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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.

An Open Irish-UK Border is Paramount to Freight Transport and Road Haulage Interests

Logistics Representatives Meet Politicians to Discuss Brexit Options IRELAND – UK – The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI[1]) and its opposite number in the UK, the FTA[2], may be distinctly separate entities, representing as they do exclusively each of their members individual interests, but on one subject there is certainly total unanimity – the subject of Brexit, and how the EU and the UK both need to negotiate a position to ensure the free flow of cargo between the two countries.

The FTAI listed three priorities including ten recommendations to ensure a smooth Brexit, with the overriding point of importance – the priority of ensuring there will be no hard border with Northern Ireland. The FTAI says this means avoidance of checks at the border with no tariffs or quotas. To ensure seamless transport links there must be protection of access to the UK market for Irish road haulage operators with mutually recognised standards, documents, licences and the like.

The FTAI published a position paper[3] outlining its stance, plus a briefing note[4] and now the FTA has been pushing home similar points to the British government during a meeting with politicians at Stormont over the weekend. Talking to Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Business Greg Clark MP and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley MP, FTA’s Northern Ireland policy manager Seamus Leheny stressed the importance of free flowing trade. He commented after the meeting:

“Logistics operators are clear that the Irish border must remain frictionless after Brexit, to ensure that trading relationships are protected and business can continue to flourish. This weekend’s meeting gave us the chance to share the concerns of the freight and logistics sector with ministers, who were open to possible solutions which would protect the integrity of Ireland’s businesses, as well as its borders. The Irish border situation is complicated, with physical and political constraints that need careful consideration before a workable solution can be found.

“The conversations we had this weekend were a welcome opportunity to raise the concerns of the logistics industry directly with those at the negotiating table in Brussels, particularly the need to avoid infrastructure at the border, and the fact that technology at the border on vehicles will not be a workable solution.

Clarity over the rules of origin for goods is vital, and despite the fact that compliance for the north-south trading route will be difficult to administer, I am confident that our message – that Ireland needs to remain open for business, with no delays at its borders – will be carried into the next round of talks with the EU.”

During this weekend’s visit, the MPs discussed their proposed ‘maximum facilitation’ solution to the Irish border with Mr Leheny and other business representatives and considered ways in which the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK could be upheld, while reinforcing commitments made to the people of Northern Ireland.

An Open Irish-UK Border is Paramount to Freight Transport and Road Haulage InterestsAn Open Irish-UK Border is Paramount to Freight Transport and Road Haulage Interests

References

  1. ^ FTAI (www.ftai.ie)
  2. ^ FTA (fta.co.uk)
  3. ^ position paper (www.ftai.ie)
  4. ^ briefing note (www.ftai.ie)

Road haulage depot closes ending 100-year-old link to town

PUBLISHED: 11:18 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:49 21 May 2018

Spandler lorries were a common sight. Picture: Spandler Bros

Spandler lorries were a common sight. Picture: Spandler Bros

A road haulage company has closed its Great Yarmouth depot site, ending a more than 100-year-old link to the town.

The Spandler site been closed by parent company Revis Transport, which is based in York and which apart from saying the depot had been closed would not comment on the closure. In 2015 Revis Transport took over Spandler Bros, which at the time operated 15 Volvo lorries and 30 trailers

The business was bought from its parent company J and H Bunn, which has also been Spandler’s principal customer.

For more than 100 years, Spandler Bros, based in the South Denes area, had provided specialist haulage services to businesses in East Anglia and beyond and distributed nationwide for household-name companies.

Last November Spandler GY transport manager Mick Simmons had spoken of the need of the third river crossing, describing traffic problems linked to getting to the port as a ‘massive bottle neck’.

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