This work aims to provide a complete assessment of recent and state-of-the-art studies in reverse logistics and closed-loop supply chains, based on a large number of publications in various scientific journals on RL and CLSC topics. In all, 382 articles published between January 2007 and March 2013 were assessed to determine future research directions and possibilities in RL and CLSC (Govindan et al., 2015). The processes that regard planning and implementation of efficient controls and use of unprocessed materials, tools used in manufacturing, outcoming commercial products, and data about the whole lifecycle of materials addressed to reclaim value or dispose of it appropriately are referred to as reverse logistics (Gupta, 2013). Green, sustainable, environmental, and resilience objectives are the most significant extensions of present objective functions.
The attention of the researchers should encompass the issues of implantation of RL and CLSC regarding the ecological and social aspects as they are crucial for the future development of these concepts (Gupta, 2013,). The article provides a detailed literature review on how researchers examined different aspects of RL and CLSC addressed in various studies. The authors have categorized them by their specifics and determined their contents and variety of views in the categories.
Designing and planning are addressed by some researchers as separate processes conducted consequently, whereas other researchers consider it a simultaneous and monolete process rather than two different ones. Surveys on RL and CLSC concentrated on interactive studying of the topic through communicating with the practitioners who are engaged in the development and implementation. Some studies emphasize different directions of studying RL and CLSC, like business aspects and perspectives, and ecological nuances. Some researchers consider only the planning stage of the production without addressing the tools that will be used in it. On the other hand, some emphasize the inventory without addressing the production planning.
Yet, some studies encompass both of these aspects and were categorized by the authors of the article as “hybrid planning” (Govindan et al., 2015) because of its nature, based on both planning and inventory management. Authors mention that there are researches that do not address both of these planning aspects and put these studies in a separate category. Other categories addressed by the article are conceptual and analytical framework, review and partial review, different analyses, decision-making, and performance evaluation, 3RLP selection, and the vehicle routing problem.
The writers’ future study prospects are clarified by identifying and discussing the gaps in the literature. Several potential paths in issue classifications and opportunities are suggested by mutual interrelations and a holistic approach to picking distinct challenges. Further possibilities for developing these characteristics lie in procedures, related to two-stage stochastic and resilient optimization methods, and forecasting (Gupta, 2013). Future developments in single and multiple objective issues might include paying attention to using innovative methodologies and incorporating more green, maintainable, and environmental goals. The article properly analyses the literature and existing research regarding RL and CLSC, and the addressed issue of gaps in it is justified. The topic requires further research about the possibilities of implementation of RL and CLSC, and its consequences for the environment and in terms of its beneficence. Though, the article concentrates a lot on the ecological aspects, whereas addressing the optimization of RL and CLSC processes regarding these aspects is not as prevalent.
Govindan, K., Soleimani, H., & Kannan, D. (2015). Reverse logistics and closed-loop supply chain: A comprehensive review to explore the future. European Journal of Operational Research, 240(3), 603-626. Web.
Gupta, S. (2013). Reverse supply chains: Issues and analysis. CRC Press.