East Anglian family haulage firm Bartrum Group has weathered the “perfect storm” of Brexit, driver shortages, “extortionate” agency rates and the Covid-19 pandemic to deliver a 53% rise in pre-tax profit in 2020.
In its latest annual results to 31 December 2020, the group reported that whilst revenue had fallen to £26.1m (2019: £31m), pre-tax profits had risen to £2.3m (2019: £1.5m), aided by falling sales and administration costs.
The company, which is a Hazchem and Pallet Track member, operates a fleet of around 150 trucks and 300 trailers from its headquarters in Eye, East Anglia and employs around 235 staff.
Speaking to motortransport.co.uk, MD Robert Bartrum, said this year the group is continuing to see strong demand for its general haulage, bulk haulage, pallet delivery and warehousing services.
He added: “We have seen a very busy year, despite the perfect storm of Brexit and Covid-19, the fuel crisis and the impact of IR35 on the driver shortage – which I believe had a bigger impact on the driver shortage than Brexit.
“We have never seen the like of it before, with so many challenges all at once, and extortionate agency prices which have gone through the roof. But we feel that we have turned a corner in the past few weeks.
“We are also getting a lot of drivers through our driver training school now and some drivers are coming back into the sector now the rates are going up.”
After losing a number of drivers to competitors and seeing agency rates soar from £10 an hour to £25 an hour, Bartrums decided to advertise its training school on social media for the first time, which resulted in over 50 enquiries.
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