Worksop-based transport and warehousing firm Carlton Forest 3PL has gone into administration, along with subsidiary Green Forest Solutions LLP and Carlton Forest Group Holdings, after battling rising costs, falling storage rates and overcapacity in the warehousing market.

James Lumb and Howard Smith of Interpath Advisory have been appointed as joint administrators to all three companies.

In a statement the joint administrators said: ”In recent times, and in common with a number of other companies operating in the third party logistics sector, Carlton Forest 3PL had been battling industry and wider economic headwinds, including rising costs, significant excess warehouse capacity in the market and decreasing storage rates.

”With pressure on the company’s cashflow increasing, the directors sought to undertake a review of their options, including sale and investment options. However, when a solvent solution could not be found, they took the difficult decision to seek the appointment of administrators.”

James Lumb, MD at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, added: “We are seeing a lot of businesses in UK logistics which are facing similar issues to Carlton Forest, driven by new warehouse capacity hitting the market over recent years, and the general destocking of the UK consumer economy as Covid-related supply chain disruption has subsided.

“Carlton Forest, like many of its peers in the market, had grown to meet demand and this has had the effect of increasing its overheads. Unfortunately, however, the race to the bottom on pricing and the loss of a key customer ultimately contributed to Carlton Forest’s inability to keep trading.

“Our immediate priority has been to work with employees, suppliers and customers to repatriate stock as quickly as possible, minimising disruption to customers as best we can.”

The demise of the family-owned business brings to an end the group’s ambitious growth plans, which saw it almost double its warehousing facilities in just seven weeks in 2021, after acquiring three separate sites at Bawtry Park near Doncaster (pictured), a site previously occupied by DHL.

The company, which was led by owner and chief executive Mark Pepper and chief operating officer Diane Ward, also had a 125,00sq ft warehouse at Hellaby and  a 170,000sq ft facility in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, as well as its original 250,000sq ft headquarters in Worksop, North Nottinghamshire.

In August 2022 the group bagged a five-year partnership deal with luggage brand Tripp, to deliver a full-service container, storage, order processing and logistics service, as part of its wider strategy to drive into the B2C and e-commerce sectors.

The rapid growth of the business, which had an operating licence for 30 trucks and 55 trailers, saw it create 25 long-term and 50 short-term jobs in the local community.

In its most recent annual results for the year to 31 August 2022, Carlton Forest Group Holdings reported a doubling of turnover of £2.1m, up from £1m the year before, while pre-tax profit rose to £115,839 (2021: £86,061).  

The company’s website is no longer functioning and attempts to reach Carlton Forest directors have yet to receive a response.