Reverse Logistics 3PL

Reverse logistics 3PL is the method of returning damaged or unwanted products back to the manufacturer or producer via 3rd party logistical service providers. The 3PLs offer businesses and companies an opportunity to manage their return and decrease costs. Today, we’ll discuss reverse logistics 3PL; steps involved in the process; benefits, multiple roles, and top example of 3PL companies for reverse logistics.

The returned inventory means loss of sale and loss to the company. The seller or the store has to carry the cost of shipping the product back to the manufacturer or producer. However, the 3PL allows businesses and companies to decrease the overhead cost and offer a cost-efficient option to return the products.

Process of Reverse Logistics 3PL

  • Customers request for exchange or return either online or through the customer support service
  • The retailer or the company processes the return request and guides the customer on how to return the product back to the company
  • It could be either in-house return shipping of the company or via 3PL (3rd party logistical) service providers
  • Inspecting the returned product and deciding whether it needs disposing, reconditioning, or restocking
  • For exchange requests; warehousing staff would process the return items and complete the exchange request

Benefits of Reverse Logistics 3PL

Some of the main benefits of reverse logistics 3PL are as follows;

Environmental Friendly

The company would employ such 3PL network service provider who engages in eco-friendly practices and professional expertise in multiple service areas. They’re as follows;

  • Efficient transportation
  • Repackaging
  • Restock or reuse
  • Recycling material or reuse
  • Refurbishment
  • Remanufacturing

Improved Product

3PLs would employ such logistical software and applications producing analytical data helping you to recognize quality control issues. If you are gathering information about returns, then it offers you patterns and trends of returns. When you interpret the data, then it exposes the flaws and problems in the product and helps manufacturers to improve their product and marketing strategies.

High Sales

When the shipment and logistical processes are efficient and speedy, then people and customers can easily find products from the retail stores. A transparent 3PL would remove all the shipping gaps, it helps customers to frequently buy the product when the return process is simple.

Customer Retention & Conversion Rate

The 3PL has earned the reputation of establishing long-term relationships with customer-providers, and it is heavily dependent on trust and confidence. Transparent shipping operations are the key elements of customers’ shopping experience. 3PL would amplify the customer retention rate.

Low Cost

If you are managing your end-to-end supply chain processes with 3PL, then it ensures the integration of operations from one segment to the next. The 3PL would offer you the insight and experience to predict and make adjustments in the operations to decrease inefficiencies.

Role of Reverse Logistics 3PL

The roles of 3PL reverse logistics are as follows;

Return Processing & Authorization

The 3PLs support the return authorization processes by making sure that the returns comply with the rules and policies of the company. The process ensures the efficiency of the returned goods; decreases their impact on the supply chain process, and amplifies the value of the returned goods.

Refurbishing & Remanufacturing

If the returned items are for remanufacturing, refurbishing, and repairing; then it is obligatory for 3PLs to perform these processes by themselves. It decreases the waste and improves the life cycle of the products.

Recycling Management

The 3PLs also deal with recycling processes of the products and goods that you can’t refurbish or reuse. It ensures the appropriate recycling of the material by implementing sustainability objectives and environmental regulations.

Disposal & Disposition

The 3PLs also manage the proper disposal of products and goods that you can’t recycle, reuse, or repair. It comprises responsible disposal methods and strategies by complying with waste management regulations and decreasing the environmental impact.

Repair Services and Warranty

Some 3PL providers provide repair and warranty services by repairing defective or damaged products. It comprises returning items, repairing products, and diagnosing the problem to the manufacturer or the market.

Customer Support & Communication

Often, the 3PLs deal with the customer support and communication processes relevant to the return logistical processes. It manages customer queries and product return guidelines by ensuring sure positive customer experience in the return processes.

Example of 3PL Companies for Reverse Logistics 


UPS is the world’s leading logistical service-providing company. It has established a network of more than 600 locations across the US and operates its business in over 220 countries worldwide. UPS also offers 3PL services to businesses and companies.


FedEx is also a very popular brand and it has earned a reputation for logistical operations and warehousing. The company has established a network of over 2000 location points in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Conclusion: 3PL Reverse Logistics |Outsourcing Reverse Logistics 

After an in-depth study of the reverse logistics 3PL; we have realized that 3rd party logistical service providers play a key role in product returns. If you are learning about 3PL reverse logistics outsourcing; then you should keep in mind the abovementioned benefits, elements involved in the process, and examples.

error: Content is protected !!