New uglies carousel for Hermes

At its hub in Rugby, Hermes has installed a £1 million carousel system for bulky items (‘uglies’).

Hermes new, semi-automated system will replace a number of manual lines. It is capable of handling up to 4,000 items and hour to more than 60 destinations.

The system has two automatic infeeds, which are directly fed from boom conveyors, and two manual infeeds, all of which can handle bulky items up to 2m in length, 1.2m in width and weighing up to 50kg.

Each of the four infeeds onto the main carousel incorporate the latest scanning, volumetric and weighing technologies that identify and accurately profile the packages. Automatic checks are carried out on each parcel to ensure they have been correctly labelled before being transferred onto the carousel itself.

The new line suggests that Hermes might increase its focus on large / heavy items. Traditionally it has mainly carried smaller parcels, in particular soft packs containging clothing. If Hermes does focus more on larger items, it could represent a greater competitive threat for those carriers which currently have a greater focus on them – such as Yodel, Parcelforce and DHL UK.

Chris Barrett, head of engineering, facilities and estates, said: “This is one of the first systems in the UK to incorporate an auto-scanning and profiling functionality onto a high-speed carousel system. Whether it is a curtain pole, ironing board or a set of golf clubs, the carousel is able to streamline the movement of all our bulky items, which will boost our productivity by over 30 per cent. It will also improve the visibility and tracking of parcels, which is an obvious benefit for our clients.”

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