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To reap the rewards of a data-driven e-commerce returns strategy, logistics leaders should follow these steps:

  • Keep all stakeholders working together and sharing the right information with related communications via API-integrated systems.
  • Reduce confusion over bookings, pickups, and deliveries by sharing critical documents within an overarching TMS platform.
  • Use analytics to identify trends contributing to higher-than-anticipated returns, repairs, or recycling levels.
  • Streamline your e-commerce returns strategy by integrating it with your existing forward logistics management platform, including the TMS.
  • Recognize that not all returns can be pinned back down to a single issue, so it’s best to use data to recognize trends in the market to help with total logistics costs.
  • Continuously measure performance with returns key performance indicators.

Keeping those steps in mind, supply chain leaders could reallocate network resources to leverage empty miles to move returned items without incurring an added cost for drivers and additional runtime for the truck. As a result, the company can better stay within applicable HOS regulations and mitigate rising reverse logistics costs simultaneously.

The same steps are taken earlier on, such as sharing information and data, which can be further used to inform manufacturers of potential defects, allowing for intervention and effectively mitigating the risk of future returns for similar issues. In turn, it amounts to gaining data into operations throughout the full network, well beyond the walls of your localized footprint.

The current year has been anything but ordinary. Supply chains are trying to fulfill more e-commerce orders, and out-of-stock SKUs have become almost expected. Meanwhile, the massive surge in demand continues to push forward another logistics aspect—reverse logistics. Reverse logistics costs further contribute to a higher total cost of ownership within the supply chain and lead to additional complexities in managing products.

Supply chain leaders need to start thinking about how they will handle the coming surge of e-commerce returns, peak season demands, and the next disruption. With the GlobalTranz TMS, you can ship, track, and manage your entire freight network, including your reverse logistics needs, with one platform, from any device. Quote, book, and track all aspects of your shipment, from booking to delivery.

  • Lower your freight spend, improve shipment visibility, and create efficiencies to drive your operative and competitive advantage.
  • Instantly access GlobalTranz’s nationwide multimodal carrier network and find the capacity and reliable service you need.
  • Utilize your own rates or leverage GlobalTranz’s best-in-class shipping rates from national, regional, and local carriers.
  • Gain access to real-time analytics and business intelligence that will empower your decision making.
  • Optimize your business process management and increase productivity through the GlobalTranz TMS work management app.

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GlobalTranz's Guide to Reverse Logistics