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Blacklane is a company that provides ground transportation in over 300 cities worldwide. The company operates in a unique way, acting as a trip distribution center rather than a traditional transportation company. This means that they don’t own any cars or employ any drivers. Instead, Blacklane partners with independent drivers providing their services, acting as an intermediary between the customer and the transportation provider. In this essay, I will explain how Blacklane operates as a trip distribution center and why this business model makes them different from a traditional transportation company.
Blacklane was founded in 2011 and has quickly established itself as one of the leading providers of airport transportation brokers worldwide. The company’s mission is to provide affordable car services to travelers around the world. To achieve this mission, Blacklane has developed a gig business model like Uber and Lyft, that sets it apart from traditional transportation companies.
One of the primary ways that Blacklane operates differently from traditional transportation companies is that they do not own any vehicles. Instead, they partner with local drivers who own a car to provide their services. These partnerships allow Blacklane to avoid equipment, vehicles, driver worker compensation and union benefits. For example, in one city, Blacklane might partner with a limousine company to provide luxury services, while in another city, they might partner with a taxi company to provide more affordable services.
Another way that Blacklane operates as a trip distribution center is by providing a centralized booking platform for their customers. Customers can book rides through Blacklane’s website or mobile app, and the company posts the jobs on their web portal and allow drivers to bid on the trip. Blacklane’s platform handles everything from matching the customer with a transportation provider to processing payments and handling customer support.
This centralized booking platform is crucial to Blacklane’s business model. By handling all aspects of the booking process, this booking platform is kind of like a job board for drivers.
Blacklane’s trip distribution center model also allows them to aggregate trips, post them to the trip board and allow drivers to choose which ride they prefer. Whereas, traditional transportation companies dispatch the ride in order of scheduled pickup time among their company employed chauffeurs. Because they partner with local independent driver transportation providers, Blacklane is able to keep their cost down and focus on marketing. This means that they can provide everything from budget-friendly taxis to luxury limousines, depending on the customer’s needs and budget.
In addition to offering a wider range of services, Blacklane’s trip distribution center model also allows becomes a conflict when the trip is not accepted by a driver. Because they don’t employ chauffeurs like Empire CLS, it will be a challenge for Blacklane Car service to provide premium service consistently.
Furthermore, Blacklane’s centralized booking platform allows them to avoid the call center customer support to their customers. If there are any issues with a ride, customers cannot contact Blacklane’s customer support team over the telephone. This is where traditional ground transportation such as Empire CLS have more control over quality, reliability and ride support over Blacklane Car service.
However, despite the many advantages or disadvantages of Blacklane’s trip distribution center model, some people argue that it is not a “real” transportation company. They argue that Blacklane does not own any vehicles or employ any drivers, so they cannot be considered a traditional transportation company.
While it is true that Blacklane does not own any vehicles or employ any drivers, this does not mean that they are not a “real” transportation company. Blacklane’s trip distribution center model is simply a different way of operating a transportation company. Instead of owning all their vehicles, Blacklane partners with local transportation providers to offer.
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