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Commercial Shipping Crates

Make Sense of Reverse Logistics Definition and Examples

February 28, 2019
Harriet Daniels
Voiced by Amazon Polly

The traditional reference to logistics typically involves the process of transporting goods to consumers. However, as e-commerce transactions continue to grow it is necessary for consumers to be aware of the reverse logistics definition and examples and understand how it all works.

As the name suggests, reverse logistics moving goods from the consumer back to the warehouse, manufacturer or other location. In essence, it is the backward flow of goods through the supply chain. This could also include the flow of raw materials from the point of consumption.

Understanding reverse logistics is not complicated. We can help make sense of reverse logistics by definition and provide examples. Reverse logistics is an expanding sector within the commercial shipping market. To process inventory of finished goods is the forward view of logistics. But when materials in process inventory move back through the supply chain, this is reverse logistics. Rely on Commercial Shipping Crates powered by You Crate to help with all aspects of reverse logistics.

Reverse Logistics Definition

Most are familiar with the traditional, straightforward side of logistics. Typically, it means taking goods from the manufacturing location, warehouse or distribution center to a retail outlet or directly to the consumer. The traditional side takes the goods forward in the process.

However, with reverse logistics the goods are moving backward in the supply chain. For the most part, reverse logistics occurs after the product has been sold to a consumer.

The Reverse Logistics Association defines the term reverse logistics as “all activity associated with a product or service after the point of sale.”

In addition to items sold to consumers, reverse logistics is also used when a retail outlet ordered an item that is not selling leaving a large inventory on hand. Typically, items such as these will be shipped to a discount or clearance outlet or in some cases returned to the manufacturer for credit.

The goal of this growing sector is to make the process more efficient for consumers and product manufacturers. So what does it all mean? In traditional retail settings, reverse logistics may be compared to a return. A consumer makes a purchase then later finds they must return the item for any multitude of reasons. This example is a basic outline of reverse logistics.

On a daily basis freight is moving through the reverse logistics system on the way back to the manufacturer, the warehouse, headed for recycling or even dismantling for final disposal. There are many scenarios for this serve sector. Commercial Shipping Crates works closely with shippers to find the best option to handle reverse logistics.

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Reverse Logistics Example

The applications for reverse logistics are endless when taking into account all the different types of freight moving throughout the system. Whether a product is returned because the color is wrong or the item stopped working; the need for reverse logistics is growing.

Reverse logistics can be used for clothing, equipment, electronics, and vehicle parts to name a few on the endless list of goods. The thing to remember with reverse logistics is instead of moving toward a consumer, this method takes it backward in the supply chain.

Here are a few examples of the uses for reverse logistics:

  • Defective products
  • Overstock
  • Repair
  • Recycling
  • Disposal
  • Disassemble

The increasing popularity of e-commerce shopping is certainly one of the driving forces for reverse logistics. Consumers change their minds between the final click to purchase and when the package arrives at the front door. So what happens to the wrong color of the must have item? In traditional brick and mortar retail store, it would have been a simple return/exchange. The world of e-commerce requires the consumer to pack up the item in order to send it back. Transporting it back to the retailer may be just one step in the overall process of reverse logistics.

Shipping items back through the supply chain may present a challenge based on the size of the item and the final destination. Defective items may be sent to a repair facility or for disposal while bulk items not moving in a department store are shipped to a discount retailer.

Keeping up with reverse logistics is a full-time job, requiring the same level of attention to detail as in the traditional sense. Commercial Shipping Crates, powered by You Crate offers two options to securely transport reverse logistics freight.

Retail Returns

The average brick and mortar retail outlet handles what’s known in the industry as returns. It means an item purchased by a consumer is returned to the store for a refund or exchange. Now there are a myriad of reasons the return was made from it did not fit to the item stopped working.

Retail returns for the most part are returned to inventory to be sold again. However, there are some goods that are not restocked, but rather returned to the manufacturer due to defects and other issues. The items not suitable to be restocked are then turned over for reverse logistics to either the warehouse or other location determined by the retailer or manufacturer.

