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THE DELIVERY MARKET IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE PRIVATE HIRE AND TAXI INDUSTRY


The Covid-19 pandemic has proved a major catalyst for change in the UK economy – and it has impacted the private hire and taxi industry in different ways.


We’ve seen fewer people travelling to and from work, visiting restaurants or popping to the shops. These are societal trends that are likely to have a lasting impact, long after the virus has been brought under control.


But what has become clear is that it’s not all doom and gloom. While traditional trip work has declined, there has been a huge surge in demand for ground transportation from other sources. New opportunities have emerged as food outlets and retailers have sought different ways to reach their customers.


We’ve now hit a point where the UK food delivery market is worth as much as the taxi and private hire industry combined – and it’s continuing to grow. The major beneficiaries, so far, have been the food delivery firms, such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo. But these firms are limited in their reach and this provides a great opportunity for private hire and taxi firms to mop up this work.


POTENTIAL FOR LONG TERM GROWTH


Local operators cover far more of the UK and they have the ability to satisfy customer demand in minutes – especially during busy periods. During the pandemic we’ve seen more and more restaurants and shops looking to partner with private hire firms for this reason.


WHERE CAN YOU FIND A PROCAB WITH ALL THESE FEATURES FOR THIS PRICE?


69 PLATE FORD TRANSIT PROCAB


l 8-seater (inc driver) l 6,830 miles l Wheelchair accessible l Full air conditioning l Fitted meter l Alloys l Satellite Navigation l Automatic transmission l Balance of manufacturer’s warranty


We also know that- some local busin- esses are pushing more than 30 delivery trips per day to local op- erators. And some of these operators have more than a dozen similar part- nerships.


With more local restrictions and curfews expected to be enforced, private hire firms are providing an efficient option for those businesses affected – many will need local operators to step up and fulfil the demand coming from consumers.


As people continue to work from home for the foreseeable future, demand for home deliveries isn’t going to go away either. We are already seeing big supermarket chains looking to partner with local taxi firms to supply faster delivery options.


Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a limited and short-term trend though. Retailers and logistics operators are still struggling to meet consumer demand for same day delivery. They are desperate to find a reliable solution that can cover the ‘last mile’ of delivery right across the country. Private hire fleets are well placed to provide that answer.


REALISING THE POTENTIAL


What global organisations and smaller local businesses both require is operators that can dispatch vehicles and drivers at a moment’s notice. Ambitious businesses seeking to take advantage of this opportunity need just two things.


The first is a fleet capable of meeting the demand. So, instead of operating a selection of four-door saloons, a few estate cars for airport runs and 7-seater party buses, local operators may also want to add white vans, scooters and even bicycles to their dispatch fleet.


just £26,995 Finance Option:


£1,000 deposit and £110 p/w over 72 months (subject to status)


Also available:


67 PLATE VAUXHALL VIVARO 9- seater (inc driver) 63,000 miles, full hackney spec.


HEATONS MOTOR COMPANY ✆ 01942 864 222


www.heatonsmotorco.co.uk 42


The second is the means to accept available work coming from a variety of sources – be that traditional passenger, corporate or delivery jobs. This will require work to be aggre- gated within a digital marketplace, such as iGo.


There are already more than 100,000 UK vehicles, operating the length and breadth of the UK, which are now able to pick up additional work from iGo. This platform allows private hire firms to receive a range of jobs and quickly connect this with a driver – who can then access an additional source of revenue.


As more and more local operators fulfil this work, the more corporate customers will push work on to the platform – so, the growth potential is significant. And, despite the difficulties we have all faced in recent times, this is an opportunity that is leading the way to a brighter future ahead.


Safa Alkateb, CEO of Autocab www.autocab.com


NOVEMBER 2020


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