customer packaging products to be returned to retailer
66% of shoppers view a retailer’s return policy before making a buying decision.1

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Reverse Logistics & Returns

Maximizing value from returned products

Often viewed as an inevitable cost of doing business, returns can be complicated and costly. But if managed efficiently, your returns operations can foster customer loyalty, strengthen your brand’s identity and enhance profitability for your business.

As an industry-leading reverse logistics provider, FedEx Supply Chain transforms the returns process from a necessary cost of doing business into a strategic advantage. Reverse logistics often operates independently, but by working with us to create and implement an integrated strategy, you will optimize recovery potential. Our holistic approach enables the simple, reliable returns experience your customers expect, while reducing the costs associated with handling returns.

Identifying optimal disposition channels

The reverse logistics experts at FedEx Supply Chain analyze returns processes and optimize operations by eliminating waste streams and identifying the best disposition method for each product — whether it’s return to vendor, return to stock, liquidation, recycle or salvage.

FedEx Returns Technology

The first step to creating a successful returns strategy is making sure you have the right systems in place. FedEx Returns Technology makes it easy to integrate returns with your website, view the status of a return shipment and identify opportunities to improve returns processes. Increase the efficiency of your returns management while improving the customer experience with:

Faster crediting for customers

With the potential to offer on-site inspections of product, FedEx Office® locations enable quicker customer crediting.*

Simplified returns for customers

Through direct integration with your website, your customers can seamlessly request a Returned Merchandise Authorization (RMA), decreasing customer service calls and manual authorization.

Business visibility

Use one platform to access your entire reverse logistics process including in-transit returns.

Process management

Achieve greater overall efficiency when your business rules are integrated into the system, automatically governing how returns are processed.

Operational reporting and analytics

Identify areas where your returns process can be improved with easy-to-use analytics.

Consumer opening e-commerce purchase

The Retailer’s Atlas for Omnichannel Returns

November 14, 2017
In this white paper, the experts at FedEx Supply Chain provide several helpful strategies for navigating reverse logistics in the new retail reality.

White paper Download white paper

Returns processing

Every return is an opportunity to enhance customer loyalty and minimize losses. For brick-and-mortar stores, an efficient returns process also means you can focus on merchandising new product, rather than spending energy and space on returned goods. FedEx Supply Chain understands reverse logistics channels and can tailor a reverse logistics strategy for your business. As a leader of innovations in the field, we will:

Design and operate returns centers

Build trust with customers and vendors by precisely accepting, evaluating and processing incoming returns.

Process returned inventory

Maximize value from like-new products, efficiently moving returns through the disposition process to reallocate them back into stock and use them to fulfill incoming orders.

Oversee return-to-vendor programs

Simplify vendor returns by using us as a single point of contact for coordinating your returns process and managing the requirements of your multiple-vendor network.

Disposition management

Eliminate waste and drive efficiency by having us sort and allocate returns into the correct disposition — whether it’s return to stock, return to vendor, recycle or destroy.

Process hazardous materials

Be confident that hazardous materials are properly handled and disposed of with specially designed tracking solutions.

Provide data visibility and reporting

Accurately measure the effectiveness and efficiency of your program, while ensuring visibility for regulators and stakeholders.

Gain a competitive advantage with strategic returns

An efficient returns process helps reduce business expenses and a simple policy creates a positive customer experience than can increase loyalty.

Consider that:

  • Retail returns tallied $290 billion in the U.S. and Canada in 2015.
  • In certain categories, as much as 30 percent of e-commerce sales are returned.
  • Discounted or discarded returns cost retailers 4.4 percent of revenue.2

Find out what happens to returns in this infographic

Recommerce and liquidation

Determining your product’s final disposition depends on the potential gain versus potential costs assumed to transport, handle and house the product. An experienced recommerce, liquidation and final-product-disposition provider, FedEx Supply Chain considers the broader view of returned products and uncovers all of your options to identify the channel that makes the most sense. Turn to us to:

Test, repair and refurbish

Recover more value from goods by testing, servicing, refurbishing and repackaging returned product to make it suitable for resale.

De-brand and repackage returned goods

Protect your brand in secondary marketplaces by de-branding and repackaging returns.

Harvest and recycle parts and raw materials

Recover any remaining value in unsaleable goods by sorting and disassembling products for the purpose of reusing or selling component parts and raw materials.

Redeploy product

Ensure products are placed appropriately to optimize sale potential. We’ll repack, repackage or reconfigure items and redeploy to help recover the most value from your goods.

Unsaleable goods and damage research

Understanding why products are returned is imperative to improving your manufacturing and logistics operations. Complications such as manufacturing defects, multiple touchpoints and poorly designed packaging can increase return rates. The experienced analysts at FedEx Supply Chain apply a scientific approach to identifying causes and minimizing unsaleable returns by performing:

Benchmarking of unsaleables

Understand your operations' savings potential by comparing your unsaleable performance to the industry average.

Supply chain analysis and damage research

Identify root causes that lead to unsaleables and damaged products by applying our structured research process.

Collaboration with trading partners

Resolve problems related to damaged and expired products by working with FedEx Supply Chain as an intermediary.

Consultation on reimbursement policies

Protect vendor and partner relationships with fair, clear and equitable guidelines regarding financial responsibility for unsaleable goods.

Recalls and disposition

Developing a simple, timely and clear protocol for recall management will help maintain customer satisfaction and protect your brand’s reputation. With insights gained through our experience in the retail, healthcare, technology and consumer goods industries, FedEx Supply Chain helps your business through this challenge by implementing:

Product recall management

Protect customers and your brand with our proactive and efficient recall services — from first notification to final disposition.

Product intake and processing

Quickly and effectively coordinate excessive returns in critical situations using our proven processes and resources.

Reimbursement of customers

Satisfy customers with timely, accurate reimbursements and product exchanges.

Testing and disposal

Gain insight into the recall through testing, and efficiently close the loop when we dispose of items using environmentally conscious procedures.

Secure destruction of regulated goods

Ensure strict adherence to regulations for disposal of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and hazardous materials.

Mike Lazar,  “The Ultimate Guide to ECommerce Returns” (ReadyCloud), Dec 19, 2016.
David Egan, U.S. Industrial and Logistics, “Swimming upstream: navigating the world of reverse logistics” (CBRE Research), Feb. 29, 2016.
*Consumer crediting is subject to the retailer’s discretion and any potential delays from the financial institution offering the credit.

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