n Journal of Contemporary Management - Conceptualising reverse logistics in a construction context : re-defining its contours




Logistics management is a complex task within both manufacturing and construction industries. Effective logistics management involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, materials handling and packaging. Until recently, investment in logistics was focussed mainly on the flow from companies to markets. However growing concerns for the environment and the conservation of resources have created new logistical approaches to manage the distribution function more effectively, and make better use of the resources available to an organisation. One such approach is the concept of reverse logistics. Reverse logistics uses various methods to give scope for back-loads of finished products, components, waste and reusable packaging from consumers to manufacturers. Back-loads, which are logistics against the forward flow, allow manufacturers to reduce costs by using distribution vehicles' return journeys to create income or value addition. This concept is now being developed to create novel solutions to the reduction of pollution, costs and vehicle movements, while maintaining high customer service levels. This paper develops the concept of reverse logistics in a construction context in order to improve materials availability whilst simultaneously improving construction and demolition (C&D) waste management and reducing vehicle movements. The paper ends by describing a case study in Cape Town, South Africa in which the concept was applied in modelling the integration of materials delivery and construction and demolition (C&D) waste removal operations in order to reduce costs and vehicle movements.


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