Lead Forensics

Transforming reverse logistic processes

A warehouse logistics expert says that warehouses need to transform their reverse processes.

Many warehouses focus on the management of orders: picking items off shelves, packing orders and dispatching them to customers. Logistics expert Herman Guzman-Carranza reminds warehouse operators that reverse logistics is an important function and should not be neglected. Reverse logistics is a term that covers returns, recycling and waste disposal.

Research shows that up to a third of garment orders are returned. This is a complex challenge for fashion retailers, who must inspect returned items and either dispose of them in environmentally friendly ways, or resell them.

Companies should look at how their products can be reused, refurbished or recycled. The packaging of returned goods can also be reused.

Some customers buy garments and only wear them a few times before throwing them away. Joules is a fashion retailer that is tackling this issue by taking back garments that customers no longer wear. In partnership with Reskinned, any items in good condition are cleaned, repaired if necessary, then stored on heavy duty garment rails ready to be sold and worn again. Any clothing that is deemed as being too worn for resale is sent for textile recycling. As an incentive to return used clothing, customers receive a money-off voucher that can be used for their next Joules order.

A circular economy is where waste and pollution are eliminated, goods are recycled, and energy is used with minimal carbon emissions. Herman Guzman-Carranza says that the key to transforming reverse logistics is to do it with a circular mindset.

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