Major concerns raised as more hauliers and couriers hit hard times – with Tradeteam’s deepening losses raising eyebrows

Major concerns raised as more hauliers and couriers hit hard times – with Tradeteam’s deepening losses raising eyebrows

Motor Transport’s Chris Tindall has reported on Tradeteam’s mounting losses sparking concerns within ICSM members many of who are in the haulage and courier credit circle.

Speaking for ICSM members Ian Carrotte said the industry was facing unprecedented problems. “Covid-19 has seen structural changes with a heavy demand from supermarkets but a drop in demand for some European routes due to the Brexit trade deal,” he said. “If you listen to the media it’s all about the lack of Polish and Bulgarian drivers – that’s an issue but Covid has also had an effect and now we have inflation with fuel prices rising. The newspaper, publishing and printing industries have been hit by the lockdowns meaning some of those major contracts for moving paper have dropped off along with transporting kit for major events.”

Tindall reported for the haulage trade’s website: “The DHL Supply Chain subsidiary specialising in drinks distribution, endured a stormy 2020 and it said the impact of reduced activity following the Covid-19 outbreak caused the temporary closure of 13 sites. Turnover fell from £155.3m in 2019 to £93.2m in the year ending 31 December 2020. Pre-tax losses increased, from a £45.6m loss in 2019 to a £48.9m loss during the period.”

Last year the firm closed its Sheffield depot and downgraded its site at Ebbw Vale in South Wales with the loss of 250 jobs, while the trade union Unite slammed the company for claiming furlough payments while preparing job cuts.

Unite national officer for road transport and logistics Matt Draper said: “DHL has taken the taxpayer for a ride here, as it must have known it was going to shut the Sheffield site and much reduce the workforce at Ebbw Vale. However, it decided to use furlough money from the government to avoid paying wages of the respective workforces during this period.”

Ian Carrotte said that the firm were not the only ones guilty of this practice and predicted more companies would either off-load workers or even go bust once furlough ends in September.

In recent weeks Fast Despatch Logistics (Belfast) Limited, North Link Transport Limited, F&G Logistics Limited, Bristol Freight Limited, DG Transport (Manchester) Limited, Fast Despatch Logistics (Croydon) Limited, LRP Transport Limited, Red Century Logistics Limited and Rhys Davies Freight Logistics Limited have all been liquidated – to name but a few.

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