RLA News & Views

Closing the Loop in Reverse Logistics

August 25, 2022

Seth Marks, chief merchandising officer with Channel Control Merchants, details the major issues that logistics providers are facing as they deal with increasing volumes of returned products.

The growing volume of product returns, especially within the e-commerce channel, is a problem of increasing concern. Last year, returns accounted for some $741 billion of retail value, says Marks, noting that “if that was a Fortune 500 company, it would be significantly larger than Walmart.”

Most retailers to date haven’t paid enough attention to the problem of returns. “The supply chain is usually offense, offense, forward, forward,” Marks says. “On the reverse side, it’s very unclear where this product goes.”

Decisions, nevertheless, must be made. On top of deciding whether a given returned product can be reused, resold, repaired, recycled or scrapped, companies now must take into account the need for sustainability. Marks calls it “an off-the-radar dark hole” on which light is finally being shined.

Watch the interview here: