Fri, 22 Dec 2023 | ADMINISTRATION
A haulage firm based in Harleston, Norfolk has fallen into administration amid falling demand for haulage services. Lochace Ltd, which trades as Bomfords Group and operates from the Harleston Industrial Estate, had been trading for more than 40 years, providing warehousing and goods transportation services.
The company’s owners had made efforts to secure alternative funding, but this had proved unsuccessful. Therefore, the firm made the “difficult decision” to call in administrators as it had become clear it couldn’t continue trading, amid “a downturn in the general haulage sector, coupled with the high interest rates”.
The firm will now begin winding down, with all staff at the company to lose their jobs, although some will continue to work into 2024 to assist in winding the business down, Managing Director Ian Howell said.
In the company’s accounts for the year ending December 31 2021, its turnover was £13.2 million, down from £14.5 million a year earlier, while it fell from an operating profit of £377,086 in 2020 to an operating loss of close to £385,000.
In those reports, the company said that its trading had been impacted by the national shortage of HGV drivers, which meant it had been forced to stand down between 10 and 20 per cent of its fleet at certain times during the year, contributing to the loss of turnover.
The company said its margins had been further impacted by the fact it continued to incur operating costs on its inactive fleet and was forced to rely on costly agency labour due to difficulty in being able to recruit drivers.
Finally, Ian Howell also stated that the driver shortage, coupled with the UK exiting COVID-19 lockdown, had led to a significant increase in UK pallet network volumes, leading to higher-than-expected local delivery volumes and delivery delays. As a result of Lochace’s pallet network agreement, Howell said, this meant that some deliveries ended up being at the cost of the firm, further eroding margin.
Find out more about rising insolvency rates in the haulage sector
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