Bundaberg business in voluntary administration
FRESH Produce Logistics, a Bundaberg refrigerated transport business on Steptoe St, has gone into voluntary administration.
It is one of seven separate entities, all with the same owner including Brisbane-based Keeforce, one of Queensland's largest express line haul carriers, to go into administration.
The group of companies was established in 2002 and turns over about $75 million annually.
But it was business as usual on Steptoe St yesterday as, in the short-term, Fresh Produce Logistics and Keeforce Group continue to trade while arrangements are made to protect the interests of the employees, suppliers, and creditors.
In a press release issued by Ferrier Hodgson it said the decision to enter voluntary administration was made in the best interests of protecting the considerable assets of the company and maximising the opportunity for it to continue as a going concern under new ownership.
Ferrier Hodgson's Brendan Richards, Will Colwell, and Tim Michael have been appointed voluntary administrators of the companies.
Mr Richards, head of Ferrier Hodgson Logistics practice, said he was sad to see another family owned, Australian, transport business fail.
"This is further evidence of the competitive pressures the Australian transport industry has to contend with and how hard it is to successfully manage the task of juggling low margins with a huge capital investment," Mr Richards said.
"In making an early call to go in to voluntary administration the directors have provided the best possible chance of achieving a going concern sale.
"A timely response is critical to making the best of a bad situation."
Bundaberg's Fresh Produce Logistics parent company Keeforce is an express line haul carrier servicing the East Coast and Darwin on behalf of a number of major transport providers.
It has additional locations in Melbourne and Sydney and operates what Ferrier Hodgson's terms a "very modern" transport fleet.
The business has additional, strategically located operating premises including a dry warehouse, cold storage and hand stand facilities.
A spokesperson said Ferrier Hodgson would now seek expressions of interest for both the business and assets of Keeforce Group and Fresh Produce Logistics with a resolution expected within one or two weeks.