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  • Writer's pictureSara White

Tuffnells Parcel business collapses

Updated: Mar 21

Haulage business Tuffnells Parcels Express has gone into administration putting over 2,000 staff out of work

Sara White, Editor, Accountancy Daily

Rick Harrison and Howard Smith from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators to Tuffnells Parcels Express Limited on 12 June.

The collapse of the business will lead to over 2,200 job losses and staff were informed last Friday that their jobs were no longer viable.

The company had been listed until 2020 when it was sold by Smiths News Group plc to Palm Bidco Limited. It reported turnover of £178.1m for year end December 2021 accounts and operating profit of £2.3m, up from a loss of £9.1m for 2020. At the time it warned that the fallout from Brexit was a risk to the business, as well post pandemic concerns coupled with the Ukraine war. The company was audited by Littlestone Golding.

Headquartered in Sheffield and with 33 depots across the UK, the privately-owned business delivered packages in the UK and internationally, handling logistics to over 160 destinations worldwide.

Tuffnells blamed the trading problems on the impact of Covid-19, high cost inflation and an increasingly competitive market. In recent weeks, the financial position of the business deteriorated and it tried to gain additional financial support but was unable to secure any new backing.

After a number of options were explored, the directors took the decision to appoint administrators.

Rick Harrison, managing director at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, said: ‘Tuffnells is one of the UK’s most recognisable logistics companies, providing delivery services to over 4,000 businesses across the UK under its ‘The Big Green Parcel Machine’ brand.

‘Unfortunately, the highly competitive nature of the UK parcel delivery market, coupled with significant inflation across the company’s fixed cost base in recent times, has resulted in the company experiencing intense pressure on cashflow.’

‘This news will be particularly devastating for Tuffnells’ 2,200 dedicated employees. Regrettably, with deliveries suspended and with no prospect of them resuming in the immediate term, we have had to make the majority of staff redundant.

‘Our utmost priority will be to provide all those impacted with every support they need in making claims to the Redundancy Payments Office and minimising disruption to customers.’

Howard Smith added: ‘Customers are advised that all transport hubs and depots have been closed until further notice. Our team will be making contact with customers over the coming days to arrange parcel collection.’

Business customers of Tuffnells should log into their customer portal on the company’s website in order to receive further information on how to retrieve their parcels.

Consumers are advised to email the company with queries:

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