Just over a year after Tuffnells’ management buyout, the irregular dimension and weight (IDW) carrier is hailing a major turnaround, after a loss-making period under previous ownership.

The management team bought Tuffnells Parcels Express – known as The Big Green Parcel Machine after its fleet of 1,200 green trucks – for £15m in May 2020, just six years after Smiths News Group had acquired the firm for £100m in 2014.

The buyout was prompted by the company experiencing years of poor performance under its previous owners.

The company said that for the first six months following the buy-out it focused on building an improved, streamlined and more efficient service, as well as significantly investing in fleet and ensuring the return of experienced leadership.

This year sees the company ramp up its fleet investment programme with orders for 300 semi-trailers and 100 draw-bar trailers. It has also recently put into service a new Mini-Wedge trailer at its Peterborough depot, to provide a flexible approach to collection and delivery.

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This follows a previous order of 40 new DAF tractor units, 120 new DAF 7.5t trucks, 53 new DAF 18ft prime movers and 12 new 5.5t vans, most of which are now already in service.

Tuffnells has a network consisting of 33 depots around the UK, served by 1,200 vehicles. In 2020, its vehicles clocked up over 52 million miles across the UK, averaging 142,466 miles per day. Within the last year, the company has moved more than 20 million packages – including over 615,000 tyres and 80,000 bikes.

The company has also cut fuel consumption and emissions by using a bespoke directional trunking model combined with brand new fuel-efficient vehicles and route optimisation.

Chris Tresadern, Tuffnells chief executive, said: “Our first year under new, independent ownership has seen us complete a successful and remarkable turnaround. This has required phenomenal effort from everyone in the business.

“As we continue to put in place the strong foundations needed for the future, our aim is to ensure that Tuffnells continues to invest in the improvements that will most benefit our customers, consolidating our position as the number one IWD carrier in the UK. We have exciting plans in the pipeline for the year ahead.”