More than 100 jobs lost as Felixstowe-based Searon Logistics goes into administration

The Port of Felixstowe.

The Port of Felixstowe. Picture: MIKE PAGE /COURTESY OF THE PORT OF FELIXSTOWE - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk-based haulage and logistics group has gone into administration with the loss of more than 100 jobs.

Searon Logistics, which operated across the UK from a main base in Dooley Road, Felixstowe, is said to have been badly affected by changes in the haulage market, including falling demand and a reorganisation of shipping company alliances.

Andrew McTear and Chris McKay of East Anglia-based business rescue and insolvency firm McTear Williams & Wood were appointed joint administrators of Searon Logistics Limited on August 8, although the company ceased operations during July.

In a statement, the administrators said that Searon was incorporated in November 2008 and grew significantly to achieve a turnover of more than £15m in the year to March 2015.

However, they added: “Following significant changes in the market in the following year there were too many trucks chasing too little work, resulting in haulage rates dropping.

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“During 2017 all of the shipping lines announced they were changing alliances and the company’s largest customer moved its based from Felixstowe to Southampton causing significant increased costs to the company in continuing to service this customer’s requirements.

“The pressure on cashflow increased as a result and significant losses were incurred and this could not be sustained.”

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Attempts to find a buyer for the business or a new investor failed and the company ceased trading on July 21. In addition to its Felixstowe headquarters, Searon is understood to have had bases in a number of other locations including Southampton, Peterborough and Doncaster.

Joint administrator Chris McKay said: “It is a sad day when a company employing such a large workforce of over 100 people in the area ceases to trade with no prospect of a sale of the business”.

Pressure has been growing in the logistics sector in recent years, with other casualties including Felxistowe-based Deben Transport which went into administration in 2015 with the loss of more than 200 jobs.

Consolidation in the sector last year included the acquisition of MacIntyre Transport and Goldstar Transport, also both based in Felxistowe, by Turners (Soham) Ltd.

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