Reverse Logistics Uncertainty in a Courier Industry: A Triadic Model
Wang, M; Wang, B; Chan, R
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Purpose Due to increasing supply chain complexity, the supply chain uncertainty has become an imperative issue, which hinders the development of modern logistics and supply chain management. The paper attempts to conceptualize reverse logistics uncertainty from supply chain uncertainty literature and present the types of reverse logistics uncertainty in a triadic model. Design/methodology/approach The concept of reverse logistics uncertainty is developed based on a triadic model of logistics uncertainty and supply chain uncertainty literature. A desk research is conducted to develop a taxonomy of reverse logistics uncertainty. To better depict the reverse logistics uncertainty, we use case studies to discuss the types of reverse logistics uncertainty in the triadic model. Findings The study reveals four types of supply chain uncertainties in the reverse logistics. We call them reverse logistics uncertainty. Type-A and Type-B uncertainty are new types of supply chain uncertainty in the reverse logistics. Research limitations/implications The types of reverse logistics uncertainty have not been empirically validated in industries. Especially, the two new types including Type-A and Type-B reverse uncertainty need further exploration. Originality/value Although reverse logistics has been discussed in the past decades, very few studies have been conducted on the supply chain uncertainty in returns management arena. The paper offers valuable insights to better understand the supply chain uncertainty in the reverse logistics. This also provides suggestions for both managers and researchers to reflect on the reverse logistics uncertainty management and business sustainability.