Global shipping and mailing company Pitney Bowes and PackageHub are partnering on a returns initiative. The two companies will launch a returns drop off network. This will allow no-box, no-label returns at 1,000 locations in the US. 

Gregg Zegras, EVP and President, Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes emphasized the company has the longest-standing e-commerce returns service in the industry. 

Lowering cost for customers

“Ecommerce returns are among the fastest-growing costs for retailers—costs that are sure to increase given the historic levels of online shopping we’ve seen this holiday,” says Zegras. He adds that with the partnership Pitney Bowes will have access to PackageHub’s premium drop-off locations across the US. 

It is hoped the partnership will be capable of lowering costs of returns while improving customer experience. 

Pitney Bowes has a returns solution 

The company provides technology, logistics and financial services to over 90% of the Fortune 500. Its customer base includes retail, enterprise, and government entities worldwide. 

Brandon Gale, CEO of PackageHub says: “The Pitney Bowes’ returns approach seamlessly complements our strategic vision, and we eagerly welcome them in the PackageHub family. We believe this partnership offers an incredible value-add to our ever-increasing network of PackageHub store owners.”

Also read: Understanding Product Returns to Minimize Impact on Delivery Services

PackageHub steps up innovation for deliveries 

The company was established in 2019 and is now the second largest franchise system of retail shopping stores and business centers in the US. 

In November 2023, Pitney Bowes announced it is leveraging technology such as automation sorting equipment robotics to enable on-time deliveries.  

Since 2021, Pitney Bowes has made several network enhancements and improvements: 

  • The company Opened next-generation Global Ecommerce Hubs in Chicago, Illinois and Columbus, Ohio.
  • Pitney Bowes deployed new automation solutions, including new AmbiSort AI-powered robotics for parcel sortation for middle-mile operations, and Plus One Induction Robots to pick and place parcels on our automated systems.
  • The company announced the expansion of its regional delivery service models to more than 20 major cities across the Southeast and Southwest United States. 

Industry players master reverse logistics  

In October 2023, UPS acquired reverse logistics firm Happy Returns. The Los Angeles-based company provides no-box, no-label returns to merchants and customers. Its network consists of over 10,000 box-free return locations in the US. 

The reverse logistics process can be time consuming. But thanks to automation at warehouses – robotics provide speed and accuracy, enhancing the reverse logistics process. 

StartUs is a leading startup and innovation network that has identified some trends in reverse logistics in 2024. 

  • E-waste reverse supply chain: Machine learning is reducing electronic waste. This also allows valuable materials to be recovered. 
  • Cloud computing: This allows businesses to keep track of returns and enables businesses to integrate with other logistics systems. 
  • Returns management: Artificial intelligent (AI) technology allows businesses to streamline the process of handling returns. 
Now Read: Easy parcel returns: A guide to using Uber Connect

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.