Linfox now just a distant memory for Reedman
Trucking operator pushed to the brink of ruin after Linfox cut its rates has bounced back and is expanding
A small fleet operator pushed to the brink of ruin after Linfox cut its rates has bounced back and is looking to expand.
Reedmans Retro Roadways owner Glenn Reedman says the troubles of more than one year ago, when he was struggling to survive while carting for Linfox under its Carter Holt Harvey contract out of Mt Gambier, have given way to a healthy bottom line and a growing customer base.
Reedman, who was heavily reliant on the Mt Gambier timber trade for his bread and butter, has diversified and now runs mainly between Whyalla and Melbourne servicing companies involved in the gas and mining sectors.
He currently has five trucks roaming the highways but is planning on hiring more staff to cope with a burgeoning workload.
"It’s a complete turnaround. Things are going fantastic," Reedman told ATN this week.
"All the bills I was having trouble paying, we’ve caught up. We usually pay our bills early now."
Reedman was part of a group of sub-contractors that had their rates slashed by up to 10 percent after Linfox reached a new agreement with Carter Holt Harvey in late 2010. Linfox blamed declining economic conditions and an oversupply of timber for the rate cut.
Reedman refused to work for substandard rates and withdrew his services, but his reliance on the timber trade and a slowdown in work elsewhere in Mt Gambier made it hard to find new customers.
Reedman went without work for two months, before Linfox came knocking with the offer of an increased rate. But he was still running at a loss, and the situation got worse when Linfox dumped him without notice after seven weeks of work.
Faced with the prospect of losing his business due to unpaid bills, Reedman ditched Mt Gambier and timber haulage in pursuit of new clients. And he hasn’t looked back.
"New horizons have opened right up," he says, adding that he no longer does any work out of Mt Gambier.
He says small fleet operators need to look elsewhere if they are not happy with the deal they are getting. And as for his thoughts on working with Linfox again: "I don’t even ring them anymore."