There are often times when the consumer may be forced to return the item to the manufacturer. The situation may involve the manufacturer handling the cost and method of how the goods are shipped back to them. Working all those details out makes it easier for the customer and manufacturer. Options offered by Commercial Shipping Crates are affordable and gives the shipper control over how the freight is packed for the journey.

E-commerce Reverse Logistics

The nature of e-commerce makes the sector a big part of reverse logistics. A rule of thumb for any e-commerce business is to have a reverse logistics plan in place because it will likely be needed to handle product returns. E-commerce is fast pace and consumers what to know that if something needs to be returned, it can be accomplished just as quickly as it was purchased.

Having a plan in place ahead of time will help save a lot of time and keep consumers happy knowing the reverse logistics will be a smooth process.The process of planning and implementing means paying close attention to the details of reverse logistics.

A large part of the reverse logistics plan focuses on how will a business respond when contacted by a customer not satisfied with a product for whatever reason. Once it’s determined the product needs to be returned, the business should outline the exact steps to ensure the item is picked up for transport back without issue.

Identifying the method and carrier that will handle the reverse logistics is important so consumers know what to expect when it is time to ship the item. Selecting Commercial Shipping Crates to handle the logistics process allows better control of the freight.

Create a plan to handle reverse logistics so that when the time arrives it will just be a matter of executing the process.

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Returns Management & Customer Service

How well reverse logistics is handled for returns management translates into a positive customer service experience. For the most part, no one really looks forward to returning goods to either a retailer, the manufacturer or a warehouse. It can be a hassle to get freight packed and ready to ship. Couple that with if the item is defective or needs to be repaired, some may think it is not worth the trouble.

In comes a solution like Commercial Shipping Crates providing an easy to use option with a durable wooden crate system.

Here is how it works:

  1. The shipper lets us know what needs to ship and where it’s going.
  2. Our team works to help select one of the two crate sizes available.
  3. Obtain a quote for crate rental and freight transport charges.
  4. An empty crate is delivered to the point of origin for packing.
  5. After the crate is packed by the consumer, our team returns to pick the crate up for transport.
  6. The crate is delivered to the destination and left for a few days to unpack.
  7. Once crate is unpacked, Commercial Shipping Crates returns to pick up the empty unit.

Commercial Shipping Crates comes in two sizes from You Crate:

  • Cube - holds up to 2,000 pounds
  • Tower - holds up to 1,250 pounds

Each unit is outfitted with an interior bracket system to keep contents in place and secure. And it only takes a flat head screwdriver to open the crate when ready to unpack.

Again, putting a reverse logistics plan in place is beneficial when the time comes to send something back. The more the consumer does not have to worry about, the customer will have an overall favorable experience.

Reverse Logistics for Recalled Goods

Just think about when an item is recalled and what happens if the retailer or manufacturer wants it sent back. The reverse logistics of a recalled item has an impact on the system based on quantity and size of the item.

The majority of recalls direct consumers to return the item to the retailer where it was purchased. Typically, the customer is refunded the cost of the goods or given the option to exchange for something else. So what happens to all of those returns that are gathered at the various retail locations? The manufacturer and the retailer must work out the next step in the process.

Retailers may be asked by the manufacturer to ship the recalled goods back in bulk. The next step for the manufacturer is locating containers for retailers to pack the goods working with carriers to transport the shipments. This can be an overwhelming step when dealing with multiple retailers across the country.

A wooden shipping crate may be a viable option to transport recalled goods. Commercial Shipping Crates can work with retailers and manufacturers to get the job done. Then it will need to be decided where the goods are going.

Manufacturers then decide the fate of the recalled goods. Options for reverse logistics recalled goods:

  1. Sent back to the manufacturer
  2. Shipped for repair
  3. Recycled
  4. Destroyed

The recalled items can be packed in bulk in either a cube or tower wooden crate, picked up and delivered to the destination selected by the manufacturer.

End of Life/Seasonal Returns

An item is being phased out of the inventory and the last remaining few are not selling. This is when the goods get packed up and shipped in reverse through the supply chain network.

Is it time to move out all the Halloween gear to make room for Christmas? So what happens to seasonal goods that were not sold? The items are most often sent back to the warehouse to wait until next year or disposed of if it cannot be used again next year.

