Accountancy firm Azets confirmed it was handling the liquidation of Scottish refrigerated haulage company Hayden Chilled and was now focused on providing support to the 37 staff made redundant.

The food distribution company appointed liquidators on 11 March following the presentation of a winding-up petition in court by company director David Malcolm.

The company, which held a standard international operator licence for 29 HGVs and 40 trailers and ran out of bases in Cleland, Annan and Motherwell, had its headquarters in Annan, Dumfriesshire.

Azets said the company had effectively ceased to trade prior to the provisional liquidation appointment, by which time all of the company’s workforce had been laid off.

Blair Milne, restructuring and insolvency Partner at Azets, said: “The road haulage industry is facing a multitude of challenges as it contends with the transition to net zero, inadequate infrastructure, a major skills gap and unsustainable cost increases, exacerbated by the rising cost of living.

“Small-to-medium sized operators, which make up the majority of the UK road transport sector, have inevitably been hit the hardest.

“These businesses typically operate with average margins of as little as 2%, meaning the impact of even a small change in trading conditions can be catastrophic.

“The majority of the company’s fleet of trucks and trailers were subject to finance agreements at the date of liquidation and arrangements have been made to have those assets either returned or sold at auction.

“We will now focus on providing every possible support to the redundant workforce, assisting them with their claims to the Redundancy Payments Office and with accessing support from agencies such as [Scottish government agency] PACE.”

Set up in 2018, Hayden Chilled offered a range of services throughout the UK, Europe and Ireland, including the transportation of chilled beef, hanging carcass beef and lamb, pharmaceuticals, fruit, chilled dairy, bottled water, sugar and milk powder.