Launching ground transportation in Barbados – an interview with Kennedy Drapin
Get-e is expanding its ground transportation services to Barbados for the first time.
The expansion into the Caribbean island means Get-e now operates in more than 110 countries. It comes following growing demand from airline customers in the region.
Destination infrastructure is often overlooked by airlines when considering new routes. Get-e offers crucial ground transportation solutions for smooth and reliable crew and passenger transfers.
We spoke to Kennedy Drapin, account manager of global supplier relations. He explained the extensive selection process Get-e carries out to source the right suppliers in each destination and how Barbados presented some unique challenges.
Why has Get-e expanded its ground transportation to Barbados?
A short while ago, we received an inquiry from a legacy airline using Get-e’s services in other areas of the world. It was unhappy with its current suppliers in Barbados as it was having to use a number of different taxi operators for airline crew transfers. This meant significantly higher prices for the carrier, something it was keen to avoid.
Although Get-e has access to transport providers in other Caribbean islands including Curacao, St Martin, St Lucia, and the Dominican Republic, this is the first time the company has established a significant presence in the Caribbean, so it has been an exciting project to work on.
How do you source ground transportation suppliers in a new country like Barbados?
Sourcing suppliers on a small island like Barbados is very different from some other destinations we work in like New York or Tokyo. But we still go through the same extensive selection procedure. To start with, the process involves confirming the client’s requirements such as the number of crew, vehicle types, and hotel locations. We also gain an understanding of the airline’s comprehensive health and safety standards to ensure our suppliers meet their needs.
Once we gather the information, we investigate potential suppliers in the region. In Barbados, this was around 15 companies, but it is often much more. From this, we sift through to find the best fit for the airline that can cater to all the individual needs. In usual circumstances, we would visit the supplier as part of the final selection.
Once the transport provider has been selected, it is presented to the customer along with pictures of the vehicles, confirmation of the service being supplied, pick-up procedures, and final health and safety checks. The supplier informs the airline of local laws or cultures that it should be aware of and may affect transportation or their stay in the country. This continues throughout the contract.
How is Barbados unique from other destinations?
We approach each new destination in the same way, but some are obviously very different. Finding transport providers on a small island like Barbados was tricky. Many suppliers don’t have websites and those that do are often quite basic. We needed to make sure we didn’t overlook potential suppliers just because of our limited web presence. This meant spending a lot more time researching and communicating with companies to gather all the relevant information.
Another challenge we encountered in Barbados was finding the right vehicles. The airline required specific size coaches that seated 24 or 36 people to cater to their crew transportation needs. This size vehicle wasn’t available on the island. We had the added complication that current Covid-19 restrictions meant vehicles could only hold 75% capacity. We work closely with suppliers to overcome this and ensure all crew gets to their destination whilst still fulfilling health and safety requirements.
What support do you offer in Barbados?
We offer the same support to customers regardless of where they are located. Get-e’s in-house multi-lingual operations team is available 24/7. It monitors and coordinates all transportation requests to ensure everything runs smoothly. Get-e tracks all transfers via GPS, and with any foreseen delays, we dispatch a different driver automatically. This significantly reduces administration time for crew managers and finance departments. Get-e’s global presence also results in lower costs.
Get-e has positioned itself as the provider of choice for companies that are focused on a higher quality, more cost-effective, and less administrative solution for their ground transportation. Companies chose to partner with Get-e for its expertise in the global transportation market, quality transport partners, and ability to streamline operational processes for all stakeholders.
Currently, companies across the travel industry can book their rides with Get-e in 110 countries and more than 900 destinations. Get-e offers a complete cross-section of safe and secure vehicles, with the fleet offered including; Sedans, Minivans, Sprinters, and Coaches.
To find out more about Get-e and its crew transfer capability in Barbados or across the world, please visit: www.get-e.com or register via get-e.com/contact
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