Parcel Return Service: TMS Solutions for Modern Challenge

In the digital age, e-commerce is booming, bringing a surge in parcel returns. This rise presents logistical challenges, making efficient parcel return service integral to customer experience.

When over 60% of online customers expect hassle-free returns, the stakes for retailers are higher than ever. Managing these returns with effective reverse logistics creates an opportunity for enhanced customer engagement and loyalty.

Understanding Reverse Logistics in E-Commerce

Reverse logistics is growing exponentially, with projections indicating that retail returns surpass $620 billion in 2023. The parcel return journey is often complex and costly, involving sorting, handling, and processing.

Some retailers are now advising consumers not to return goods due to the high costs associated with processing, repackaging, and attempting to resell returned merchandise. This trend highlights the intricate challenges and economic considerations inherent in reverse logistics.

What is Reverse Logistics?

Reverse logistics is more than the process of returning purchased goods. It encompasses the comprehensive flow of products, materials, and information from the end customer to the point of origin, such as retailers, warehouses, or manufacturers. This process is critical in e-commerce for several reasons:

  • Customer Service and Satisfaction: Customers spend more with retailers offering free returns and abandon their carts when retailers lack a customer-friendly return policy.
  • Recapturing Value: Reverse logistics helps recapture value from returned goods through resale, refurbishment, recycling, or disposal.
  • Sustainability: Parcel return service and reverse logistics play a significant role in sustainability efforts, minimizing waste and promoting recycling or reuse of products and materials.

While the peak season is known for its surge in e-commerce sales, it also ushers in a parcel return peak season of its own. This period extends well into January and February, following the holidays, as customers return their purchases. Notably, the average return rate for online purchases is 18.1%, with a large portion occurring during and after the holiday.

6 Strategic Tips for Effective Parcel Return Service

Efficient reverse logistics significantly influences where customers shop. A hassle-free return policy is critical to the overall customer experience, building trust and loyalty while adding value to the consumer.

When managed efficiently, this process enhances customer satisfaction and controls operational costs. Conversely, inefficiencies in reverse logistics can drive up costs, either absorbed by the business or passed down to the consumer. To master the art of reverse logistics, companies must adopt a strategic approach:

  1. Clear Returns Policies: Simple, transparent, and customer-friendly return policies enhance customer experience and loyalty.
  2. Pre-Planned Packaging for Returns: Provide return-ready packaging to ease the return process for customers.
  3. Dedicated Space for Returns: Efficiently managing returns requires dedicated physical spaces in warehouses or retail locations to process returns.
  4. Proactive Management of High Return Volumes: Ensure smoother operations by predicting and preparing for high return volumes, especially during peak seasons.
  5. Learn from Previous Seasons: Analyzing past returns data helps anticipate future trends so you can prepare and train accordingly.
  6. TMS Integration: Integrate your transportation management systems (TMS) with other supply chain systems for seamless data flow and automation, enhancing visibility, insights, and control over the returns process.

Leveraging TMS for Enhanced Returns Strategy

The right TMS supports a reverse logistics solution that helps you overcome prevalent challenges and transforms them into competitive advantages.

Retailers typically need to handle their forward-moving inventory and the stream of returned goods separately. A crucial benefit of a TMS is managing the dual inventory challenge that parcel returns often present. You integrate these two streams by leveraging a TMS, enhancing visibility and control over your entire inventory.
This integration significantly streamlines parcel return processes, serving customers more effectively while reducing operational costs. Efficiently managing both inventories through a TMS ensures smoother operations, helps maintain accurate stock levels, avoids overstocking or stockouts, and ultimately contributes to a better customer experience.
Seamless Integration with Logistics Systems

MercuryGate TMS ensures a cohesive flow of information across all supply chain segments, addressing the challenge of disjointed logistics processes.

