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End of the road for Sheppey haulage firm Tiger Transport and loss of 30 jobs

More than 30 drivers and office staff have lost their jobs after one of Sheppey’s fastest-growing transport companies has gone bust after chalking up debts of nearly GBP2 million. Tiger Transport bosses Terry and Karen Dodd said: “We’d like to apologise to all our staff, clients and suppliers and wish them well for the future. “We tried our best to keep the company afloat but the circumstances were outside our control.”

Terry Dodd of Tiger Transport

Managing director Mr Dodd, 69, a former London black cab driver, is to have a meeting with administrators HW Fisher and creditors this week to put the company in liquidation.

He launched the firm in July 2013 with one truck but was soon leasing more than 40 multi-car transporters to deliver imported vehicles from Sheerness Docks to dealerships all over the country. Clients included Gefco, BMW and Jaguar. MP Gordon Henderson was at the official opening of the firm.

At the heigh of its success the company sponsored Sheppey United’s football ground at Holm Park, Halfway.

One of Tiger Transport’s car carriers Sheppey United’s Tiger Stadium

But by January 2017 the directors had been forced to arrange new finance on condition of slashing costs by GBP100,000 a month. Mr Dodd, a co-founder of Minster Golden Gloves Boxing Club, said: “We made a few people redundant and reduced our lorry fleet. But in January this year our new accountants advised us that the company was technically insolvent.”

On April 10, the Dodds were forced to cease trading and locked the gates to their compound off Brielle Way at West Minster. Calls to phone lines went straight to voicemail. Tiger Transport’s website says it is one of the UK’s “fastest growing car transporters” and boasts more than 12,000 “extremely satisfied” customers.

Shut gates at Tiger Group’s West Minster depot

But Mr Dodd, who lives in Cliff Drive, Warden, with Karen, 57, the company’s finance director, said: “We just could not compete with the big boys.

“We had been having cash flow problems for 18 months but had a plan and believed we could trade our way out of the situation. “Then we had snow in March and a 20% drop in new car sales which nobody expected. And our fuel bills kept coming in.

We just needed a few more weeks.”

He said all drivers and staff were paid until the end of March.

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