Photo © Copyright Paul Anderson

Tuffnells Parcels Express enters administration; 2,000 staff set to be made redundant

More than 2,000 employees of Tuffnells Parcels Express are facing job losses after the company went into administration on 12 June.

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The Sheffield-based company has appointed Rick Harrison and Howard Smith of Interpath Advisory as joint administrators and the majority of its 2,200 staff at 33 depots across the UK have been informed of the impending redundancies.

According to a statement from the administrators, Tuffnells has faced a number of challenges affecting the business since its management buy-out in 2020. These include the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, high inflationary costs and an increasingly competitive market. Recently, the company’s financial position required it to seek additional financial support, but after exploring various options, the directors took the difficult decision to appoint administrators.

Tuffnells, a privately owned carrier operating under the brand name ‘The Big Green Parcel Machine’, provided delivery services to more than 4,000 businesses across the UK and handled shipments to over 160 destinations worldwide.

Harrison expressed his regret at the news, highlighting the intense pressure on cash flow due to the highly competitive nature of the UK parcel delivery market and significant inflation in the company’s fixed costs. With deliveries suspended and no immediate prospect of resumption, the majority of the workforce has had to be made redundant. Harrison stressed the administrators’ commitment to assisting affected employees in making claims to the Redundancy Payments Office and minimising disruption to customers.

Smith said that all hubs and depots would remain closed until further notice and that the administrators’ team would be contacting customers in the coming days to arrange the collection of parcels.

Connect Group sold Tuffnells to Palm Bidco Ltd in a management buy-out in 2020 for £15m. At the time of the sale, Tuffnells was making losses of around £14 million on annual revenues of £164 million but returned to profitability just six months later. In its first full year of private ownership, Tuffnells Parcels Express generated annual revenues of £178 million and made a pre-tax profit of £5.5 million.

Photo © Copyright Paul Anderson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence