As vehicles are used to deliver goods, they would ordinarily be empty on their return journey. There are however, many occasions when this empty return capacity is used.
Supply chains have always been geared towards the forward – or downstream – distribution of goods. In recent times there has been an increasing need to send goods and materials upstream. These items may include product returns, used distribution equipment and packaging or material to be recycled or disposed of. Collection of goods from producers may also be included.
Reverse distribution needs to be planned for in the same way as forward distribution.