Yodel’s engineering wizards have created a new sortation system called Merlin2, which it said will handle delicate and irregular shaped parcels in response to booming volumes.

The system is located at Yodel’s Shaw sorting centre and is its second automated out of gauge facility following the original Merlin, introduced in Wednesbury in 2019.

Merlin2 is capable of processing up to 2,900 one-metre-long items per hour and works alongside the larger, fully-automated sort at Shaw.

Yodel said it is capable of handling items up to 1.8m long and 0.9m wide and significantly increases the speed and efficiency of the out of gauge parcel sorting process.

It also links directly with the parcel company’s billing systems, providing increased speed and accuracy for invoice processing.

Carl Moore, Yodel COO, 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.”

Yodel CEO Mike Hancox said it had witnessed dramatic growth in the last year and a half: “Expanding the Merlin system to more sort centers allows us to continue responding to the demands of the growing online retail market,” he added.