Yodel has announced an investment of over £1m in a new automated sortation system specially designed to handle delicate and irregular shaped parcels.
The system, called Merlin2, will be located at Yodel’s Shaw sorting centre and is the business’ second automated ‘out of gauge’ sortation facility, following the original Merlin, which was introduced in Wednesbury in 2019.
Created by Yodel engineers in response to growing needs of the online retail sector, Merlin2 is capable of processing up to 2,900 1m-long items per hour and will work alongside the larger fully automated sort at Shaw.
Furthermore, the new system is capable of handling items up to 1.8m-long and 0.9m-wide and will, according to Yodel, significantly increase the speed and efficiency of the ‘out of gauge’ parcel sorting process.
Yodel said that Merlin2’s automation will also ensure that clients and customers benefit from greater visibility and traceability of their parcels throughout the network.
By linking directly with Yodel’s billing systems, the system is designed to provide greater speed and accuracy for invoice processing. Items previously sorted manually will now be automatically scanned, weighed, volumised and photographed.
Carl Moore, COO, Yodel, said: “Increasing visibility across our sorting process reduces opportunities for parcels to be misplaced and means packages can travel from our clients and to consumers much faster, meeting the greater demand for a more seamless service.
“The system’s design also makes for a safer work environment for our colleagues by reducing the physical demands of the work at our sort centres and reducing the risk of strain and injury.”
Shaw is one of Yodel’s three central sort centres. Packages are sorted at Shaw before being sent on to one of the carrier’s UK depots, where they are passed on to final-mile drivers for delivery to customers.