Economy

Major transport and logistics firm placed in administration

Patrick Stafford /

Transport and logistics group 1st Fleet has been placed in administration, with the trucking industry continuing to suffer under massive pressure including higher fuel prices and rising costs.

The privately owned business, which has a fleet of about 1,000 trucks, employs over 1,200 staff including contractors, although the structure of the company may mean the employee count is as low as 600.

Riad Tayeh and David Solomons of deVriesTayeh were appointed as administrators. Both were contacted by SmartCompany this morning, but neither were available for comment prior to publication.

1st Fleet sales manager Michael Nakhel and general manager of operations Darren Garvin were also contacted, but no reply was available prior to publication.

However, Tayeh has told AAP the company has been facing financial difficulties, including pressure on cashflow.

“Generally, it’s run out of cash,” he said.

“As you can see it’s a tough time in the economy, so we’re just trying to get a handle on the cashflow at the moment and trade it on and see what we can do with it.”

“We hope within the next two weeks we’ll be able to work out a direction.”

Tayeh also said 1st Fleet may look for a buyer, and that administrators would attempt to minimise any job losses. Creditors include employees, fuel businesses and financial backers.

1st Fleet was founded in 1988, and has grown to offer trucking services, along with supply chain, warehousing and recruitment services as well. The business also provides wharf container transport.

The business is divided into four categories – logistics, warehousing and distribution, express and international container services. The latter was originally founded as Aeroflex and Sydney Transport before being acquired by 1st Fleet in 2007.

The transport and logistics industry has been under immense pressure over the past few years. Rising fuel prices have eroded profits, while labour costs have also continued to climb.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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