Global Institute of Logistics Publishes White Paper on the Waste Electrical and Electronic (WEEE) Directive

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The Institute believes that the initiative could lead to excellent business opportunities for logistics service providers who develop specific WEEE strategy and service offerings.

WEEE is a move by the European Commission to encourage the producers of items with an electronic component to make their goods less harmful to the environment, during their life times and when they become waste.

It follows similar moves that have come into force in several countries around the world already, most notably Japan.

In putting this paper together, the Global Institute of Logistics held discussions with four electronics manufacturers and four logistics service providers, to gather first-hand information about how companies have prepared and carried out their WEEE strategies.

The headline findings from these discussions are as follows.

The WEEE directive could present outsource logistics service providers in Europe with a significant opportunity to secure new customers, or to establish themselves ever more firmly with existing customers.

In some cases, it could allow logistics service providers to improve their margins, as WEEE services will certainly provide added value to shippers in the electronics manufacturing segment.

Producers have made it clear to us that there is a considerable appetite amongst them to hand over day-to-day management of the recycling and disposal of their products to an outsource logistics service provider. They will continue to have overall responsibility for what happens to their own products, so the suggestion is not that they are seeking to wash their hands of the consequences of WEEE.

However, to date, too few logistics operators in Europe have a WEEE strategy and service offering in place.

Producers and their logistics service providers will also have to invest in better technology tools to help them keep their WEEE efforts on track. At the moment, most are relying on in-house developed applications, Excel spreadsheets and so on.

This indicates to us that technology providers who are able to offer specific tools to help user organisations manage the collection, recycling and disposal of electronic and electrical goods will also find a market here. They will need to keep implementation times low and return on investment high if they are to succeed.

The full white paper is available in PDF format free of charge. Anyone wishing to read it should send a request by email to the Institute's Editor.

About Global Institute of Logistics

Institute acts as an advocacy body for the third party logistics industry globally and to that end works with shippers to assist them in understanding the challenges faced in outsourcing the logistics process. Through its Gfifty program the Institute researches standards in key verticals and territories to establish the world's leading 3PLs and uses case studies drawn from these 'Best in Class' recipients to support this process and its advocacy work.

The Institute serves its members by providing the platform for discussion and debate on the issues affecting the third party logistics industry, both regionally and globally. Membership is drawn from the world's 3rd party logistics community and is by invitation.

The Institute acts as an intelligence-gathering agency and disseminates this information in the form of daily news reports and briefings via the website . The Institute is also a learning centre for a growing community of third party logistics providers who wish to contribute to, and participate in forums and discussion groups on aspects of running a best in class organization.

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Siobhan Kelly
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