Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Whilst Container Road Haulage Operator Crashes Neighbouring Logistics Group Honoured

Queen's Award for Suffolk Firm as Haulier Collapses
Shipping News Feature

UK – Good and bad news for companies in Suffolk this month with Felixstowe based Seafast Logistics collecting a highly prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the field of International Trade for the growth in overseas earnings the company has achieved recently, whilst near neighbours Deben Transport, a specialist container road haulage group, finally folded with the loss of around 250 jobs.

Seafast tends to operate in some of the most difficult and inaccessible parts of the world, providing tailored strategic solutions for the delivery of mission- critical supplies, vehicles and equipment for customers including the UK Government and overseas clients. The company has previously been recognised with awards and commendations at several industry specific ceremonies but the Queens Award is obviously on a different level. On hearing of the award Chief Executive, David Halliday said:

“This is a wonderful recognition of the great team effort that lies behind our achievement in creating growth for our company in countries throughout the world, including some of the world’s most difficult and inhospitable logistical environments. We have a reputation as one of the most creative and imaginative logistics companies in the UK if not the world, and our expertise is recognised by customers throughout the globe. We have won awards in the past, but this one is by far the most important and special to us. It recognises the talent and dedication of all our staff in what we do, and it will be an accolade that we will proudly promote in the future.”

Sadly there will be no such celebrations for the 200 drivers and office staff who discovered last week that their jobs at Deben Transport had been cut after administrators had failed to turn the company’s two year losses estimated at over a million pounds. The company had offices in Hull, Alconbury, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, South Shields, Doncaster, Southampton and Tilbury and operated over 150 trucks and 200 trailers.

The company invested in 2013 in an attempt to broaden into a nationwide carrier buying the assets of a Manchester based rival for circa £400,000 and latterly issuing shares to the new majority shareholder, J Norf Investments of Ipswich, a company formed with just £2 of share capital in February 2014. This bail out deal was struck on April Fool’s Day 2014 when Deben thus became a subsidiary of J Norf. Upon this takeover Rachael McCall of J Norf became Commercial Director of Deben, Ms McCall is believed to be one of the McCall family which runs an Ipswich container haulier Horley Logistics Ltd.

The fine margins and high fuel prices over the past few years have seen container hauliers battling the odds with competition for fluctuating levels of import goods exacerbating the situation and Deben failed despite recent cost cutting measures including the factoring of sales invoices to speed cash flow.