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A Colchester haulage firm collapsed into administration after Covid-19 lockdowns destroyed its logistics work for touring musicians.

Argo (Cargomasters) also came under significant pressure from the landlord of its warehouse after rental arrears accumulated during the pandemic.

The haulier had undertaken a range of transport work over the years, but due to it taking on warehousing space it had recently diversified into delivering online purchases to customers.

A large proportion of its client base also consisted of logistics support for musicians in the UK and Europe; work that was significantly impacted by Covid, hitting its turnover.

In a report to creditors, the administrator said the company, which was formed in 1993, discussed with the landlord how it could deal with the arrears and trade its way out of the financial situation when the lockdowns began to ease.

However, the report said: “The landlord was adamant that any payment plan to cover these arrears could last no longer than 12 months.

“Given the building was now too large for business purposes and other subtenants had left the premises, the director concluded that the company could not afford to agree to such terms and decided to seek professional advice.”

As a result, the company entered administration on 28 June, but its assets were immediately sold for £55,000 in a pre-pack deal to Hub Freight, whose director was the company secretary and son of Argo (Cargomaster)’s founder Ray Stephens.

Administrator Andy Barron at Parker Andrews said £5,500 had been received to date from Hub Freight and the remaining £49,500 would be collected in monthly payments of £5,500.