"The line between disorder and order lies in logistics…" -- Sun Tzu
Reverse logistics is the logistics process of removing new or used products from their initial point in a supply chain, such as returns from consumers, over stocked inventory, or outdated merchandise and redistributing them using disposition management rules that will result in maximized value at the end of the items original useful life.
A reverse logistics operation is considerably different from forward logistics. It must establish convenient collection points to receive the used goods from the final customer or remove assets from the supply chain so that more efficient use of inventory / material overall can be achieved.
It requires packaging and storage systems that will ensure that most of the value still remaining in the used good is not lost due to careless handling. It often requires the development of a transportation mode that is compatible with existing forward logistic system.
Disposition can include returning assets into inventory pools or warehouses for storage, returning goods to the original manufacturer for reimbursement, selling goods on a secondary market, recycling assets, or a combination that will yield maximum value for the assets in question.