Dual and Multi-channel closed-loop supply chains: A state of the art review

Linda Tombido*, Imam Baihaqi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Product returns have been introduced to the supply chain because of the need to protect the environment and some circumstances beyond a manufacturer’s control (such as product recalls). Introducing product returns has led to the formation of closed loop supply chains, that is, situations in which organisations both manufacture and remanufacture their own products. Closed loop supply chains (CLSCs) have been known to be uncertain in the timing, quality and quantity of the returns. In addition to these uncertainties, most organisations lack the necessary infrastructure and technology to perform reverse logistics operations on their own. For this reason, they seek assistance from external parties such as third party reverse logistics providers. Third parties often have the expertise and technology required to run reverse logistics operations. At the same time, the rapid pace of e-commerce has led to manufacturers adopting more than one channels for selling their products. However, in a closed loop supply chain setting, the dual channel has been defined by more than just selling products both offline and online. The aim of this paper was to review literature on the use of multiple and dual channels in reverse logistics and closed loop supply chains and identifies research gaps as well as future research directions on the topic. The paper investigated how multiple and dual channels have been utilised to address issues in reverse logistics and closed loop supply chains. A content-based analysis was carried out for 57 papers. The identified characteristics of these papers were classified into 9 categories. By reviewing literature on dual channel supply chains, the paper was able to identify the ways in which different channels are formed in closed loop supply chains. The purpose of the paper was threefold. Firstly, the literature review described the general characteristics of dual channel closed loop supply chains based on what was revealed by existing literature. The review also classified literature based on the definition of dual channel CLSC, research methodology and topic of focus. Finally, the research proposed some meaningful gaps and directions for future research. The results of the review showed that there is need to expand literature on the competition of channels, greening strategies and carbon emissions and supply chain dynamics and stability in dual channel closed loop supply chains. Future research should also consider relaxing some assumptions and incorporating real case studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-123
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Remanufacturing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Circular economy
  • Closed-loop supply chains
  • Dual channels
  • Multi-channels
  • Reverse logistics


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