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A New Era for Corporate Ground Transportation Companies

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Business Travel News recently hosted an educational summit for corporate travel buyers that was specific to the Ground Transportation industry. BTN is the leading global source of business travel and meeting information, news, data, analysis and research. Their audience includes corporate travel managers, procurement/sourcing executives and travel management professionals who purchase/manage billions of dollars of business travel and meetings annually.

Corporate travel buyers from around the world presented suggestions and recommendations for purchasing corporate ground transportation, arranging road shows and deciding who to use for ground transportation.

Today, we share the recommendations being given to travel buyers as the new criteria for making selections on ground transportation companies as we recover from the pandemic.

Vehicle Age

Corporate transportation buyers should no longer expect vehicles to be 2 to 4 years old. Instead, the norm should be 5 to 6 year old vehicles. Buyers were advised to ask for Vehicle Identification Numbers of vehicles in a fleet and check them against a free VIN Verification System such as www.vincheck.info.

GPS/Camera Monitoring

It is no longer acceptable to simply have GPS tracking devices in vehicles. Someone should be monitoring the vehicle at all times for speed, safety and location. In-car cameras are now considered a “must-have” device in the car and buyers were advised to avoid using any company that doesn’t have cameras installed in their vehicles.

Never Use an Independent Operator

Buyers were told to ask ground transportation providers if they have employees or use Independent Operators who own their own vehicles. The recommendation issued was to use only companies that own their vehicles and work with affiliates who follow the same model of owning their vehicles and having employees only. The reason for this was cited as “uniform standards”, “vehicle standards” and “duty of care standards” – all of which cannot be guaranteed with Independent Operators.

Insurance Issues

BTN shared that only a handful of insurance carriers are still insuring ground transportation providers. The cost of premiums has skyrocketed. Buyers can expect to see that reflected in rate increases and should understand that this is not simply an effort to raise prices but a matter of sustainability. Additionally, buyers were told to ask transportation providers to have their insurance companies send Certificates of Insurance and Fleet Schedules directly to the buyer.

Forget About Invoicing

The days of ground transportation providers sending invoices are over! Ground transportation companies are no longer in a financial position to carry invoices. After the layoffs of staff, they lack the resources to track payments/invoices. There are enough corporate credit card programs on the market today that you should be paying as you go and racking up Rewards Points. Don’t even think about asking them to bill you.

Avoid Uber/Lyft for Corporate Transportation

BTN recommends that corporate travelers avoid Uber, Lyft and other similar ride-hailing apps. This recommendation was based on a survey of Uber drivers who said they really don’t clean their cars between passengers. BTN also reported that Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) do not do criminal background checks using fingerprints. They require no drug and/or alcohol testing to join the network and do not perform random testing as the limousine industry does.

* The opinions shared in this blog are those of BTN and/or summit participants and should not be considered as an official statement or opinion of Ecko Worldwide Transportation Group and/or our subsidiary companies.