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From four wheels to refrigerated vans

17 February 2010

How did the Big Freeze affect businesses across the UK? A less obvious issue – but one which had a huge impact on delivery of services – was access to rental vehicles

The rental vehicles were needed to fill the gaps as fleets were impacted by accidents or inaccessibility.

“The start of the new decade brought real challenges to businesses who needed to ensure they could keep their operations on the go”, explained Neil McCrossan,CEO of leading vehicle rental specialist, Nexus Vehicle Rental. “And it wasn’t just bad weather keeping staff at home that was the challenge.

“All sorts of vehicles were involved in accidents due to the bad weather and that meant that organisations like ours had to respond to much higher levels of demand – and for a very diverse range of vehicles. We, of course, had exceptional demand for four wheel drives but also, interestingly, we responded to a number of requests for refrigerated vans!

“Probably the biggest challenge the industry faced was that some areas of the UK were completely cut off, therefore reducing the availability of vehicles. Plus, even once a vehicle was sourced it was then a question of getting it to the customer in a realistic timeframe.”

The extensive supply chain operated by Nexus, which includes a network of over 80 rental companies operating in more than 1,500 locations across the UK and addressing the broad diversity of vehicles required by businesses, meant that the company could meet the enormous increase in demand in January and early February. “It wasn’t just about so many more vehicles being needed; but a very wide range of vehicle types”, continued Neil McCrossan.

“But with our network of rental providers we were able to supply anything from small cars to transit and refrigerated vans. Indeed, we have such a comprehensive supply chain that we can even provide horseboxes, hearses and ice cream vans – although we haven’t had much demand for these so far this year!”

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