Reverse Logistics

Logistics key performance indicators (KPIs) are focused on getting the right goods to the right customers at the right time and to the right place. However, a complete supply chain perspective should always consider how reverse logistics can have a positive impact on maximizing your efficiency and your bottom line. That’s where Habitat for Humanity Canada and its ReStores can be a valuable part of your reverse logistics toolbox.

But first – what is ‘reverse logistics’ and why should your business consider a reverse logistics strategy? The APICS Dictionary generally describes reverse supply chain as the planning and controlling part of the process where one is moving goods from the point of consumption back to a point for repair, reclamation, recycling or disposal.

A reverse logistics strategy means that you are better able to respond to everything from customer returns from retailers to returns from distributors for products that failed to sell, goods that may be delayed or damaged in transit as well as goods that no longer meet the company’s service quality standards.

As many in ecommerce have already found, it is not always cost effective to return goods to their point of origin. This challenge is particularly acute in industries with long international supply chains or where the value of the finished product is sensitive to transport costs. The adoption of reverse logistics solutions allows companies to leverage their inventory to repair, recondition, reuse or recycle products or their components to enhance shareholder value or meet critical KPI’s for supply chain sustainability.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore Solution

Habitat Canada is a nonprofit that has local and national partnerships with some of Canada’s largest manufacturers, distributors, and retailers and has been providing a reverse logistics solution since 1991 through Habitat ReStores.

With over 100 stores across Canada, the Habitat Restore network offers an efficient and affordable reverse logistics solution for shippers (either importers or exporters) and the logistics industry. It also provides a valuable opportunity for companies to address inventory issues associated with discontinued, obsolete, overstocked or slightly damaged freight.

“Our Western Distribution Centre warehouse and its professional staff can help companies meet their corporate sustainability objectives,” says Rob Voisin, Habitat Canada’s Vice President of Federation Capacity and Performance. “And because our warehouse is in the Lower Mainland, we are well positioned to help the cargo logistics community better serve the reverse logistics needs of importers and exporters who are utilizing the Port of Vancouver.”

Habitat ReStores accept and sell many different types of products, allowing Habitat Canada to offer reverse logistics solutions from the following categories:

  • Appliances
  • Building Materials
  • Cleaning Products
  • Flooring
  • Furniture
  • Hardware
  • Household goods/ Household Décor
  • Plumbing/ Electrical/ Lighting
  • Tools

Another benefit of donating to Habitat ReStore is that companies are eligible to receive a charitable receipt for their in-kind donation, and Habitat Canada also provides a pick-up service at no cost for product donations.

“Companies come to us because they have a problem and we have an easy, cost-effective solution for them,” says Stephanie Ashton-Smith, Manager of Product Procurement at Habitat Canada. “It’s a win-win situation when companies work with us as part of their reverse logistics strategy.”

Habitat Canada welcomes enquiries from terminal operators, 3PLS and cargo owners who are interested in learning more about how they can help their clients with the increasing demand placed on supply chains brought about by reverse logistics practices. Find out more about Habitat Canada online at

Read the full BC Shipping News article.