Original Research

Prioritising the implementation of practices to overcome operational barriers in reverse logistics

Amanda Badenhorst
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 10, No 1 | a240 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v10i1.240 | © 2016 Amanda Badenhorst | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 May 2016 | Published: 19 September 2016

About the author(s)

Amanda Badenhorst, Department of Entrepreneurship, Supply Chain, Transport, Tourism and Logistics Management, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Background: Reverse logistics is a complex process, and many organisations experience operational barriers that prevent them from successfully managing the process. This study overcomes the gap in research regarding the most important practices that organisations can implement to overcome operational barriers in reverse logistics.

Objectives: The study aims to identify operational barriers preventing the efficient performance of the reverse logistics process, matching them to applicable practices by means of a theoretical framework and prioritising the implementation of appropriate practices with the inputs of practitioners.

Method: The study used a survey method, and data were collected by means of a questionnaire based on a theoretical framework that was sent to organisations that offered reverse logistics as a service or specialised in reverse logistics in South Africa. The study used descriptive statistics to conduct a gap-and-opportunity analysis.

Results: Respondents were asked to indicate the importance of the practices and how difficult they would be to implement. Results showed that all the practices are important to at least a moderate extent but some are more difficult to implement.

Conclusion: The framework developed in this article will enable organisations to identify the operational barriers they experience in reverse logistics and the practices they can implement on a priority basis to overcome these barriers.


reverse logistics; operational barriers in reverse logistics; product returns; returns management


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