One of the basic tenets of the Boy Scout code is to “leave no trace” when vacating a campsite. The same rule applies to proper supply chain management, according to some former scouts now serving as prominent reverse logistics practitioners.
“We owe it to our community and future generations,” says Gary Cullen, chief operating officer of 4PRL, the reverse logistics operation of The Georgetowne Group, a consultancy based in Clarksville, Md. “Consumer buying patterns in the past were more conservative and therefore pushed product obsolescence to a larger window—three to five years for a television, for example,” he adds.
“The secondary markets are effective in diverting a large number of products from landfill and creating numerous jobs.”
“But now, consumers want the newest television set on the market. One year it’s the flat screen, the next it’s got to be 3D.” And just as “secondary markets” exist in the financial world to offer investment alternatives, a similar convention helps manufacturers repurpose their supply chains.
“There are new revenue streams to be explored,” says Dale Rogers, the incoming director for Supply Chain Management at Rutgers University. “The secondary markets are effective in diverting a large number of products from landfill and creating numerous jobs.”
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The Department of Commerce reported that January retail sales were up 0.2 percent compared to December and up 3.7 percent annually at $449.9 billion, and the NRF reported that January retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, rose 0.6 percent over December and 1.4 percent compared to January 2015.
On the freight shipments side, Cass reported that January shipments––at 1.025––trailed December by 1.3 percent and January 2016 by 0.2 percent. These declines were less than the 4.9 percent drop from November to December, though, and January shipments still topped the 1.0 mark for the 65th straight month in December.
The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) saw a 0.4 percent decline from November to December, its second straight decline on the heels of a 1.0 percent decrease from October to November.
Carloads saw a 11.7 percent annual decline at 241,680, and intermodal containers and trailers rose 10.5 percent to 262,830
An amendment to the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea convention will go into effect requiring all shippers (importers and exporters) to certify and submit the Verified Gross Mass – the combined weight of the cargo and the container – to the steamship line and terminal operator in advance of loading the container aboard a vessel.