RLA News & Views

RLA attends, participates and presents at Parcel Forum '21

September 20, 2021

With just standing room only, Tony Sciarrotta, Executive Director of RLA, along with John Callan CEO of Ursa Major Associates, LLC were guest instructors for a workshop at the recent Parcel Forum '21, on September 14 at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD.   GAYLORD NATIONAL RESORT — NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. 

The four hour workshop focused on Returns and Reverse Logistics in an eCommerce World. 

Workshop description:  Make no mistake about it; returns or reverse logistics is a vital part of your operation. With a 60% increase in eCommerce-related business over the past year and understanding that 50% to 70% of that business is returned for a variety of reasons, failure to have a cost-effective and efficient reverse logistics operational strategy can be devastating to your operation. This exclusive workshop, produced by the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA), the global voice of the returns and reverse logistics industry, will provide you with the tools and strategies to address this major area of your supply chain by delving into: 

  • The impact of reverse logistics on your bottom line 
  • Measuring your reverse logistics capabilities and performance  
  • Strategies for returns in an eCommerce environment
  • Seamless end-to-end return processes
  • Leveraging reverse logistics into a competitive advantage 
  • Delivering a superior customer experience
  • Building the right sourcing and partner strategy    
  • The top 10 rules for successful reverse logistics operations
  • Peer case studies, featuring Phillips, LG and Jarden/Mr. Coffee 


In addition, on September 15th, RLA's new Research Manager Cathy Roberson, with Jay Kent, Managing Director of SLB Performance, presented Connecting the Middle Mile to the Last Mile for Success

Session description: Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS), parcel lockers, third-party location or the consumer’s front door: The last-mile delivery location is expanding as retailers provide more alternatives to customers. But to provide such options along with the required speeds (i.e., same day, next day, two days), understanding the middle mile and then linking it to the last mile is critical. The middle mile is typically described as the part of the supply chain in which goods are transported from port or airport to a warehouse or fulfillment facility. Therefore, visibility into the middle mile is critically necessary for retailers to quickly position the right inventory to the right warehouse or fulfillment location in order to meet consumers’ requests. In this session, learn how retailers are optimizing their networks to address faster fulfillment and last-mile requirements and implementing the right technology to understand and use their data to better position inventories closer to customers.


  • Understand the relationship between the middle mile and the last mile
  • Recognize the differences between fulfilling from warehouses, fulfillment facilities and brick- and-mortar stores
  • Learn what technologies are needed for success
  • Understanding and properly using your data
  • Measuring for success


Lastly - Tony was able to make new connections and spread the word about Reverse Logistics and the association at an RLA booth in the Exhibit Hall of nearly 100 other exhibitors and 800+ attendees.