Parcel carrier Yodel has invested more than £1 million in a new bespoke semi-automated sort facility which will process bulky or delicate parcels which previously had to be handled by hand.
The new facility, dubbed Merlin, has gone live at the company’s Wednesbury sort centre which can handle around 17,000 parcels an hour.
The new system replaces two manual sorting carousels and sits alongside the larger fully-automated sort at Wednesbury, Merlin can handle items up to 1.8m long and up to 0.9m wide and is capable of processing up to 2,500 metre-long items per hour.
Within the system items that previously had to be manually sorted will now be automatically scanned, weighed, volumised and photographed as they pass through the system.
Bulky, out of gauge, non-machinable or ‘ugly traffic’ are just some of the terms applied to irregular shaped items, such as flat pack furniture, car exhausts and ironing boards, which usually require manual handling and so can impact the number of parcels that can be handled at peak.
Lucy Robertson, Yodel’s director of sort and transport, said: “The Merlin project is a world-class system. The investment in equipment and technology will deliver improvements in flow as well as reduce parcel handling by our colleagues. Our clients will benefit from greater visibility and traceability of their parcels as well as full details on the cube and weight of each item.”
Image credit: Yodel