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Reverse Logistics Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Return Type (Returns Management, Remanufacturing or Refurbishment, Packaging Management, End of Life, and Others), By Industry (Automotive, Pharmaceuticals, Food and Beverages, and Retail & E-Commerce), By Service Type (Transportation and Warehousing), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: July 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI105945

 

KEY MARKET INSIGHTS

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The global reverse logistics market size was valued at USD 768.59 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 801.64 billion in 2024 to USD 1,166.81 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period.


Reverse logistics is a branch of supply chain management that includes moving goods from customers back to the sellers or manufacturers. When a customer receives a product and files for returns or recycling, this type of logistics comes into action. It starts at the end consumer and progresses backward in the supply chain, in which the product flows back to the distributor and from the distributor to the manufacturer. Sometimes, the solution also includes the end consumer being in charge of the final disposal of the product, including recycling, refurbishing, or re-sale.


The solution is expected to witness high demand in the coming years, mainly due to the expansion of retail and e-commerce businesses in various parts of the world. Furthermore, more relaxed returns and exchange policies emerging in the retail and e-commerce industries are further driving the market growth.


The market witnessed stagnant growth in 2020, which was attributed to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to disruptions in the supply chain and transportation and the temporary shutdown of factories and manufacturing facilities, further hampering the market growth. However, due to rapid demand for retail products and the expansion of e-commerce websites and online shopping, the market witnessed substantial growth in 2021 and is projected to continue its trajectory toward rapid market development and demand for these logistics services throughout the forecast period.


Reverse Logistics Market Trends


Integration of IoT and Blockchain in the Supply Chain to Streamline the Process


The major players in the market are highly focused on introducing advanced technologies and system settings to streamline the overall logistic process forward and backward. The market players are focused on gaining insights into various operations such as retrieving, product handling, returns management, warehousing, and similar other operations, which are carried out in order to have a smooth, hassle-free logistics delivery of products from end customers to distributors or manufacturers. Moreover, technologies such as RFIDs, blockchain, and IoT are used to enhance the visibility and traceability of these operations. Introducing these technologies provides the major players with access to real-time tracking of returned products, which further helps them in utilizing, process planning, inventory management, product authenticity, and reduces the overall complications at various steps of the process.


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Reverse Logistics Market Growth Factors


Emerging Presence of E-Commerce Industries to Propel the Market Growth


The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in accelerated growth in the e-commerce sector as various investors and major businesses shifted their focus toward online retail stores to attract the vast majority of the audience. The expansion of online stores in various regions further created greater consumer awareness and willingness to try new online retail outlets for their needs and preferences.


Furthermore, social media marketplaces such as Facebook and Instagram gained exponential business during the recovery period of COVID-19. Thus, various small brands and companies were able to start up their online retail stores due to the high traction gained by the social media marketplace. In addition, high capital investments and advertisements from leading e-commerce businesses further created greater consumer awareness in rural and remote places, resulting in geographical and revenue expansion. Hence, these few factors contributed to the overall global reverse logistics market growth.


Circular Economy Initiatives from Various Food and Beverages Manufacturers to Drive Market Growth


The food & beverage industry is highly focused on adopting circular economy initiatives to minimize waste generation and indulge in the recycling of products to contribute to the environment's well-being. The short perishable nature of food and agricultural products makes it challenging for the implementation of the solution. However, it acts as a perfect solution for finished goods and packaging containers/materials as they can be recycled or refurbished for new products, resulting in less waste generation.


The remanufactured products lead to approx. 40% to 60% cost reduction compared to the price of new products. For instance, food containers, crates, cans, and bottles can be recollected and sent back to the supply chain for refurbishing and remanufacturing, which significantly reduces manufacturing costs and aids in limiting waste generation. Increased awareness of climate and initiatives from governments to reduce the impact of manufacturing industries on the environment are some of the key factors expected to fuel market growth.


RESTRAINING FACTORS


Increased Complexity in Tracking the Bi-Directional Flow of Product May Hamper the Adoption of the Solutions


The challenge of this type of logistic is that the flow needs to be bi-directional. Managers must create the right infrastructure to operate effectively. This has led to the implementation of software solutions capable of automating and tracking each step carried out in the process. Moreover, once the infrastructure is in place, management requires continuous monitoring and evaluation of the organization's reverse logistics processes, such as managing returned goods to ensure efficiency.


