Almost 400 people are to lose their jobs at Ireland's largest privately owned transport company College Freight after the company announced it had decided to cease trading.

The company which operates as Target Express employs 390 staff in Ireland and the UK

It's understood that the Revenue Commissioners placed attachments on the company's bank accounts last Friday, and that despite ongoing negotiations, the issues could not be resolved.

While College Freight did not confirm the scale of the debt to the Revenue, it's understood to be less than €1m.

As yet it's unclear whether the company will seek the appointment of a receiver, which could lead to the sale of the company as a going concern with at least some of the jobs being saved.

It's also unclear what impact the closure will have on logistics for client customers, who include large companies like Smiths Toys, L'Oreal and AWear.

The company's management expressed its deep regret at the decision to cease trading, and thanked staff and customers for their support over the past 24 years.

Target Express opened in 1988 and is Ireland's largest privately owned transport and distribution company with 12 operating depots throughout the 32 counties and 4 within the UK.

They also operate 4 logistics warehouses.