Yodel step up a gear to prepare for Christmas

YodelA few years back in 2011 Yodel had a terrible Christmas but last year compaints at Tamebay HQ were significantly less. Also from personal experience Yodel deliveries have been much less painless than in the past, they’ve really stepped up their game.

Now Yodel have announced their plans for Christmas 2014 during which they forecast 15% more parcels than the same period in 2013, they’ve invested heavily in their operation to meet demand.

Preparations began in January with the appointment of a dedicated ‘peak’ planning team and the Yodel have worked in partnership with their retail clients on their predicted volumes, to ensure that the correct resources are in place.

The company, which has over 60 locations around the UK, has procured an additional 13 sites (Newbridge, East Kilbride, Preston, Selby, Sheffield, Cambridge, Borehamwood, New Cross, Newhaven, Bridgwater, Farnborough, Eastbourne and Tilehurst) to handle this increase in parcel volume. These include five standalone service centres, seven satellite sites to support existing service centres and a returns centre in the Midlands. Fixed canopies have also been created to extend site capacity.

In addition a special control tower has been established at Yodel’s central sorting facility in Wednesbury to oversee volume management, operational action and weather contingency.

On the road an additional 200 HGVs and 500 trailers have been sourced to carry out the trunking between clients’ warehouses and Yodel’s sort and service centres.

Operational hours have been extended at the company’s three central sorting facilities, which include specialist handling for the high volumes of flower and wine deliveries forecasted for the Christmas period. Deliveries to homes and businesses will also be increased to seven days a week.

Yodel’s existing workforce will be bolstered by an additional 5,000 workers across transport, sort, service centres and customer services. Recruitment for the busy winter period began in September to ensure all new workers receive adequate training.

With winter comes the threat of snow and ice, so all operational sites have been equipped with rock salt, snow shovels, ice melt, de-icer and scrapers. The company also has invested in snow ploughs to ensure service yards are kept clear.

In the event of severe weather conditions, parcels will be date stamped and a controlled First In First Out (FIFO) process put into action to ensure that deliveries are made as soon as possible. We really like this, too often (not just with Yodel but with all carriers), there are complaints that once a backlog has built up parcels languish for days on end.

Shoppers will be able to use Yodel’s live web chat services 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the peak period and customer services will also be operating extended hours on social media, telephone and email.

As always, consumers will also be able to follow the progress of their order via Yodel’s user-friendly tracking service: myyodel.co.uk. Pre-delivery alerts will be sent to customers as standard, along with SMS or email updates if delays are expected due to poor weather.

In addition Yodel’s retail clients will be provided with daily performance updates and three-day weather forecasts to enable them to make their shoppers aware of expected delivery dates at point of order.

Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel, commented: “For our retail clients this vital season is known as the ‘golden quarter’ and we are fully prepared for parcel volumes to reach record levels. Our clients and their customers depend on us to deliver Christmas and we take that responsibility very seriously.

“We’ve worked closely with retailers and sourced additional sites, vehicles and staff to manage the surge in parcel volumes and have contingency plans to ensure we are well placed to weather the British winter.”

Further details about vacancies can be found at: careers.yodel.co.uk.