An operator that worked as a subcontractor for City Link has claimed it has been left thousands of pounds out of pocket by the parcel carrier’s collapse last month.

Speaking to Jim Timms, owner of Gloucester-based James Timms Transport, estimated that the firm is owed £113,000 by City Link for trunking work it carried out in the run-up to Christmas.

“It came as a big surprise. We were doing a lot of work for it up to Christmas and had no idea it was coming,” he said.

The operator, which runs a fleet of 25 trucks, had worked with City Link for a decade and had five dedicated drivers providing night trunking work on the parcel firm’s behalf.

Although City Link volumes were not a big part of its overall business, Timms admitted the company has had to turn two of its full-time drivers away this month as a result of the loss of business and the quieter post-Christmas period, but hoped to bring them back in as work picked up.

“I feel sorry for the smaller guys who leased their vehicles. We own ours, so we’re not in a position where we have to send them back [to suppliers],” he added.

Fellow City Link subcontractor, Coventry-based In-Transit Light Transport, told it is in talks with City Link rivals Yodel and UK Mail about taking on more work to plug the gap, as well as seeking more volume from the major 3PLs it works with. It inherited work for City Link after winning a contract with Target Express in 2006, before the two parcel carriers merged.

“Up to Christmas, City Link accounted for about 30% of our work,” said finance director Jayne Smith. “It was a bit of a blow but you have to get on with it.”

A spokesman for administrator Ernst & Young said it is assessing creditor claims to determine how much City Link owes.