However, seasonal clothing items and even goods being phased out may find new life in a discount retail outlet. It just has to get to the designated location in one piece.

Our team at Commercial Shipping Crates can work with retailers searching for a reverse logistics solution. Whether the goods are being sent to discount racks or it was not the hot item of the season, reverse logistics can help move everything on to its next chapter.

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Reverse Logistics of Electronics

Purchase a new cell phone lately? How about upgrade a computer or television? Sure everyone has likely done one or all of those recently. The age of technology and keeping up with the latest model and operating systems drives this sector.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association, returns of electronics tops $10 billion a year. And liquidation opportunities for retailers results in about 95% being resold which is a driving force in the sector of reverse logistics. As a result, electronics which can be repaired and recycled and sold as refurbished, often costing a lot less than its new counterpart.

Shipping electronics such as televisions, computers or even cellphones can be a daunting task to ensure no damage occurs during transit. Once each item is packed in a protective case, the group is ready to be loaded for shipment.

Few options provide an inclusive quote that covers the shipping container and the cost to transport the freight. The team at Commercial Shipping Crates can help determine the right size wooden crate to pack goods for reverse logistics.

Reverse Logistics Environmental

Another leading motivation for reverse logistics is the impact it has on the environment. One argument is that the ability to recycle or repair goods sent via reverse logistics helps keep goods out of local landfills.

Additionally, the production of certain goods is not as intense and demand slacks off a bit because items can be repaired. Overall it means less use of resources during the manufacturing process. This saves time and money in the long run.

The business of reverse logistics is far-reaching when it comes to what happens to goods after the point of sale. It can mean keeping a television out of the landfill if it can be sent back to the manufacturer or other vendor to recycle into an entirely new product.

Items like televisions, computers, a few cases of cellphones and other electronic goods can easily be loaded in a wooden crate by Commercial Shipping Crates and shipped for recycling or in some instances proper disposal. The team at Commercial Shipping Crates works closely with shippers to determine which size crate fits best for items. Just because freight is heading for recycling does not mean it should be damaged upon arrival.

In fact, for certain electronics parts to be recycled they need to be in good condition to gain the most value in the process. Just because an item may be an old model does not mean it is subpar or damaged. So it needs to be packed and loaded as carefully as a new item.

Commercial Shipping Crates

Selecting Commercial Shipping Crates, powered by You Crate, offers multiple advantages to handle reverse logistics shipping. Working with our partner, R+L Carriers, Commercial Shipping Crates is ready to assist customers throughout the process.

Commercial Shipping Crates specializes in an easy to use wooden crates for shipping freight. The product is durable and a cost-effective option. Customers can be confident their shipment is protected every mile of transport. This is how Commercial Shipping Crates, powered by You Crate handles supply chain management to provide a premier custom crating solution.

We offer two sizes of commercial shipping crates:

  • Cube – measures 46 in (length) x 46 in (width) x 47 in (height) | holds up to 2,000 lbs.
  • Tower -- measures 46 in (length) x 46 in (width) x 80 in (height) | holds up to 1,250 lbs.

The crates are ISPM-15 Certified and only take a flat head screwdriver to open upon delivery at final destination. Customers just have to determine what size crate will fit their freight the best. Let our team know what you need and we can get started on drafting the Bill of Lading. Commercial Crating Service provides inclusive quotes for the crate rental fee and freight charges.

Commercial Shipping Crates has an expansive network of service centers to get a crate delivered almost anywhere to load products and materials for transit.

Here are several other options offered by Commercial Shipping Crates to assist with crating:

  • White Glove Services
  • Reverse Logistics
  • Expedited
  • Trade Show Crating
  • Warehousing
  • Lift-gate Delivery

Our professional team is ready to help customers with commercial shipping crates to transport freight. The team has more than 60 years of experience in the industry. Call 877-558-2580 to discuss what you need to crate and ship. Customers can request a quote

600 Gillam Rd.,
Wilmington, OH 45177
© Copyright 2019 Commercial Shipping Crates
600 Gillam Rd., Wilmington, OH 45177
© Copyright 2019 Commercial Shipping Crates