Yodel makes US$19m investment in greener fleet

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UK independent parcel carrier Yodel has announced a £15.2m (US$19.1m) investment in its fleet, designed to reduce the environmental impact of its road-based operations. The investment includes new vehicles and trailers, as well as technology to improve efficiency and safety.

Yodel has taken delivery of an all-electric 7.5 metric ton light-duty truck, the first in its fleet. The Mitsubishi FUSO eCanter will initially be based at Yodel’s customer delivery depot in Hayes, West London, and used across the city. It will be put through its paces to ensure that the subsequent electric vehicles are deployed in the right locations. Silent and emission-free, the state-of-the-art vehicle has a load capacity of up to 4.5 metric tons and is powered by six high-voltage batteries.

The carrier has also invested in Microlise technology for all its tractor units and trailers – a total of more than 1,300 assets. This innovative software monitors factors such as speed, location and road traffic levels. It reports back to Yodel’s state-of-the-art business control tower, allowing the team to view the network in real-time and adapt to dynamic conditions.

Microlise’s Android-based DriveTab tablet devices act as the main interface for driver communication and navigation. Journeys can be planned and monitored by the business control tower and instructions sent to the driver, while driving style can be evaluated and feedback provided to optimize driver performance. Yodel has already seen a 7% improvement in fuel efficiency since the introduction of the technology.

As part of its ongoing commitment to ensure the safety of its drivers and other road users, Yodel has fitted every tractor unit with a Microlise panic button, enabling drivers to alert the business control tower of an emergency. The carrier is also trialling a number of dashboard camera systems for its tractor units, to aid incident investigation.

In addition, Yodel is looking to expand its urban bicycle delivery offering. It currently uses bicycle couriers to deliver parcels in central Oxford, Stevenage, Hereford and Brighton, with plans to introduce them in Birmingham, London and Manchester soon.

Andrew Peeler, CEO of Yodel, said, “This large-scale investment in our fleet is designed to improve efficiency and minimize the environmental impact of deliveries. I’m delighted that we’ve introduced electric to our fleet this spring, and we have plans to expand our use of both pedal and electric power this year. In addition, we have invested in technology to calculate the most efficient routes and evaluate our drivers’ driving style to further reduce our carbon footprint.

“Our CollectPlus service helps to minimize congestion and pollution by consolidating deliveries to local stores, which customers can then pick up at their convenience. We are also striving to ensure that every home delivery is successful on the first attempt through the use of enhanced tracking and our inflight service, which allows customers to redirect or reschedule if they realize they are going to be out when their delivery is due.”

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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