Carlson Wagonlit Travel Launches Ground Transportation Optimization Practice

Boston | July 23, 2007

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), the world's second-largest travel management company, today announced the addition of ground transportationto its repertoire of program optimization services. The announcement was made at the National Business Travel Association International Convention & Exposition, being held here July 22-25.

Ground transportation, which includes rental car, black car/limo and rail, is often an under-addressed area of spend. It can account for as much as 10 percent of an organization's overall travel program costs in the United States, and even more in areas of Europe and Asia Pacific where rail is a significant mode of transportation. In addition, prices have steadily trended upward over the past several years and are forecasted to increase by 2-3 percent in 2007. These factors make ground transportation an increasingly important focus for corporations, who can leverage the expertise of CWT to evaluate existing spend, contracts and practices; conduct negotiations; and drive significant savings.

CWT consultants strategically analyze a company's global ground transportation spend using advanced analytical tools, extensive industry experience and a robust proprietary database that drive savings. CWT can assist clients in all aspects of the process, from creating custom requests for proposals to managing the negotiations process, executing the agreement and ensuring effective implementation. The analysis evaluates all rate types, ancillary charges and contractual terms that could have a costly impact on clients throughout the lifetime of the agreement. Furthermore, CWT consultants will advocate for the inclusion of various free or discounted amenities, which are sometimes overlooked during the negotiations process.

Leading the ground transportation practice is transportation industry veteran Dave Kilduff, who joined CWT in April as the managing director of the new discipline. He reports to Nick Vournakis, vice president, CWT Solutions Group - Americas. Kilduff brings to his new role more than 25 years of industry experience, most recently at American Express. Prior to that, Kilduff was a consultant for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives. He also worked for The Hertz Corporation for 21 years, where he held a variety of executive management positions.

"Our new ground transportation practice is a natural complement to our existing air and hotel consulting services, giving our clients an even more comprehensive set of options for sourcing and optimizing their corporate travel programs," Vournakis said. "I'm thrilled to have Dave at the helm of this new discipline. He will be instrumental in helping our clients become more proactive and progressive with this spend."

Kilduff stated that, while ground transportation spend doesn't have, nor does it merit, the attention of air or hotel spend, buyers will only gain by more closely managing it.

"Travel buyers need to focus more on this area of their program spend, though any one of them would tell you they simply don't have the time," Kilduff said. "CWT can not only take the load off their shoulders - we'll use our industry expertise to deliver measurable savings for each client."

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