Reverse Logistics Discussion Highlights Upcoming Conference – SMC³

As a consumer, I realize the incredible value online retail sales brings to my family. The ability to order everything—from clothing to food—with one simple click and experience lightning-fast delivery to nearly anywhere in the country is incredibly beneficial.

But as the head of a supply chain technology company, I know the online retail supply chain is much more complex than it may seem. Our organization, SMC³, helps shippers, carriers and 3PLs optimize their less-than-truckload transportation spend using the latest, cutting-edge technology tools.

One of the major pain points that has become ever more critical due to the rise in e-commerce is the area of reverse logistics. Whether retail returns are routed through brick-and-mortar stores or are sent from consumers directly, the fact is that modern supply chains need to adapt to an influx of return-to-sender merchandise. And the consumer expects that all of this—the complicated logistics, the transportation, the restocking—is a free benefit of their initial purchase.

According to Tony Sciarrotta, executive director of the Reverse Logistics Association, these product returns are not cheap. During SMC³’s Jump Start 2018 in Atlanta, he told the audience that the costs associated with returns can equal around 10 percent of the original retail price of the item. He pointed out that return-percentages vary from industry to industry, but, as you may imagine, clothing returns are a significant percentage of the entire industry. The amount of returns, and the costs associated with those returns, will only rise in the coming years, he said.

We’ll be discussing the implications of the rising reliance on reverse logistics during our upcoming educational conference, Connections 2018, held June 25-27 at the Greenbrier in West Virginia. John Wiehoff, CEO of C.H. Robinson, will be exploring the opportunities and disruptors facing the global supply chain, including his take on navigating the remainder of 2018.

Reverse logistics is a pressing issue, but we’ve worked hard to also cover as many topics crucial to today’s supply chain stakeholders we can fit into a three-day event. C.H. Robinson CEO John Wiehoff will give his perspective on the transportation arena, and panelists will cover topics like how to prepare for blockchain in the logistics industry and data security in an era of increased supply chain visibility. As always, Don Ratajczak will be on hand to provide a free-wheeling update on the global economy.

During Connections 2018, attendees can also learn more about the latest developments at SMC³. In 2018, the company will be unveiling an expanded Canadian LTL base rate product, which is a direct benefit of a recent acquisition of the software and data owned by Freight Carriers Association of Canada. New additions to the SMC³ Platform’s LTL freight APIs, as well as the latest version of the transit-time tool CarrierConnect XL, are also coming soon.

To learn more about Connections 2018, visit

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