Haulage mayhem as firms go bust and concerns mount over Brexit - but one firm fights back against the parking cowboys and scores a rare win

Haulage mayhem as firms go bust and concerns mount over Brexit - but one firm fights back against the parking cowboys and scores a rare win

All is not well in the haulage industry as firms continue to struggle with Covid-19 and concerns increase over the Brexit transition period comes to an end. The Road Haulage Association held a meeting with Michael Gove to discuss post-Brexit arrangements. It didn’t shed much light on the set up with the trade body saying there was no clarity coming from the Government minister.

Ceased trading

Liquidators have been appointed to finalise the details of the Colchester logistics company UK Same Day Limited. The company has a national network of vans and trucks is the latest casualty in a difficult business climate due to the Covid-19’s knock-on effect on business.

In Motor Transport Chris Tindall charts the collapse of Matlock Transport the family firm founded more than 70 years ago, has ceased trading.

He said: “Insolvency practitioners from Sheffield-based Hart Shaw LLP were appointed on 11 September to help liquidate the business.

The company was founded in 1946 by Richard Lowe, before brothers Eric, Alf, George and Charles took an active role and began to grow the business. Third generation cousins Julian and Richard Lowe were most recently at the helm and the Darley Dale company operated 46 HGVs and 42 trailers under a standard national licence out of two depots in the county. Although it was a general haulage business, 80% of its drivers held full ADR licences. An auction at Malcolm Harrison’s last weekend ‘due to cessation of business’ sold off the majority of the company’s fleet of lorries and trailers.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said it was a sad day when long established firms went to the wall. He said: “So many companies are experiencing terrible cash flow problems as a result of the down turn in the economy and Covid-19 issues. Sadly more will follow. Suppliers need to be careful. Late payment or having to continually chase payment are tell-tale signs of a company in trouble.”

Logistics firm 1 Parking cowboys 0

Motor Transport have reported on something that most motorists will have come across: the parking cowboys.

Chris Tindall wrote: “An Essex haulier that stood up to a parking firm threatening to take it to court for non-payment of a parking charge has urged other companies to persevere and not back down. KBC Logistics refused to pay the initial £60 parking charge notice (PCN) issued by UK Car Park Management (CPM) while its 44-tonne truck was making a legitimate delivery on the Southall Business Park in Middlesex.”

He said its refusal prompted a flurry of letters from CPM’s lawyers as the disputed amount – plus legal fees - steadily grew, but KBC held its nerve and the parking firm has now backed down.

Dave Ashford, KBC Logistics transport director, said: “These companies are out of order, preying on hauliers delivering to an industrial estate. Seriously? Isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing?”

Tindall said: “As a court date loomed, the haulier received a letter saying it could settle out of court for £180, but it declined and a week later CPM wrote stating a ‘notice of discontinuance’ had now been filed with the court.”

Ashford said: “Persevere, if you think you have a good case then go the distance. Clearly there is a risk and if you lose the costs are higher, although a judge will sometimes reduce the claimant’s amount if he doesn’t feel it’s reasonable. This fear of costs increasing is what causes most to shut up and cough up and that is what these people rely upon. They use solicitors to send out scary letters and last minute offers to settle. Additionally, it is time consuming.”

However communities secretary Robert Jenrick MP said a new Parking Code of Practice and Framework is being planned to end the actions of rogue firms.

The Government minister said: “It will put a stop once and for all to rogue parking firms using aggressive tactics and handing out unfair parking tickets with no right to appeal. Our proposals will restore common sense to the way parking fines are issued, while cracking down on the worst offenders who put other people in danger and hinder our emergency services from carrying out their duties.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said parking firms hid behind anonymity and used legal threats to extract cash from the public and businesses alike. “Their employees are sometimes on commission or they simply act like vultures waiting for a van or truck to unload and while the driver is not there for a few minutes they interpret his or her absence as a sign they have parked.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel - while at the moment there's a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach - ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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