More than 2,000 staff at Tuffnells Parcels Express are facing redundancy after the company called in the administrators today (12 June).
As widely predicted over the weekend, Sheffield-based Tuffnells has appointed joint administrators Rick Harrison and Howard Smith of Interpath Advisory, and the company’s 2,200 staff at its 33 depots across the UK have been told that the “majority” will lose their jobs.
In a statement the administrators said that following Tuffnells’ management buy-out in 2020, the company had been navigating “a number of pressures which have impacted trading, including the impact of Covid-19, high cost inflation and an increasingly competitive market.
“In recent weeks, the financial position of the business was such that the company needed to seek additional financial support. After a number of options were explored, the directors took the difficult decision to seek the appointment of administrators.”
The privately-owned IDW carrier provided delivery services to over 4,000 businesses across the UK under its 'The Big Green Parcel Machine' brand, handling deliveries to over 160 destinations worldwide
Harrison said: “Unfortunately, the highly competitive nature of the UK parcel delivery market, coupled with significant inflation across the company’s fixed cost base in recent times, has resulted in the company experiencing intense pressure on cashflow.
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“Today’s news will be particularly devastating for Tuffnells’ 2,200 dedicated employees. Regrettably, with deliveries suspended and with no prospect of them resuming in the immediate term, we have had to make the majority of staff redundant.
“Our utmost priority will be to provide all those impacted with every support they need in making claims to the Redundancy Payments Office and minimising disruption to customers.”
Smith added: “Customers are advised that all transport hubs and depots have been closed until further notice. Our team will be making contact with customers over the coming days to arrange parcel collection.”
Tuffnells was sold by Connect Group in 2020 to Palm Bidco Ltd in an MBO for £15m in 2020. At sale Tuffnells was making losses of around £14m on annual revenues of £164m but returned to profit just six months later.
In its first full year back in private ownership, Tuffnells Parcels Express generated £178m in annual revenue and £5.5m of pre-tax profit.