Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering


e-commerce, IoT in reverse logistics, reverse logistics


Abdul-Kader, Walid




Reverse Logistics (RL), the process of returning goods from a customer to a retail or manufacturing source, is an increasingly important yet undermanaged business function. The advent of internet and mobile technology and its rapid growth worldwide facilitates online shopping. Research shows that 54% of customers are already buying goods online. Online retail sales are expected to hit $ 4.5 trillion USD by 2020. This shift in buying pattern comes with a more worrying change in customer behaviour in the form of increasing returns, a number of that is surging at an alarming rate. In fact, statistics show that 30% of all the products ordered online are returned. Returns represent a growing cost of doing business today, and they represent unique challenges that are separate from traditional forward moving distribution channels. This thesis analyses the challenges in reverse logistics supply chain (RSLC) and provides a directional approach to overcome these challenges. The applications of emerging technologies for reverse logistics are discussed in this thesis. Also, this thesis discusses at length, return policy and its relevance in e-commerce business. A profit-maximization model is developed to obtain optimal values for refund, return policy, quality policy and pricing in terms of certain market reaction parameters. A numerical example is presented to show the applicability of the model given the parameters considered. The model provides valuable managerial insights for online apparel retailer in particular, to determine its strategic position under varying customer’s purchase and return decisions.