Insolvencies in the logistics sector rose by almost a third in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, according to the latest Creditsafe Watchdog report.

However, the rate of insolvencies in the second quarter was significantly lower than at the start of this year.

The report revealed that the UK’s logistics sector saw 109 insolvencies in the second quarter of 2018, up almost a third on the same period last year but significantly lower than the 534 insolvencies recorded in the first quarter of 2018.

The biggest insolvency in the second quarter was the collapse of Essex-based Canute UK and its various subsidiaries. In fourth place was Southampton based haulier PMP-Forward, which appointed administrators in June, followed by another Canute division,  International Medical services, in fifth place.

The Canute business was transferred to Almtone in May this year in a pre-pack sale. Almtone’s directors include Canute director Glenn Marshall. The other listed director, and sole shareholder of Almtone, is Michael Ventham. The new business is continuing to trade under the Canute banner.

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Chris Robertson, UK CEO at Creditsafe, said that on a more positive note the number of new companies formed in the sector during the last quarter was 5,265, compared to 4,552 in the same period a year ago.

This represented a year-on-year increase of 15.7%, which he said demonstrated “the resilience and potential for growth within the industry”.

Another positive indicator revealed by the report is the fall in the level of bad debt owed by the logistics sector to its suppliers, which fell 58% between the first and second quarters, from £19.7m to £8.3m.

However, Robertson added that the sector’s future performance will be “heavily influenced by the state of the UK’s borders following the ongoing Brexit negotiations”.