When “Return” is Part of Your History…

return meigs

“Return to the Future”

Registration Now OPEN!


August 6, 2018 (Arlington, Va.)  – When “Return” is part of your history…is it any wonder it becomes a center-piece of your service offerings?  Well, if history has anything to do with it, the Postal Service’s focus on developing new product returns solutions is not surprising.  After all, the 5th Postmaster General of the United States (pictured above), serving from 1764-1825, was none other than Return J. Meigs Jr., an Ohio politician.

The USPS will be discussing product returns at “Return to the Future,” a one-day event to be held on September 20, 2018, through a collaborative effort between PostalVision 2020 and the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA).  The event, which will include a great list of notable speakers and topics, will focus on the growing opportunities, challenges, and innovations being seen with product returns and reverse logistics.

The product returns market and supply chain needs are a very timely topic as we approach the holiday mailing season, with the recent record-breaking Amazon Prime Day leading to a record-breaking aftermath of returns.  As this SupplyChainDive article points out, “[s]uppliers and retailers must prepare for a surge in consumers returning goods — or risk products turning in to ‘dead money.’”  The article suggests that based on Amazon’s Prime Day sales of over 100 million products, a return rate of 20% would mean 20 million items are on their way back through Amazon’s reverse logistics system.

“There could be more returns coming. People may have taken advantage of it and bought things they really didn’t need or want because it was such a good deal and they can take advantage of Amazon’s no-real-questions asked [return] policy,” Tony Sciarrotta, Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association (and co-sponsor of the Sept. 20 Returns event), told Supply Chain Dive.

The September 20, 2018, “Return to the Future” event will be held at the Schar School of Policy and Government, Founders Hall, George Mason University, in Arlington, VA, from 8:00 am – 5:30 pm, with onsite reception to follow from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm.  Sessions included in the one-day event agenda will cover topics such as an overview of the returns/reverse logistics supply chain, market trends, consumer & retailer perspectives, solutions from shippers and intermediaries, new technology and innovation in the ecosystem, new returns models and more!

Confirmed speakers already announced for this great one-day event, include:

  • Accenture and USPS OIG to Share Latest Returns Research. Brody Buhler, Global Managing Director, Post and Parcel industry, Accenture at the Sept. 20th event will present on “Reverse Logistics – the Next Battleground,” featuring Accenture’s latest research on ecommerce returns.  Ian Stanford, Public Policy Analyst, USPS Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) will discuss the USPS OIG’s recent research around the reverse logistics supply chain and returns trends.
  • Academic Leaders Join Speaker Line-Up for Returns Event. The event will feature a keynote presentation on the impact of emerging online technologies on product returns by Dr. Michael Galbreth, Head of the Dept. of Business Analytics and Statistics at the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business. In addition, the event will include introductory remarks by the Hon. David Williams, distinguished professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.
  • USPS Executives to Speak on Returns Solutions. USPS Vice President of Product Innovation Gary Reblin and USPS Director of Product Management, Shipping, Jay Smith both will be speaking at the returns event, with presentation focusing on how the USPS is working to build and enhance its product returns solutions and support the returns/reverse logistics and retail ecosystems.

More exciting speakers and panelists for the event will be announced in the coming weeks and will include representatives from academia, shippers/carriers and other supply chain businesses, retailers, and more!   If you are interested in participating as a speaker/panelist, please contact us.

For more information or to Register to attend the event, check out the PostalVision 2020 web site.  For information on sponsor and exhibit opportunities, contact John Sasso or John Callan.


About the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA)

The Reverse Logistics Association (RLA) is a members’ driven, global trade association for the returns and reverse industry, offering information, research, solutions and services for Manufacturers, Branded, and Retail companies from Third Party Providers. Our goals are to educate and inform Reverse Logistics professionals around the world, and be the voice of the reverse industry.  For more information, visit http://www.rla.org.


About PostalVision 2020

The PostalVision 2020 Initiative Mission is “to serve as an independent transformative cause that inspires imaginative thinking, stimulates provocative conversation and influences the reinvention of American Postal Services in 2020 and beyond.”  Since 2011, we have been engaging stakeholders from all across the postal platform and beyond in a critical conversation about what future generations should have in the way of Postal Services in America.  For more information visit http://www.postalvision2020.com.


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