Hundreds of jobs at risk as Derbyshire chilled food logistics firm enters administration - partly due to driver shortages

Hundreds of jobs have been put at risk after a Somercotes food logistics firm collapsed – partly due to driver shortages.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 9:56 am

EVCL Chill had struggled due to the ‘loss of a number of key customers and acute driver shortages’, administrator PwC said.

PwC said it had been appointed as administrator of EVCL Chill, EVCL One, EVCL Two and EVCL Three, although the wider EV Cargo Group is unaffected and continues to trade as before.

EVCL Chill, formerly NFT, based at Azalea Close, Clover Nook Industrial Park, operates primarily in the chilled food logistics market, storing and delivering products for a number of retail customers and suppliers.

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The firm is based on Azalea Close, Somercotes.

The firm employs 1,092 full-time staff operating from depots in locations across the UK including South Normanton, Daventry, Rochdale, Bristol, and Penrith.

The business operates 374 trucks and 432 trailers across its network, alongside more than 20,000 pallets of warehousing capacity.

PwC said that, in the period to December 2020, ‘turnover at the business exceeded £167 million and was cash generative’.

It said: “However, EVCL Chill has struggled with a loss of a number of key customers and acute driver shortages during 2021 which, given its fixed cost base, created significant liquidity challenges.

“A number of sale options were explored, but generated limited interest and management took the difficult decision to enter administration.”

‘Difficult situation’

It said 658 jobs and a number of services have been transferred to customers, but ‘regretfully there are a number of roles that have not been transferred and we will update the remaining employees early next week’.

Eddie Williams, joint administrator, said: “This has been a very difficult situation and involved intense discussions with key stakeholders on an accelerated basis to get to this position.

“As businesses move from survival mode to recovery, the financial climate is still very volatile.

“I am pleased at least 658 roles will continue in a sector already facing many difficulties and challenges around inventory, personnel and the wider supply chain. Some vital continuity and stability has been ensured for a number of EVCL Chill’s stakeholders.

“We will continue to fully support all affected staff members during this difficult time.”