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Deben Transport collapse highlights need to address container transport rates

Deben Transport collapse highlights need to address container transport rates

The collapse of Deben Transport highlights the urgent need to address the poor rates plaguing the container haulage market, the boss of Pentalver has said.

Speaking to Motortransport.co.uk, Chris Lawrenson said Deben’s demise did at least take 200-plus vehicles out of “a network that’s already creaking”.

However, “the benefit to the container industry overall is that it highlights how the rates have to be increased”.

Lawrenson said present rates were simply not sustainable, although he appreciated that customers could only afford so much as they themselves are under cost pressure. “It’s about trying to find that balance between what customers can afford and what’s sustainable from our side to be able to hold on to what we’ve got, and continually invest in what we’re doing so that we’re around for the next few years to come.

“But the UK haulage market can’t subsidise the global shipping market, because there just isn’t enough money. We still need the rates up otherwise there will be more casualties to come,” said Lawrenson.

“It actually means that customers have less choice and it’s going to be one of those things where only the fittest survive. Is that good for the market? On the other side of the coin, sustainable businesses like ourselves and Maritime who have a business model that works will benefit in the long term. It’s a skillset we don’t need to lose any more from,” he said.

MT Top 100 company Deben Transport ceased trading after cost-cutting measures weren’t enough to save it after a fall in trunover, with Mark Upton and David Scrivener of Ensors appointed as administrators of the firm on 13 April.

The haulier had eight sites in total and employed 224 people.

It had been attempting to change its network by varying one of its O-licences before it’s collapse and had also seen senior management changes in the weeks before its end.


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