For a broader picture, the companies are required to closely monitor inbound and outbound logistics. Inbound logistics deals with getting raw materials or goods from a supplier to a manufacturer. On the other hand, outbound logistics are the processes that involve the delivery of finished products to the end customer. Both inbound and outbound logistics are tracked from the perspective of the manufacturer. On the contrary, the solution can be part of any given point in the supply chain. Thus, continuous monitoring and tracking of shipments and the complexity involved in the tracking might hamper product adoption.


Reverse Logistics Market Segmentation Analysis


By Return Type Analysis


Relaxed Return Policies from Retail and E-Commerce Websites to Fuel Returns Management Segment Growth


Based on return type, the market is classified into returns management, remanufacturing or refurbishment, packaging management, end of life, and others.


The returns management segment dominated the reverse logistics market share in 2023. The segment's leading share can be ascribed to the higher demand frequency of online purchasing and products returned from customers back to distributors or manufacturers. This is due to relaxed return policies from various sellers towards returning the products, allowing consumers to choose the right product fit for their needs.


The packaging management segment accounted for a decent share in 2023 and is anticipated to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period due to the surging emphasis of different distributors and e-commerce companies on limiting and managing waste and packaging material to reduce the overall cost and support recycling of packaging materials to limit its industrial impact on the environment.


The remanufacturing or refurbishment, end of life, and others segment also accounted for a significant share in the market in 2023 owing to increasing consumer preference toward refurbished products as they cost significantly less compared to new products while providing similar output performances.  


By Industry Analysis


Greater Market Expansion of Online Retail Stores and E-Commerce Industries Fueled Segment Growth


Based on industry, the market is segmented into automotive, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, and retail & e-commerce.


The retail & e-commerce segment registered the largest share in 2023 and is expected to continue its dominance with the fastest growth rate throughout the forecast period. The demand can be credited to greater market expansion of online retail stores during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery period as major brands and manufacturers shifted to promoting and selling products on their online platform, which was the only way to reach consumers due to lockdowns and restrictions in brick and mortar businesses owing to social distancing.


The food and beverages segment accounted for a significant market share in 2023. The demand was attributed to the growing shift of major players in the industry towards a circular economy and the adoption of sustainable means of manufacturing and production of products, packaging materials, and containers, further contributing to growth in the overall global reverse logistics market size.


The pharmaceuticals and automotive segments also accounted for a decent market share in 2023, owing to the increasing focus of various manufacturers in the respective industries on promoting sustainable manufacturing and refurbishing products to reduce waste management and limit its impact on the environment.


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By Service Type Analysis


Increase in Returned Orders from Consumers to Impel the Transportation Segment Growth


Based on service type, the market is segmented into transportation and warehousing.


The transportation segment held the largest market share in 2023 and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. The demand for efficient transportation of returned items to the distributors and manufacturers as transportation is one of the leading sectors within the market. Furthermore, increasing returned orders from consumers every year is further contributing to the larger portion of this segment in the overall global reverse logistics market share.


REGIONAL INSIGHTS


North America Led Due to Higher Penetration of Retail Stores and E-Commerce Business


Based on region, the market is categorized into North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world.


North America Reverse Logistics Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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North America held the leading market share, as it stood at USD 374.46 billion in 2023. The largest market share in North America is attributed to the higher penetration of return services in various industries in the region. In addition, increasing consumer preference for shopping from online retail stores and e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, and various others is further leading to higher market growth.


The Asia Pacific is expected to be the most upcoming market and is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This region is expected to grow at the highest rate during the forecast period, which can be credited to the growing need for return logistics services in various Asian countries. This is due to the higher presence and rapid expansion of e-commerce sectors and companies to serve greater consumer demand for various products.


Europe and the rest of the world held a significant market share in 2023 and are also expected to grow at a steady rate during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the increasing demand for sophisticated delivery software and companies to track the bi-directional flow of products to support market growth in the return logistics sector.


