Customer returns and product recalls are an ongoing problem for companies. It can lead many people to learn more about what is reverse logistics and if it’s right for their business. Reverse logistics is much more than a returns process. It provides many valuable and cost-saving benefits to companies, especially when outsourced to a quality, third-party logistics (3PL) provider.

What Is Reverse Logistics?

If it’s more than a returns process, what is reverse logistics? Well, reverse logistics is part of the supply chain management process that handles freight’s “background movement,” which are customer returns, assets, or unsold goods. Once the freight has been returned, it could be:

  • Recycled
  • Refurbished
  • Resold 

How Does the Reverse Logistics Process Work?

When an item needs to be returned, whether it’s a customer returns, unsold items, or product recall, whoever oversees the reverse logistics operations will need to:

  1. Handle or organize the return shipping 
  2. Test the returned product 
  3. Dismantle the product (if applicable) 
  4. Repair the product (if applicable)
  5. Recycle, dispose, or resell the product 

This process is similar, whether it’s consumer goods, manufacturing parts, or perishable items. 

What to Expect when Working with a 3PL for Reverse Logistics 

Due to the time-consuming tasks associated with overseeing an effective reverse logistics operation, many companies choose to outsource the work to a trusted and reliable 3PL provider. Most 3PL’s offer the following services to help you with your logistics needs. 

  • Delivery recalls
  • Delivery returns of excess goods
  • Disposal of unwanted items
  • Distribution
  • Removal of packaging
  • Repackaging
  • Restocking
  • Returns management 

A 3PL will tailor its services to meet your specific needs. An experienced 3PL, like Beitler Logistics Services (BLS), can quickly adapt to any changes that occur.

4 Benefits of 3PL Reverse Logistics Services 

The returns process is an essential aspect of any business that deals with the selling of goods. Having an efficient and reliable reverse logistics system in place can improve service and revenue for many companies, especially when working with a 3PL. 

#1 Provides Valuable Business Data  

Once your returns are effectively managed and organized, you can better understand the reason for the returns. For instance, an item from a specific manufacturer is poorly made, doesn’t fulfill its intended use, or has common defects. By understanding the return reason can help you make different business decisions.  

#2 Additional Revenue 

After a returns process is in place, you can save money on: 

  • Transportation costs (fewer pickups)
  • Reduced missing inventory 
  • Refurbishing and repairs costs 
  • Storage costs 

#3 Improved Brand Image and Customer Satisfaction

Implementing an efficient and easy returns system will make the process easier for customers, leading to increased satisfaction and customer retention. 

#4 Promote an Environmentally Friendly Brand 

If you have a recycling program in place on returns, you can promote company efficiency, reduced waste, and environmentally sustainable practices.  

Achieve Reverse Logistics Success with BLS 

At BLS, every one of our customers is part of the Beitler Advantage. Our team is committed to high levels of professionalism, honor, and honesty to you, our customer. 

Learn more about our reverse logistic services.

Contact us if you’re ready to talk to a BLS team member.