Baltic Forest Lines has gone into administration owing large sums of money to Port of Howden operator PD Port Services, which has placed a lien on timber cargoes against debt owed by the company.

Several timber companies are trying to negotiate the release of their cargoes at Howden, with at least one taking legal advice. Up to 21,000m3 was rumoured to be affected last week.

Richard Flemming and Julian Whale of KPMG Corporate Recovery were appointed joint administrators of Grimsby-based Baltic Forest Lines on March 12. Six staff have been made redundant.

A KPMG spokesperson said: “We are trying to realise the assets. There are no plans to sell the company as a going concern.”

Colchester-based Ess-Enn Ltd has 9,500m3 of softwood carcassing timber and slating battens affected by the lien. The company is currently taking legal advice and is using a different shipper to bring timber into Goole.

Mike Lisney, general manager of Ess-Enn Ltd, said the lien had left the company unable to sell on a day-to-day basis, he said.

He said: “We have suggested a fee which we think is fair but the port has declined it.”

Monmouth-based Intertimber Ltd, has agreed to pay £10/m3 for the release of its 300m3 goods at the port, which include CCA-treated slating battens and garden gazebos. Director Simon Lawrence said several days business had been lost due to the lien.

He added: “We did not really have a choice. We had to pay.”

PD Port Services would not confirm or elaborate on details of the case, saying it was a “complex” situation. But spokesperson Martyn Pellew, said a “very substantial amount” of money was owed to the company.