Tuffnells in Administration – industry expert shares advice for customers left in limbo


Tuffnells Parcels Express, known as ‘The Big Green Parcel Machine’, has collapsed into Administration with the immediate loss of most of its 2,200 employees’ jobs. With deliveries suspended and its hubs and depots closed, ParcelHero’s David Jinks shares his advice on what Tuffnells’ customers should do next.

Tuffnells, founded in 1914, has fallen into Administration. Over 4,000 businesses regularly used the long-established freight company, which specialised in handling large, heavy and bulky items, known as ‘irregular freight’.

Headquartered in Sheffield, its bright green trucks were a familiar site on our motorways, connecting its 33 depots. Tuffnells served the UK and 160 destinations overseas. The home delivery expert ParcelHero says Tuffnells’ demise is a sad, if not entirely unexpected, loss to the parcels sector, which is a highly competitive market.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks, a longstanding Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, says: ‘Tuffnells has had a long history but, in recent years, its infrastructure had difficulty responding to the fast-changing world of e-commerce home deliveries. Inflation also played a part in its demise, leading to cashflow problems.

‘What should its customers do? Anyone with parcels in transit is best advised to sit tight. Tuffnells’ Administrators say there is still a team in place who will be making contact with customers to arrange parcel collection. When they do get in touch, my strong advice is to act quickly to secure your items, while these temporary arrangements are still in place.

‘Tuffnells’ regular customers looking to find competitively priced and stable services to replace their Tuffnells deliveries, should consult a parcel price comparison site to find the best mix of speed and price to match their previous service. Those sellers who chose Tuffnells because of their irregular freight sizes might wish to  consult ParcelHero’s large and heavy parcels services guide, to find out which company’s service fits them best. For example, certain FedEx Express services that were previously operated by TNT particularly cater for “ugly freight”, as deliveries with irregular dimensions and weight are known in the trade. Every one of Tuffnells’ 160 destinations internationally can be reached booking through a comparison site such as ParcelHero or ParcelCompare.

‘The domestic and global logistics market is booming. In 2021, it was worth $8 trillion; by 2027, that will be $13.7 trillion. However, it is a fast-changing, agile industry. Since the end of Covid lockdowns, some parts of the home delivery market have yo-yoed. Companies with aging infrastructure and a fixed cost base have struggled.

‘The bulk of Tuffnells’ services were UK domestic deliveries. Traders and businesses formerly using its services should find out more about available delivery options and prices at: https://www.parcelhero.com/en-gb/uk-courier-services


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