Britain must trade with the world’s markets in the most favourable circumstances. This needs practices and protocols that allow the most efficient movement of goods across the globe, 24/7, 365, without pause or hesitation.

Value added services support logistics operations by adding value – for example, saving money or time, or increasing safety or sustainability.

Let’s look at returns. When you buy something online, it is picked, packed and dispatched from a warehouse or RDC to your home. But what if that item is no longer needed or wanted? The average returned purchase in the UK passes through seven pairs of hands [1] before it is listed for resale. Most of those hands belong to logisticians!

With returns costing retailers £60 billion per year, £20 billion of which is generated over the internet [2], companies need to look constantly at their processes and procedures to save time and money in getting the returned product back on the shelves. Roles in continuous improvement, examining those processes, and data analytics, examining returns over time, are critical in improving logistics performance and contributing to company growth.

Another example of a value-added service is kitting – taking multiple items and combining them into one package, ready for sale. Adding country-specific instructions and plugs to televisions is an example of kitting, which requires close management of multiple items of stock and distribution to multiple destinations.

Co-packing has also become more popular in the drive to decrease costs and increase speed of delivery. Co-packing involves sending a product somewhere else to be packed, for example into multipacks, to be shrink wrapped or to have price labels added. Co-packing lets experts do the packing, reducing a manufacturer’s cost and saving time. Relationships between manufacturers and their co-packing partner, like many in logistics, need careful management to ensure speed, quality and accuracy targets are being met.

Adding value through packaging is explained in this video from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport:

[1] Savills.pdf