Go Freight liveried vehicles in a yard near its headquarters in The Havens, Ipswich Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS
Lorry drivers left high and dry after an Ipswich logistics company suddenly closed down say they are "sad" and "angry" after being told their firm had gone under via text message.
Milson Silva and Bruno Maximo - both Brazilian-Portuguese nationals living in the UK - claimed they learnt through a text at 5pm on Tuesday, February 11, that Go Freight Transport had shut and they were out of a job.
It is believed they were among dozens of drivers, plus a handful of administrative staff based at or near the company's head office at Basepoint, Ransomes Europark.
While working for Go Freight, they travelled all over the country, delivering containers from the Port of Felixstowe as far as Scotland.
Having been instructed to come in, they waited in their cabs for hours without hearing anything, before receiving the devastating news, they said. The pair - who are living in Ipswich with young families - say they are owed more than £900 and £1,300 in unpaid wages respectively - more with holiday pay - but fear they will never see their money.
Insolvency firm LB Insolvency has written to the drivers to hand them their P45s and to inform them that it has been instructed to assist the directors in placing the company into creditors' voluntary liquidation.
"LBIS regret to inform you that the company is no longer in a position to make payments to you for services rendered under your contract of employment. You should therefore regard your employment as terminated as of February 11, 2020," the letter says.
Although there has been high demand for HGV drivers over recent months - with reports of a scarcity - Mr Silva and Mr Maximo have found the going tough since losing their jobs.
With rent and bills to pay, they are desperate to find work. But to add to their misery, work at the Port of Felixstowe has dried up, with fewer ships getting through from China as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, they say.
A creditor, who wished to remain anonymous, said they heard the news via rumours circulating on the Tuesday "with total disbelief". "We are shocked at the way this has been handled and that they could leave people in such dire situations," they said.
Directors Nick Newman and Tony Belton were approached for comment. Mr Belton said he did not wish to comment at this time.
A spokeswoman for LB Insolvency said: "We have only recently been instructed, and are unable to give out confidential information at this stage of the process."