Assessing Reverse Logistics in South African Construction

Winston M. Shakantu1 & Fidelis A. Emuze2

1Professor, Department of Construction Management, PO Box 77000 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, 6031, South Africa Tel: (041) 504 2394 Fax: (041) 504 2345 E-mail: Winston.Shakantu@nmmu.ac.za
2Research Associate, Built Environment Research Centre, PO Box 77000 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, 6031, South Africa Tel: (041) 504 2399 Fax: (041) 504 2345 E-mail: Fidelis.Emuze2@nmmu.ac.za

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to advance the benefits of an efficient reverse logistics system in construction. The paper argues that building material and waste removal operations could be optimized by the application of reverse logistics in a construction context. Though the larger research entails extensive use of a number of qualitative approaches, this particular paper reports on a multi case study investigation conducted in the City of Cape Town. Present knowledge of logistics in general and transportation in particular, within South African construction is relatively limited. Emphasis is more frequently placed on supply chain management (SCM) without reference to the fundamental need to understand its pre-eminent subsets, such as transportation. For instance, building materials and waste removal transport operators in construction still operate as independent businesses. As a result, these vendors do not synchronize their operations. The utilization of reverse logistics in a construction context could improve vehicle utilization and reduce vehicular movements while simultaneously improving the service being provided to customers. In other words, there appears to be a major scope for reducing wastes related to unnecessary movement, conveyance and unnecessary motion in the process.

Keywords

Construction, Reverse logistics, Supply Chain Management, South Africa

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Reference

Shakantu, W.M. & Emuze, F.A. 2012, 'Assessing Reverse Logistics in South African Construction' In:, Tommelein, I.D. & Pasquire, C.L., 20th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. San Diego, USA, 18-20 Jul 2012.

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