Redhead Freight is to cease to trade this month with the loss-making haulier’s trade and assets transferred to parent company Shenker AG, the logistics arm of Deutsche Bahn.

The Palletforce member, which trades as Redhead International, has a fleet of more than 300 trucks operating from five depots across the UK and employs 400 staff.

Headquartered in Bradford, it specialises in groupage transport services and storage and runs scheduled services to over 40 European and North African countries.

According to Redhead Freight's latest financial results, the company is to be liquidated. The directors report to the results states: “By the end of October 2022 the trade and assets of the company will be hived into a fellow group company. Following that the company will be non-trading.

“The directors do not intend to acquire an alternative trade for the company and intend to liquidate it, as such, the financial statements have not been prepared on an ongoing basis.”

It added that the trade and asset transfer will allow the business “to benefit from the strength of the DB Schenker brand in the marketplace across the UK and Europe and achieve business synergies”.

Redhead staff told Motor Transport that the company’s brand has been changed to DB Schenker as of Monday this week (3 October).

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One staff member said: “The name change is the end of a long process. We are the same business and it is business as usual. Some roles have changed and some people have left because it was a very close, tightly knit family business and now it has been taken over by a corporate entity and that is not to everybody’s taste.”

Plans to liquidate the company and transfer its trade and assets follows a loss making period for the company, exacerbated by the impact of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its latest financial results for the 18 months to 30 June 2021 reveal losses of 6.6m, compared to a loss of £817,370 in the year to 31 December 2019. Turnover rose in the 18-month period to £100.2m (2019: £68m).

The directors’ report said Brexit “resulted in significant disruption to company supply chains” requiring “significant investment in staff and additional warehouse space” and led to a “slowing of the flow of goods in the first quarter of 2021”.

Covid-19 added further pressure with the firm seeing reduced trading volumes through Q2and Q3 of 2020, resulting in “declines of earning”, although a return to pre-Covid profitability was achieved in Q4, the report added.

Looking ahead, the report said that whilst the company is confident it has overcome the challenges of the pandemic it still has reservations about Brexit, warning that a lack of confidence in trade to and from Europe and the additional administrative burden on customers “creates some doubt around the speed of volume recovery and short to medium term business growth”.

It added that the directors remain “fully focused on a return to business profitability”.

A request for comment from Schenker AG has yet to receive a response.