Saturday, January 2, 2010

Another Truck Company Bites The Dust Due To Depressed Freight Levels

All Too Familiar Story as New Zealand Based Freight Transport Group Folds
Shipping News Feature

NEW ZEALAND – Reports today indicate that Auckland based Rapid Roadfreighters went into liquidation just before Christmas. In a situation which mirrors that of Arrow Trucking of Tulsa in the US it appears nobody appraised the staff of 250, many of whom attended pre Christmas celebrations and stopped work for the holidays without knowing they had seen the last of their jobs. The company which runs around 200 trucks from eleven transport terminals around both North and South Islands, did not even inform depot managers of the company’s demise, allowing staff parties to proceed on Christmas Eve and presumably ensuring all vehicles were secured in company premises before mentioning the collapse.

Rapid Roadfreighters expanded as a group in 2004 when it acquired the assets of Ivory Freight, Wellington and ran a fleet of B doubles and smaller vehicles principally as a domestic inter island haulier with support from a network of warehouse operations. The group consists of this operation plus two subsidiary units, Parcel Express, a small package rapid courier service and Coolfresh Express for handling and delivery of chilled produce. Nobody was available to talk to our reporter to clarify if these sectors are also subject to the liquidation order.

A preliminary statement from Bryan Williams who was appointed as liquidator on 24th December, is expected in the next few days. Meanwhile spokesperson for the Trade Union representing the company’s drivers made some harsh (and unprintable) comments on the way the matter has been handled and a comment from the New Zealand Road Transport Forum said the situation was regrettable but such casualties were to be expected given the parlous state of the domestic haulage industry with reduced throughput of goods leading to a spiral of depressed freight rates putting companies under great financial pressure.