A Review of the Criteria and Methods of Reverse Logistics Supplier Selection

Xumei Zhang, Zhizhao Li, Yan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a literature review on reverse logistics (RL) supplier selection in terms of criteria and methods. A systematic view of past work published between 2008 and 2020 onWeb of Science (WOS) databases is provided by reviewing, categorizing, and analyzing relevant papers. Based on the analyses of 41 articles, we propose a three-stage typology of decision-making frameworks to understanding RL supplier selection, including (a) establishment of the selection criteria; (b) calculation of the relative weights and ranking of the selection criteria; (c) ranking of alternatives (suppliers). The main discoveries of this review are as follows. (1) Attention to the field of RL supplier selection is increasing, as evidenced by the increasing number of papers in the field. With the adaption of circular economy legislation and the need resource and business resilience, it is expected that RL and RL supplier selection will be a hot topic in the near future. (2) A large number of papers take "sustainability" as the theoretical approach to carry out research and use it as the basis for determining the criteria. (3) Multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) methods have been widely used in RL supplier selection and have been constantly innovated. (4) Artificial intelligence methods are also gradually being applied. Finally, gaps in the literature are identified to provide directions for future research. (5) Value-added service is underrepresented in the current study and needs further attention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number705
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited


  • MCDM
  • Reverse logistics
  • Supplier selection
  • Sustainability


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