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Shift acquires Tuffnells out of administration


Shift, a growing UK-based logistics platform, has acquired Tuffnells out of administration via an asset purchase of its IP, brand and selected assets, for an undisclosed amount.

Tuffnells, one of the UK’s largest delivery firms, was placed into administration on 12 June 2023 with the loss of more than 2,000 jobs. This followed the failure to successfully navigate a number of pressures which impacted trading, including Covid, high cost inflation, and an increasingly competitive market.

Rick Harrison and Howard Smith from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators to Tuffnells.

Headquartered in Sheffield and with 33 depots across the UK, privately-owned Tuffnells specialised in the distribution of mixed freight and handling items of irregular dimension and weight (‘IDW’) throughout the UK. For the year ending 31 December 2021, Tuffnells generated revenue of £178.1m, with an operating profit of £2.3m, 24% higher than the previous year.

Richard Harrison, managing director at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, said: “We are pleased to have concluded this transaction which secures the future of one of the UK’s longest standing and well-recognised courier brands, as well helping to facilitate an opportunity for the purchaser to generate a number of jobs. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the employees and other stakeholders who have supported us throughout the administration process to date.”

Shift is a British-based technology company with global ambition. Founded in 2017 by Jacob Corlett, chief executive officer, the company aims to transform the delivery and logistics industry through its
tech-based platform, creating an on-demand delivery marketplace. Shift offers customers and businesses this lower cost, on-demand delivery service via smart algorithms that filter through the pre-existing routes of registered independent drivers and fleets of vehicles. It quickly locates best-suited drivers in order to facilitate jobs in the most efficient way.

Corlett said: “We are delighted to announce today that we have acquired Tuffnells out of administration and we are in the process of incorporating the business into our tech-based logistics platform. Tuffnells is one of the UK’s most recognisable logistics companies, which provides delivery services to over 4,000 businesses across the UK and this acquisition will significantly increase our logistics coverage across the country.

“The acquisition supports our vision for Shift’s tech-driven logistics platform to disrupt both consumer and business logistics, through cutting edge AI driven routing decisions and driver management efficiency. We are also currently in dialogue with relevant parties to enable us to reopen some depots and provide re-employment opportunities.”

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