UK independent parcel carrier Yodel has announced a £14.5m investment in 45 brand new tractor units and 120 double decker trailers, increasing its capacity to manage growing demand and improving efficiency as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability.

Tractor unit investment

The 45 new DAF 450 XF tractor units have up to 12% greater fuel efficiency than alternatives, supporting Yodel’s efforts to provide a more sustainable delivery service to clients and consumers. To improve safety and fuel efficiency, the new vehicles feature a windscreen 33% larger than previous models and updated cameras located around the cabin to provide a wider field of vision for drivers with cameras presenting a more aero-dynamic option than traditional mirrors. Further safety features include a menu system that limits access whilst the vehicle is on the move to minimize distractions and GPS-guided predictive cruise control.

Each of the new units will be fitted with Microlise’s Android-based DriveTab tablet devices to help in reducing overall mileage. Smart Drive cameras will also be installed to enable the company to monitor driver performance. This fleet expansion comes as Yodel has already invested over £1m in 15 new tractor units this financial year.

Tractor unit rollout

The new tractor units will be rolled out across Yodel’s nationwide network by a dedicated team of driver trainers, who will utilize the Smart Drive cameras to support with onboarding Yodel’s HGV drivers with the updated features on the new units. Six of the driver trainers at Yodel were the first in the country to be registered as assessors with the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI), which is endorsed by the DVSA.

Trailer unit investment

The 120 new double decker trailer units are all fitted with solar panels which allow for the decks to be moved when loading and unloading without needing access to an external power supply. This improves the vehicles’ self-sufficiency and further reduces Yodel’s energy consumption.

The business has already taken order of the first two trailers with a further eight due in the new few weeks. The remaining trailers are due to be delivered from July with the full complement joining the fleet by the end of the year.

Carl Moore, COO at Yodel, said: “This investment further improves our ability to manage the rapidly increasing demand we have seen over the last year. Continued investment across the business, in fleet and our warehouse space, is reflective of an incredible period of growth and we’re pleased to be continuing along this trajectory.”

The fleet announcement follows a 17% increase year-on-year in peak parcel volumes across the peak festive season. This has been driven by a spike in demand for C2C parcel deliveries as more people look to second-hand products for cost-of-living savings. Volumes for July-December 2022 increased 162% compared to the same period for 2021.