Despite the high-profile collapse of Deben Transport last month, the amount of insolvencies overall in the transport and haulage sector is rapidly declining year-on-year.

Insolvency Service data for England and Wales shows that in 2014, a total of 294 companies became insolvent, a 25% fall on the previous year and 44% lower than the 529 in 2011.

Andrew Tate, vice-president at insolvency firm R3, said: “While there have been a number of high-profile cases of business failure in the transport and haulage industry in recent months, overall the number of insolvencies in the sector has been decreasing since 2011.

“The outlook is bright as haulage businesses take advantage of lower fuel prices.”

He added that managing costs is a critical factor for operators in a low-margin industry, which is exacerbated by the driver shortage and higher rates being paid to employment agencies.

Late payment is also a continuing threat to the financial stability of businesses, said Tate: “It is no coincidence that the sectors with late payment problems have a high number of insolvencies.

“We hope to see the lower insolvency numbers of last year maintained throughout 2015, and into the future. For those that are experiencing difficulties, we recommend seeking professional advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner early to ensure the best chance of a successful turnaround.”