List of Key Companies in Reverse Logistics Market


Key Players are Highly Motivated to Establish Independent Reverse Logistics Units for Greater Transparency


The companies in the retail and e-commerce sectors are driving the market without a doubt, which has led to increased awareness among manufacturers in various other industrial sectors toward implementing these techniques to maximize profits and lower the overall cost of production of new products. Furthermore, logistics incur a significant portion of the overall operational cost for various major players. Thus, market players with ample capital and investment for well-balanced infrastructure are going for an independent reverse logistic supply chain. This leads to higher insights into consumer trends and a well-directed flow of products from end consumers to distributors or manufacturers. This also allows companies to track and monitor products accurately at every stage without depending on third-party providers. However, lower capital investment companies and e-commerce businesses are focused on outsourcing the return delivery operations, which is further driving the growth for major players in the logistics market. This is done to provide additional services to various e-commerce and online retail stores with delivery and reverse delivery of products back to the distributors or manufacturers.


LIST OF KEY COMPANIES PROFILED:



KEY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS:



  • March 2024: Shadowfax, a logistics firm, announced the inauguration of its new hub in Port Blair. The company will also focus on enhancing its reverse logistics services for reverse logistics services, doorstep quality checks, and various other services. The company aims to enhance its services and distribution network through this new distribution unit.

  • October 2023: Blue Yonder, a London-based technology company, announced to acquire Doddle, one of the leading players in the first and last-mile technology business. The company aims to enter the reverse logistics and e-commerce returns market owing to the rapid demand for logistics services.

  • September 2023: Debrand, Canada-based reverse logistics service provider, announced the opening of its new headquarters in Surrey. The new facility will focus on delivering advanced sortation technology for textile reuse, recycling, and recovery applications.

  • August 2023:  Amazon Subsidiary AWS announced to open a new facility in Pennsylvania, in which the company will focus on recycling data center equipment. The company will be relying on reverse logistics for the collection of data center equipment. After successful collection, the company will target recycling the equipment. Amazon will be using its in-house reverse logistics operation teams.

  • January 2022: Berkshire Grey Inc. introduced its artificial intelligence-enabled reverse logistics services solutions, which will help retailers escalate the re-sale of returned goods and products with enhanced labor utilization in the return process.


REPORT COVERAGE


The report provides a detailed reverse logistics market analysis and focuses on key aspects such as prominent companies, product types, and leading product technology. Besides this, it offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's growth over recent years.


An Infographic Representation of Reverse Logistics Market

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Report Scope & Segmentation










































ATTRIBUTE



DETAILS



Study Period



2019-2032



Base Year



2023



Estimated Year



2024



Forecast Period



2024-2032



Historical Period



2019-2022



Growth Rate



CAGR of  4.8%  from 2024 to 2032



Unit



Value (USD Billion)



Segmentation



By Return Type



  • Returns Management

  • Remanufacturing or Refurbishment

  • Packaging Management

  • End of Life

  • Others


By  Industry



  • Automotive

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Food and Beverages

  • Retail & E-Commerce


By Service Type



  • Transportation

  • Warehousing


By Region



  • North America (By return type, By industry, and By service type)

    • U.S. (By Industry)

    • Canada (By  Industry)

    • Mexico (By  Industry)



  • Europe ( By return type, By industry, and By service type )

    • U.K. (By   Industry)

    • Germany (By   Industry)

    • France (By   Industry)

    • Rest of Europe (By  Industry)



  • Asia Pacific (By return type, By industry, and By service type)

    • China (By   Industry)

    • Japan (By   Industry)

    • India (By   Industry)

    • South Korea (By   Industry)

    • Rest of the Asia Pacific (By   Industry)



  • Rest of the World (By return type, By industry, and By service type)






Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at USD 768.59 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 1,166.81 billion by 2032.

The market is expected to register a growth rate of (CAGR) 4.8% during the forecast period (2024-2032).

The emerging presence of e-commerce industries is expected to propel the market growth.

North America led the global market in 2023.

Based on return type, the returns management segment dominated the market in 2023.

XPO Logistics Inc., FedEx Corporation, Ecom Express, and DHL are some of the major players in the market.

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