of return or reverse logistics – a trillion-dollar sector growing in importance because of the rise of e-commerce and shifting consumer expectations.

By forging an efficient return logistics process, businesses and customers alike can reduce their environmental impact and enhance the online shopping experience. Meanwhile, ensuring customers can swiftly seek repairs or return waste materials for proper disposal creates greater consumer trust and grows your reputation.

What is return logistics management?

Return logistics is about how businesses process products being sent in the reverse order through their supply chain. Whether you’re a fashion retailer dealing with customer returns or an electronics supplier that responsibly disposes of toxic materials, ensuring your returns management process functions at a high level is crucial in the modern e-commerce landscape.

In traditional supply chain logistics, suppliers send products to factories or distributors, which pass them onto retailers, so that customers can make their purchase. However, return supply chain logistics go in the opposite direction, with customers starting the process, often due to an issue with their orders.

When a supply chain is overly rigid in its design, companies struggle to process these returns. Unfortunately, this can become an enormous source of frustration for customers, as they struggle to navigate inflexible systems that mean returning their item for a refund or repair becomes an unnecessary burden.

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Developing robust return logistics

Instead of damaging your company’s reputation because of poor return logistics, establishing a streamlined process ensures your business can improve the customer experience and benefit from increased trust.

DHL Express places importance on the reverse logistics process by making it easy for you to create a return label for your customers. Print and place a return air waybill within your parcel or document so in the event a recipient decides to send back a shipment, they would simply need to arrange for refunds and pickup using MyDHL+ or reach out to our customer service specialist to arrange for collection. A no-fuss, free-of-charge returns process such as this increases customer satisfaction and boosts brand loyalty as seen with Anothersole, a popular Singapore footwear brand with a free global returns policy. .Consider these steps to create the ideal reverse supply chain logistics. 

1. Enhance supplier relationships

Your company’s suppliers and partners are critical to how you process returns. By developing an integrated system that keeps everyone in the loop, your business can effortlessly communicate with its collaborators to ensure customers aren’t ignored.

2. Improve product tracking

Similarly, customers want to remain informed about where the returned item is positioned in the return supply chain. Backed by intuitive tracking solutions, businesses can keep their customers updated so they know their item hasn't been lost or forgotten. 

3. Use data to your advantage

Reverse supply chain logistics is a great opportunity to collect data that improves your company’s operation. If products are being consistently returned for a similar reason, this information enables you to enact changes that limit your environmental impact.

Establish sustainable return logistics with DHL Express

If your business wants to achieve an eco-friendly reverse supply chain, partner with a global logistics leader that understands the importance of sustainability. DHL Express has established group-wide strategies like GoGreen solutions to minimise our carbon emissions through electric vehicles, sustainable aviation fuel and optimised supply chain management. Enhance your reverse logistics with a responsible returns management process today with DHL Express.