WJ Capper Transport’s demise was prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic which had a “severe impact” on the Shropshire business, according to its administrator.

In a report to creditors, FRP Advisory Trading said the family-run haulier saw a reduction in turnover as the coronavirus swept across the UK and lockdowns were enforced.

WJ Capper, which employed around 40 staff, also experienced a shortage of drivers, resulting in soaring wage demands which increased the company’s overheads and the pricing on jobs.

“The overheads were further increased with fuel, energy and borrowing costs all seeing large upturns,” the report said.

“However, the company was unable to pass the entire cost increase on to the customers and thus became loss making in 2022.

“The company’s financial issues were further complicated in early 2023 when the business and several connected companies were placed into a period of critical payments following an overpayment to one of the connected companies.

“This saw a significant proportion of creditors fall into arrears.”

It added: “Consequently, the company was insolvent on the basis that it was unable to pay its debts as and when they fell due.”

The haulier arranged a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which was approved in October 2023; however, following its implementation it lost several customers who had raised concerns over its future stability.

This exodus affected the viability of the CVA and, following an unsuccessful attempt to sell the business, WJ Capper Transport entered administration on 29 November.

It is currently estimated that staff and unsecured creditors will not receive any money owed to them.