Kha­reef sea­son a boon for car trans­port com­pa­nies

Muscat Daily - - NATION - Zain al Tauqi

With the kha­reef sea­son in full swing, many va­ca­tion­ers are opt­ing to use auto car­ri­ers to trans­port their ve­hi­cles be­tween Mus­cat and Salalah in order to avoid the long, dan­ger­ous drive.

In­juries and fa­tal­i­ties among hol­i­day­mak­ers which oc­cur on a yearly ba­sis have al­ready prompted the ROP to take proac­tive steps such as the is­suance of a list of emer­gency con­tacts in strate­gic lo­ca­tions be­tween Adam and Thum­rait.

An of­fi­cial from Al Awam Trans­port, said, “There is a spike in busi­ness at this time of the year. The ma­jor­ity of our cus­tomers are from Oman or other GCC coun­tries. The ris­ing price of fuel has forced more peo­ple to look into car trans­port so­lu­tions, but the pri­mary con­cern is safety.

“Apart from the risk of meet­ing with an ac­ci­dent, there are long, empty stretches of road where a sim­ple break­down would mean a long and in­con­ve­nient wait for all oc­cu­pants of the ve­hi­cle. In this in­dus­try, ve­hi­cle trans­port prices from Mus­cat to Salalah are higher than Salalah to Mus­cat.”

Seven to eight ve­hi­cles fit on a trailer truck. While rates vary slightly, the av­er­age price for the two-way trans­port is RO85 per sa­loon car and RO100 per SUV.

Sobi Mons PS, trans­port man­ager, Gen­eve Gen­eral Projects, said, “Dur­ing this time of the year, busi­ness picks up as peo­ple want the con­ve­nience of hav­ing their own ve­hi­cle when they visit Salalah, but more im­por­tantly, they want to avoid the long, mo­not­o­nous and dan­ger­ous drive.

“Our yards are ap­prox­i­mately ten min­utes from both Mus­cat and Salalah air­ports, so af­ter land­ing, our cus­tomers can take a short taxi ride to col­lect their ve­hi­cles. Our trucks are fully in- sured, and we ver­ify that the ve­hi­cles we haul are in­sured as well.”

A trans­port com­pany bro­ker added, “Depend­ing on the num­ber of peo­ple go­ing to and from Salalah, and the du­ra­tion of their stay, the trans­port op­tion can ac­tu­ally save money. If you fac­tor in fuel, wear-and-tear of the ve­hi­cle, and car rental in Salalah, ship­ping the ve­hi­cle be­comes fi­nan­cially fea­si­ble at the four-five day mark. The longer the pe­riod, the more it makes sense as peo­ple save on rent-a-car fee.

“Aside from hol­i­day­mak­ers, some of our busi­ness comes from com­pa­nies. For ex­am­ple, rent-a-car com­pa­nies with a pres­ence in both ci­ties may choose to trans­port cars to Salalah for the lu­cra­tive kha­reef sea­son, or com­pa­nies who send work crews from Mus­cat to Salalah for an ex­tended pe­riod use our ser­vices, and send their em­ploy­ees by bus.”

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