Parcel delivery firm YODEL is to trial a catapult to improve its ailing delivery service. The catapult, being trialled in Ellesmere Port and Chester, is being hailed as a ‘gamechanger’ in the field of logistics and parcel delivery.
The catapult is believed to be able to handle up to 50 parcels at a time, and can be fired every two and a half minutes once the operators are up to speed.
Parcels are loaded according to weight, and delivery destination, with their trajectory worked out using a complex algorithm.
The parcels are then fired up to a distance of 17 miles with an estimated accuracy of within a quarter of a mile. The accuracy of the catapult is expected to improve YODEL’s delivery success rate by as much as 15%, with fewer parcels landing on people’s rooves than happens with their standard courier service.
— Ajmal Aziz (@ABU_SUMMAYYAH) November 19, 2015
YODEL CEO Michael Cooper was asked whether the extreme forces imposed on the parcels when fired from the catapult would lead to higher breakages. He was insistent it wouldn’t.
To be honest we break pretty much every parcel we deliver, so it literally can’t get any worse.
When asked whether the introduction of the catapult would lead to redundancies for the company’s network of couriers, Cooper responded:
Who cares? We barely pay them anything anyway.
The Bugle asked YODEL to comment on the catapult.
@YodelOnline how is this catapult going to help us get our parcels delivered safely?
— Chester Bugle (@ChesterBugle) December 4, 2017
However, YODEL declined to reply. There were a number of Twitter users discussing the catapult delivery system however, and the verdict is quite positive:
I swear if Yodel just launched parcels from a giant centralised catapult it'd be just as reliable and trackable as their current methods
— Thom Archer (@thomarcher) October 28, 2017
So their Yodel drivers can launch your eggs in the general direction of your house via a delivery van mounted 'Shopping catapult'
— G (@Gavlarr78) June 9, 2016
Dreaded words to receive by text: "Yodel will be delivering your parcel today." They'll be launching it by catapult as they drive past then
— Donna Marie Malena (@donnamalena) October 10, 2014
@thekeithchegwin Yodel are by far the most incompetent courier on the planet.. you'd have had more chance if they had used a catapult
— andy (@andyhollins1) February 27, 2014
The catapult trial goes live in Ellesmere Port and Chester this week, delivering the area’s Christmas orders. Locals are asked to listen out for a distinctive ‘yodeling sound’ emitted by the parcels as they fly through the air, towards their destination.
Ryannair supermo, Michael O’Leary, has expressed interest in the technology and has enquired whether it can be adapted for passenger use.