In recent months, the transportation departments of Jinan, Changsha, Sanya and many other places have successively issued online car-hailing saturation warnings, reminding that the average daily order volume of local online car-hailing bicycles is less than 10, and some places have even suspended the acceptance of new online car-hailing transportation services. However, many netizens said that they still face difficulties in booking a car, such as being unable to get a car, waiting in long queues, waiting for a long time, and being canceled by the driver. The car-hailing people questioned “Is the online car-hailing really saturated?”
Dai Xianfeng, secretary-general of the Legal Work Committee of the China Communications and Transportation Association and partner of Beijing Yingke Law Firm, said in an interview with the media that the online car-hailing market is saturated, and how to define saturation? Only the market can judge.
The mid-2023 consumption report released by Tsingshan Capital shows that the number of newly added online car-hailing drivers in 2023 will increase by nearly five times compared with 2022, and online car-hailing drivers will become one of the industries with the fastest employment growth. Statistics show that there are currently more than 100 million registered online car-hailing drivers, and about 20,000 new drivers are added every day.
According to statistics from the online car-hailing regulatory information interaction system, as of June 30, 2023, a total of 318 online car-hailing platform companies across the country have obtained online car-hailing platform business licenses, an increase of 5 month-on-month; a total of 5.79 million online car-hailing driver licenses and 2.434 million vehicle transport certificates have been issued in various places, an increase of 3.7% and 3.3% month-on-month. In addition, the online car-hailing regulatory information interaction system received a total of 763 million order information in June, a month-on-month increase of 3.7%.
According to the information provided by T3 Travel to the reporter of China.com, from the demand side, with the orderly recovery of the consumption scene, the consumption potential of taxi travel is rapidly released, and the recovery momentum leads other industries. First of all, according to the data released by the Ministry of Transport, in May this year, the volume of T3 travel orders rose by 2.5% from the previous month. During the “May 1st” holiday, travel demand returned to its four-year peak, and the peak volume of T3 travel calls increased by nearly 200% year-on-year. During the Dragon Boat Festival this year, the overall taxi call volume of T3 travel users increased by over 82% year-on-year.
Judging from the various data released above, the online car-hailing market is indeed developing in the direction of prosperity. But the voice of “difficult to call a car” cannot be ignored.
At the end of June, Ms. Min (pseudonym), who failed to hail a taxi near Beijing’s Financial Street, posted on the Internet, “In the past week, I was surprised to find that taxis in the imperial capital always waited for 20 minutes to receive the order, and it took more than 15 minutes for the car to arrive. Today, there is still no hope of taking a taxi. Finally, I took the order and said it would take 17 minutes to come…”
Recently, Ms. Wang (pseudonym), who lives in Shanghai, also experienced difficulties in booking a car. She complained, “I can’t call for half an hour in the morning, and the number of people shows that there are not many people. Where have the cars gone?”
It is worth mentioning that in Jinan, Shandong, where a risk warning notice for the online car-hailing industry was issued and that the capacity of the online car-hailing market is basically saturated, some netizens also asked why Shandong is always unable to get a car. The netizen said that every time he had to wait for a long time no matter where he was, or the charges were high.
A reporter from China.com found that there were thousands of complaints on the black cat complaint platform about the refusal of ride-hailing drivers and the cancellation of orders.
On the one hand, there is an early warning that “the online car-hailing market is saturated”, and on the other is the complaint that “it is difficult to order a car”. As for the reason for this contradiction, Zhang Xiaorong, president of Deepin Technology Research Institute, told a reporter from China Net that the main reason is that the market is developing too fast and there are problems in matching supply and demand. On the one hand, there is a large demand for online car-hailing, especially during peak hours and bustling areas, and difficulty in car-hailing is a common problem; on the other hand, the supply of online car-hailing in some places is insufficient, which makes the difficulty of car-hailing more serious.
“The capacity saturation of the online car-hailing market is a dynamic phenomenon.” The person in charge of Sunshine Travel said in an interview with a reporter from China.com that online car-hailing is divided into morning and evening peaks, flat peaks, and low valleys.
The relevant person in charge of Xiangdao Travel said that summer is the peak season for online car-hailing, and citizens’ travel demand increases, superimposed on the “tidal effect” of urban traffic morning and evening peak travel, and the problem of passengers’ difficulty in taking a taxi is also common in densely populated areas such as residences, business districts, and office buildings.
In order to deal with the contradiction between supply and demand, online car-hailing platforms have given different solutions according to market demand.
It is understood that Xiangdao Travel has launched a series of measures to improve the output quality travel service capabilities of the supply side, including investing in new transport capacity, strengthening scientific scheduling capabilities through technical means such as “heat maps”, and increasing driver subsidies during morning and evening peak hours. For example, in Hangzhou, in order to encourage online car-hailing drivers to actively send out cars and receive orders to better meet the travel needs of citizens, the Xiangdao travel driver APP has been launched in the main urban area of Hangzhou since July. 1.2 times the reward for single orders during the morning peak (7:00-9:00).
In addition, T3 Mobility is also launching new products and services. Among them, the super APP launched includes one-click eating, drinking and playing, customized carriages, single and double insurance and other services to meet new market needs. In addition, in response to the local shortage of transport capacity during peak demand periods, T3 Mobility not only flexibly adjusts the capacity ratio between “cold areas” and “hot areas” through scientific scheduling algorithms, but also mobilizes drivers’ enthusiasm through various incentives and driver care measures to ensure the supply of transport capacity during peak periods. In some cities, it also launched the “waiting for compensation” service for high-frequency user groups to improve user taxi experience.
In fact, the online car-hailing industry has a lot of room for growth. The online car-hailing track is both a rigid demand and a high-frequency field. The market size is at least 400 billion or more. It is expected that the year-on-year growth rate in 2023 is still expected to pass 15%. The focus of market competition has changed from the previous “money burning model” to an operation model oriented by safety compliance and quality experience. With the continuous deepening of industry compliance, the non-compliant capacity is gradually cleared, and the compliant capacity is the real and sustainable capacity supply. This part of the capacity still has a large room for growth.