Data-Driven Insights for Strategic Decision-Making
With a TMS, businesses gain valuable insights from reverse logistics data. These insights are crucial for making informed decisions, identifying areas for cost reduction, and improving service.
Predictability in Payments and Returns
MercuryGate TMS brings predictability to financial management regarding returns and associated costs, allowing businesses to strategize and allocate resources.
Customer-Centric Returns Processes
By prioritizing customer satisfaction, modern TMS solutions simplify the return process for consumers. This focus on customer-centricity helps you turn a potentially negative experience of a parcel return into an opportunity to build trust and loyalty.

In an era where efficient reverse logistics is a crucial determinant of e-commerce success, MercuryGate’s TMS helps you optimize parcel return service strategy and improve customer service.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Transforming Parcel Returns into Opportunities

Efficiently handling returns is about more than just addressing a logistical need. It’s about leveraging this aspect of the customer journey to create a competitive edge.

MercuryGate’s solution elevates this process, transforming the challenge of returns into an opportunity for business growth. In an industry where customer expectations continuously evolve, excelling in reverse logistics can be the differentiator that sets a business apart. Download our brochure, Transportation Management for Parcel, for a deeper dive into how MercuryGate can revolutionize your broader parcel strategy.

FAQ: Additional Questions about Parcel Return service

Is parcel return service FedEx or USPS?

Parcel return services are offered by various shipping carriers, including FedEx and USPS. Each shipping company has its own parcel return service options and procedures. It’s essential to check with the specific carrier you used for shipping to determine the return service available and follow their guidelines for initiating a return.

What is NDC USPS parcel return service FedEx?

NDC stands for Network Distribution Center, which is a facility used by the United States Postal Service (USPS) for processing and distributing mail and packages. Parcel return service (PRS) is a service provided by USPS that allows businesses to offer their customers the option to return merchandise easily. FedEx is a separate shipping company and not directly related to USPS parcel return service. If you’re looking for information on FedEx return services, it’s best to consult FedEx’s official resources or contact their customer service.

Why do parcels get returned to sender?

Parcels may be returned to the sender for various reasons, including incorrect address, unsuccessful delivery attempts, refusal by the recipient, or the package being undeliverable as addressed. Additionally, some parcels may be returned due to non-compliance with shipping regulations, such as improper packaging or prohibited contents. It’s essential to ensure accurate addressing and compliance with shipping guidelines to minimize the risk of returns.

How do I track my parcel return?

To track your parcel return, you’ll need the tracking number provided by the shipping carrier or service used for the return. Visit the carrier’s website or use their tracking tools to enter the tracking number and monitor the status of your return package. You’ll be able to see updates such as when the package is received by the carrier, in transit, or delivered back to the sender.

How do I track a parcel in the mail?

To track a parcel in the mail, you’ll need the tracking number provided by the shipping carrier or service used to send the parcel. Visit the carrier’s website or use their tracking tools to enter the tracking number and view the status of your parcel. You’ll receive updates on its location and estimated delivery time as it moves through the carrier’s network.

How do I find a tracking number for a parcel?

If you’re the sender, you can typically find the tracking number on the shipping label or receipt provided by the carrier when you shipped the parcel. If you’re the recipient, check any shipping confirmation emails or notifications you received from the sender, as they often include the tracking number. You can also contact the sender or the carrier directly for assistance in locating the tracking number.

How do I track a parcel with a tracking number?

Once you have the tracking number for your parcel, visit the website of the shipping carrier or service provider and locate the tracking section. Enter the tracking number into the designated field and click on the “Track” or “Submit” button. You’ll then receive real-time updates on the status and location of your parcel as it moves through the shipping process.

Can you put parcel return service in mailbox?

No, typically, you cannot place a parcel return service package in a regular mailbox. Most parcel return services require you to drop off the package at designated locations, such as post offices, shipping centers, or authorized drop-off points specified by the service provider. It’s essential to follow the specific instructions provided by the parcel return service for proper handling and processing of your return package.

Learn how MercuryGate supports Parcel service


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