Robots enable more efficient reverse logistics

This Special Focus Issue examines how robotics play a role in reverse logistic processes and areas where organizations can optimize their work.

Reverse logistics is often considered a costly and time-prohibitive endeavor. Especially during the busy holiday seasons, retailers focus heavily on order fulfilment and delivery to consumers. But it’s that next step in the process that often creates a warehouse bottleneck.

As part of the reverse logistics process, robots can help alleviate concerns with warehouse backlogs and, from a financial standpoint, give returned items another shot at selling to consumers. E-commerce organizations continue to grow, but so too do their complexities with inventory, logistics, supply chain and warehouse management.

Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) work alongside humans to reduce the bottlenecks associated with returns and move packages to their designated spots within distribution facilities. Automation of repetitive tasks helps relieve employees of strenuous labor and turn their attention to more pressing elements of the returns process.

Fulfilment centers have turned to compact automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) to utilize vertical storage offerings, while robotics as a service (RaaS) can manage fleets of AMRs to maximize speed and sortation. Robotics have just scratched the surface of reverse logistics applications, and now its up to logistics providers to find homes for robots that fit their specific needs.

In this Special Focus Issue, you can learn about ways robots and various automated processes can reduce the complexity of processing product returns and resulting materials. These problems overlap with environmental, financial and managerial concerns with product returns and repairs, and how organizations need elaborate methods to handle these problems as they arise, without creating new ones.

Special Focus Issue Table of Contents

  • How cobots have gained a foothold in reverse logistics operations
  • Berkshire Grey’s systems handle hard-to-sort returns
  • UPS uses robots and AI to strengthen network capabilities, enhance the employee experience
  • Plus One Robotics raises $50M in Series C to advance AI vision software products
  • Pitney Bowes to automate middle mile sorting with Ambi Robotics
  • Optoro and Locus Robotics team up to deliver integrated, high volume reverse logistics system
  • Advanced Robotics to begin selling Opex’s Perfect Pick and Suresort Systems to European warehouse customers
  • Ambi Robotics releases AmbiSort B-Series, a robotic modular parcel induction system

Email Sign Up

Get news, papers, media and research delivered
Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job. Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Robotics 24/7. Subscribe to our robotics user email newsletter and we'll keep you informed and up-to-date.

Robot Technologies