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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.

AAL Named ‘Best Shipping Line – Project Cargo’ At AFLAS Awards

AAL, one of the world’s leading global breakbulk and heavy lift operators, has been named ‘Best Shipping Line – Project Cargo’ at the prestigious 2018 Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Awards, held in Shanghai, China. The AFLAS Awards are a celebration of Asia’s freight, logistics and supply chain industry, and AAL beat off intense competition from the sector’s leading carriers to win the award for the fifth consecutive year.

Image Credits: aalshipping.com The award win follows a successful year for AAL in a project cargo market that has continued to endure its share of challenges.

Over the last 12 months AAL has been adjusting its strategy and business practice to stay ahead of the game, with a number of significant milestones, such as new co-operations, record breaking shipments, expansion in both fleet and infrastructure, and landing in a new niche market positioning. Jack Zhou, AAL’s General Manager in China, commented: “We are honoured to have won this award and for a record fifth consecutive year. We have been extensively involved in the Asian project cargo market for three decades, and as we’ve grown, Asia has similarly prospered.

We have served many of the biggest names and most exciting industrial and infrastructure projects in the region. Such recognition of our hard work is warmly appreciated and I accept this award on behalf of the whole company.” Kyriacos Panayides, Managing Director of AAL, commented: “To lift your quality of service to the highest level, is a long process with a hard path to follow by upgrading all aspects of the organisation.

To maintain such reputable status for consecutive years, this truly reflects an incredible outstanding achievement by the AAL team, which is second to none.

Noteworthy is that such performance was demonstrated in the midst of very challenging times in our markets, where quality was losing out to pricing dominance for majority of shippers.”

Press Release: AAL

Tags: [1]

References

  1. ^ (www.marineinsight.com)

High Fines, Potholes and Pollution Make Road Haulage Drivers and Freight Operators Lives a Misery

UK Association Speaks Out on the Issues Concerning Trucking Companies UK – ITALY – The Road Haulage Association (RHA[1]) has been particularly active of late, advising members of some particularly important changes which will affect road freight operations both at home and abroad. Potholes and pollution are high on the domestic agenda whilst we start with a serious warning for those operators plying their trade on the continent.

As from the beginning of this month the Italian authorities are enforcing the rule that drivers cannot take their 45-hour rest breaks within their cabs. Traditionally of course intercontinental drivers have habitually slept in the cab, both overnight and when stranded far from home, usually over a weekend waiting to reload on a Monday.

Such practices are exactly what the modern lorry cab is designed for, but now penalties ranging between EUR422 and EUR1,800 are being imposed if a roadside check reveals the practice. There is also the possibility that similar enforcement will occur in Spain from July 1. The RHA says it will keep members informed.

Meanwhile back in the UK pollution and potholes top the agenda. With less money available to local authorities the situation has been worsened by a prolonged spell of changeable weather and now the AA, which operates a #FlagitFunditFillit[2] campaign says the cost to motorists, haulage companies and insurers tops GBP1 million a month as more vehicles suffer damage, mainly due to tyre, steering and suspension problems. Once again the RHA has raised the matter with government, pointing out that the results were quite predictable given the current level of neglect.

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett observed: “The Government and local authorities must do more to bring the network up to standard. Currently, many roads are full of cracks waiting to turn into dangerous potholes that can cause collisions.

Local roads where hauliers make their last-mile deliveries are often in an even worse state and the damage to HGVs, in particular to their suspension systems, can be considerable. More potholes means more breakdowns, more roadworks and more delays. And delays to a ‘just in time’ economy are disastrous for business.”

On the matter of pollution, particularly in urban areas, the RHA has now released its 2018 Nitrous Oxide (NOx) emission assessment[3] which it says is to ‘clarify how lorries impact our air quality and to correct some of the myths that are feeding the drive to charge all non-Euro 6 lorries for entering our cities.’ The RHA sees the rush to change standards as targeting the road freight and transport industry generally as unfair, pointing out that in 2015 only 7.6% of the UK’s NOx was emitted by trucks and buses. Additionally lorry NOx emissions have dropped in the region of 43% in the past 5 years and predictions are this will grow to 70% by 2021.

The problem of course is that, whilst authorities across Europe wish to see only Euro VI vehicles on the roads, 2021 will still see a massive 37% of trucks in the UK below this standard, 28% being Euro V, and therefore comparatively recent additions to most fleets. There are no retrofit options for pre Euro lorries and the taxes proposed cannot be avoided as the fleet of Euro VI vehicles will not be big enough to meet freight demand in Clean Air Zone cities, some as soon as the end of next year. The RHA has published a paper called ‘Intelligent Phasing[4]‘ listing the difficulties and cost of replacing a fleet of UK wide vehicles, estimating the cost at around GBP12,500 million to replace the 180,000+ pre Euro VI lorries still in service in 2021 with new Clean Air Zone compliant Euro VI lorries.

The RHA considers government and local Clean Air Zone and Road Levy ‘pay to pollute’ policies wrong-headed and says it has based all its statistics on the administration’s own figures.

High Fines, Potholes and Pollution Make Road Haulage Drivers and Freight Operators Lives a MiseryHigh Fines, Potholes and Pollution Make Road Haulage Drivers and Freight Operators Lives a Misery

References

  1. ^ RHA (www.rha.uk.net)
  2. ^ #FlagitFunditFillit (twitter.com)
  3. ^ 2018 Nitrous Oxide (NOx) emission assessment (www.rha.uk.net)
  4. ^ Intelligent Phasing (www.rha.uk.net)

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