Volume fall caused Stobart chilled cull

Commercial Motor
January 21, 2013

A downturn in volumes of palletised chilled freight made it uneconomical for Stobart Group to continue its chilled division as a viable, profitable business, according to chief executive Andrew Tinkler.

Speaking to Commercialmotor.com Tinkler said yesterday’s decision to discontinue its chilled division was based on the low price per pallet for chilled freight, and low volumes forcing the operator to run with part, not full, loads.

In regards to the operational impact of the restructure, he said: “We have already identified the costs to be taken out. There will be job losses, clearly,” adding that if there were opportunities to relocate staff in its ambient business it would do so. He would not be drawn on numbers.

“Some of the fleet will be downsized slightly, and some will move into ambient where we do a lot of full-load trunking. There is less risk within that network,” he said.

In revealing it would discontinue the unit – primarily formed of former Innovate Logistics operations – Stobart promised the change would “not affect Stobart’s national network solution for customers”.

Tinkler said its chilled distribution commitments to customers would be fulfilled by third-party hauliers: “At the end of the day there are other transport companies that have a chilled network. There is only room for so many people in the market.”

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Commercial Motor

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