Reverse Logistics and Returns Management

Reverse Logistics and Returns Management


Reverse logistics is a commercial term that refers to all operations that are related to products and materials’ reuse. It involves carrying out a plan, implementation, and control of the cost-effective, efficient raw materials flow in process inventory. (Lambert, 2008)It’s the process of transferring products from their final destination purposely to capture value. (Dyckhoff, 2004)

A number of acts were passed in the united states by the Congress, especially from 1970 which had a great impact on reverse logistics. These include the Lend-lease, National Security Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This essay will discuss such acts in detail, and the logistical effect that followed.


Lend- the lease was enacted in 11th March 1941 and is said to be the law that marked the start of a program which saw the United States of America supply material from1941 to 1945 to the United Kingdom, Republic of China, the USSR, and free France together with other allied countries. The law was initially known as an act to further promote the defense of the United States and upon its inception, it effectively terminated the pretense of neutrality in the United States. A supply totaling to $50.1 billion was shipped, out of which $11.3 billion to the Soviet Union, $31.4 billion to Britain, $3.2 billion to France, and China received $1.6 billion while other aliens got a smaller amount.

Reverse lend-lease involved services like air bases rent which went to the United States, totaling to $7.8 billion. The agreement terms provided that the material was to be consumed until their return time or time for destruction. After the date of termination, supplies would be sold to Britain at a great discount amounting to 1.075 billion pounds. Lend lease was a key factor in world war 11. We are told that almost a quarter of the British arsenal was obtained through lend-lease. Transport aircraft, foodstuffs, ships, and land vehicles all came through lend-lease. The lend-lease permitted president Roosevelt to transfer title, sell, lease, exchange or lend to any government whose defense seemed significant to the defense of the united states. By this, logistical products resulting from the act were enormous.

The defense department grew from the national security act which is said to have been created in 1949. This act unified the services of the army. The unique attribute of this act is that it handled its services with time, this brought conflict, with some people pressing for the division of the departments to have autonomy. The reorganization was effected in 1958 with McNamara stepping in as the secretary of defense. He brought in an element of business methodologies that stressed on statistical analysis and management of the program closely. This led to a great cut of military expenditure through improved efficiency and strengthened cost controls. The secretary introduced reforms like budgets that were mission oriented so as to achieve a more centralized military unit.

Civil rights act is yet another act that had a great impact on the reversed logistics. This act sought to destroy racial segregation in schools. It also termed as forced busing and involves transporting students to their respective learning institutions in a manner that does not foster segregation.  The element of reversed logistics in this act comes out in the sense that students would be ferried with zero fare buses to and from the assigned schools. The schools were quite far away and this provided financial challenges which needed effective cost control measures.


Various acts of Congress seem to have brought a great deal of impact in the reversed logistics. Reversed logistics advocates for cost-effectiveness through the consumption of products and reuse, through the return. We have therefore seen a number of logistical issues in the various acts discussed above.

Work cited

Dyckhoff, H. (2004). Supply chain management and reverse logistics. Berlin: Springer.

Lambert, D. M. (2008). Supply chain management. Sarasota : Supply Chain Management Institute.


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