What is meant by the term Reverse Logistics?

Which factors differentiate “Reverse Logistics” from “Forward Logistics”?

The main target of Logistics is to minimize the cost and achieve the maximum value for a product throughout its handling from the point-of-origin to the point-of-consumption.

Most people are familiar with the definition of traditional Logistics, the so-called “Forward Logistics”, which deals with the management of the forward flow of resources through the supply chain network. However, this is not usual the case when handling the opposite flow direction, the so-called “Reverse Logistics”.

In simple words, “Reverse Logistics” include all the procedures related to product returns due to damage, replacements, recalls, seasonal inventory, maintenance, recycling, refilling or reprocessing. It is considered as one of the most rapid developing fields of Supply Chain network, resulting to constant adjustments in scope and significance.

Reverse Logistics differ from Forward Logistics in several points. The most important ones are the following:

  • Forward distribution is usually well scheduled. On the contrary, reverse flow is unsure and difficult to forecast
  • In Forward Logistics the products are moving from a certain point of origin to multiple destinations while in Reverse Logistics the product direction starts from various points of origin to one destination
  • The quality of the product and its packaging is precise in Forward Logistics but coming the other way around, either the product or the packaging is usually defective
  • The final place of delivery, as well as, the routing in Forward Logistics is specified in advance but moving in opposite direction often is not clear
  • In Forward distribution an element of high importance is the speed but in reverse process speed is not considered as a priority
  • Costs clarity is not easily identified in Reverse Logistics. In Forward Logistics, rates are well known in advance and directly identifiable

Hub Logistics SA can not only arrange your cargo to reach its delivery point, but can also offer Reverse Logistics services in case that our customers require product return. It is important for us to plan and offer any alternative solution. When a product return is required, we are able to coordinate the whole process from the start till the end and assist our customers to receive their products back.