NCN collapses

West Midlands express parcels company calls in administrator on December 23. Network member companies kept in the dark and are now owed large sums.

Members of NCN Express Parcels this week spoke of their shock and anger at being left with over (pounds sterling)100,000 worth of debt after it called in administrators on December 23. Ronnie Ingledew, owner of Express It Rite, one of 100 member depots, told Motor Transport: “They have kept everyone in the dark. Nobody knew what was happening. Nobody phoned, all we got was an e-mail to say things had gone pear-shaped.” Ingledew is owed (pounds sterling)35,000 and says many other network members are owed similar amounts. Loughborough-based Eclipse Distribution says it is owed (pounds sterling)100,000. Both have given up hope of having their money returned. Administrator KPMG says it had not been able to keep NCN trading and a majority of staff have been made redundant. Administrator Allan Graham says: “NCN worked in a very competitive market with tight margins which meant any dip in sales and increase in costs would mean it would go out of business. It was not competitive

enough to survive in the sector.” Some NCN depots and corporate contracts have continued to operate through an agreement with Business Post, which sees NCN members delivering consignments into their local Business Post depots for final delivery by Business Post. However some told MT that the agreement is expensive and they are looking at alternatives. Business Post says it is difficult to assess the volumes it will be taking on. “This all happened at the height of the Christmas period. We can’t even say for sure how many NCN partners will be using our network but at the moment it is between 15 and 25,” says Bill Wallis, Business Post marketing manager. West Midlands-based NCN began operating in 2001. It had a turnover of (pounds sterling)25.2m for the year ended May 31, 2003.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Reed Business Information Ltd.

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