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European operators Karim Maachi and Reza Choudhury, pictured here at the EuroLimousine.net booth at the 2011 ILCT Show, have formed an Internet-based European brand of 25 chauffeured transportation companies available for direct affiliation with farm-outs from U.S. operators.
U.S. operators farming out clients to Europe can now tap a consortium that cuts out the middleman and lowers rates throughout Europe, while easing the concerns of companies and their clients.
Since formally launching in 2009, EuroLimousine.net has grown to 25 European chauffeured transportation companies in diverse metro markets. All share exposure on a website that allows them to make simple, direct connections between U.S. and European operators.
“We are not a network, but a family of companies that are all service driven and making sure that everyone gets a share of the market locally. It is very important to me that local companies within the local market benefit from the exposure of Eurolimousine.net,” said co-founder Reza Choudhury, owner and CEO of Reliance Worldwide Logistic Solutions Ltd. in London, which operates 45 chauffeured vehicles. Choudhury, 37, prefers the term “consortium” to describe EuroLimousine.net. “We are all free to trade with whomever we want. No one is bound to each other. It’s a free market and this creates better flexibility and choice within the consortium.”
How it works
U.S. operators simply go to the EuroLimousine.net website and click on the operator in the nation they would like to do business with. The European companies can arrange direct farm-ins from the U.S. and coordinate with other consortium members to arrange multi-point transportation for U.S. clients. More than 120 U.S. operators so far are using EuroLimousine.net.
Although certain operators are booking outside the bigger networks, they are still unsure and apprehensive of doing business this way, Choudhury said. Because of unknowns, trust, reliability and commitment are important factors in working with U.S. operators to give them quality and good service.
“Our goal was to get direct pricing,” said co-founder Karim Maachi, 35, general manager of Cardel Global in Paris, which operates 50-plus chauffeured vehicles and specializes in road show transportation. “We wanted to create a bridge between the U.S. and Europe. They can call us anytime and ask for a direct contact.”
Maachi credits the creation of EuroLimousine.net to “thinking differently: It’s a good idea to open the market to small- and medium-sized companies,” about 80% of EuroLimousine.net’s market.
Many U.S. operators have been too reluctant to directly arrange transportation in Europe, so they would call the larger, inter-continentally connected companies to set up European runs, Maachi said. “People then started to believe in us and in the concept and started to go direct,” he said. “Many companies have increased business in Europe by 100% and 200%.”
Direct dealing = best pricing
Using EuroLimousine.net for European farm-outs can save as much as 60% on rates when compared to arranging European runs through a major U.S. chauffeured transportation company or network.
In one extreme example, a U.S. operator had farmed-out a Paris airport transfer to a larger company with European connections that charged $700 for the run, instead of closer to the actual cost of $200, Maachi said. He explained that an American operator routing a European run through larger chauffeured transportation networks can end up with a farm-out cost marked up two and three times as the transfer gets handed off from an American city to New York to a European city and then on to the operator at the final destination. “You can have several companies involved between the original booking and the supplier,” he said.
Many U.S. operators didn’t know the high prices weren’t the only option when farming out to Europe, Maachi said. “When people learned about pricing, they were shocked. There is too much of a difference between what they were being charged and what the actual price is.”