SUNConferences, 29th Annual Conference of SAIIE

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A Systematic Review of 3PLs’ entry into Reverse Logistics
Louis Louw, LOCADIA LINDA TOMBIDO, Joubert Van Eeden

Last modified: 2018-10-17


The concepts of Industry 4.0 and closed loop supply chains are becoming popular as logistics management evolves.  Industry 4.0, through its instruments such as cloud manufacturing and the internet of things has been known to significantly improve operations management. At the same time, closed loop supply chains have gained momentum with the increase in environmental sustainability issues. However, closed loop supply chains are often associated with uncertainties in the timing, quality and quantity of returns. For these and other reasons, most organisations employ third parties to perform most reverse logistics activities. This paper systematically reviews literature on the entry and use of third parties in reverse logistics with the objective of providing researchers with future research directions to the fast emerging topic. The results show that there is a need to expand on literature and managerial issues such as performance measurement of reverse logistics networks with third parties. Literature also needs to look at how third parties utilise technological aspects such as Industry 4.0 to successfully manage and operate reverse supply chains.