Yodel has invested more than £1 million in ‘Merlin2’ a new sortation system designed to handle delicate and irregular shaped parcels. It will be located at Yodel’s Shaw sorting centre and is the business’ second automated ‘out of gauge’ sortation facility, following the success of the original Merlin which was introduced in Wednesbury in 2019.
The system, created by Yodel’s engineers, can process up to 2,900 one-metre-long items per hour and will work alongside the larger fully automated sort at Shaw. Merlin2 is capable of handling items up to 1.8m long and 0.9m wide and will significantly increase the speed and efficiency of the ‘out of gauge’ parcel sorting process.
The system should also improve visibility and traceability of parcels since items that previously had to be manually sorted will now be automatically scanned, weighed, volumised and photographed.
Carl Moore, COO, Yodel explained: “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.”
Mike Hancox, CEO, Yodel, said: “Expanding the Merlin system to more sort centers allows us to continue responding to the demands of the growing online retail market. By increasing visibility across our sorting process, we can strengthen Yodel’s position as the parcel carrier of choice.”
Shaw is one of Yodel’s three central sort centres. Packages are sorted at Shaw before being sent on to one of Yodel’s depots around the UK, where they are passed on to final mile drivers for delivery to customers.