Dockx Rental is an Antwerp family business in the best sense. Father Jozef started by renting out a number of vans and 40 years later, the company has grown to be a pioneer in the sector. At the head of the company are his children, Sarah and Joeri, who are responsible for daily management. Dockx Rental currently has a fleet of 1,250 vehicles and 15 staffed and five unstaffed locations throughout the country. “But Dockx is more than just a car and van rental company,” says Joeri Dockx.
“We aim to differentiate ourselves from the competition by combining departments and offering a custom solution for every budget, big and small,” continues Dockx. “We have everything you need to make your move go smoothly. Not only can you rent a small or medium-sized van, but you can also buy moving kits with moving boxes, mattress protectors, tape, etc. Those interested in a full-service move can also count on us to take care of everything from start to finish, including movers and complex lifts. The fact is, most people move an average of seven times in their lives. It adds up. We realise, of course, that you don’t need our products often, but when you do need them, we want to offer as complete a solution as possible. That’s why we also sell moving boxes to individuals who are taking care of their own move, as well as offer full service to those wanting a completely carefree move.”
To offer customers this service, Dockx has also invested in a digital app that lets the customer pick up the vehicle at a ‘Pick-up Point’. “It can easily take around 20 minutes to complete the process at one of our locations, while the app offers a much faster and more efficient option. There is no human contact involved, which translates into a much faster process. In these coronavirus times, that also offers added value, of course.”
A fleet of 1,250 vehicles not only requires a good logistics and administrative approach, but all maintenance and inspection-related aspects also need to be dealt with properly. And more and more vehicles these days are hybrids or electric. Dockx on how this may or may not affect the future: “It certainly plays a role, but customers who rent a van are not particularly concerned about whether it is a hybrid, diesel or petrol vehicle. That’s a minor detail. But we are experiencing pressure from the government to make the transition to alternative and more sustainable mobility choices.”
Practical aspects also play a part in this. “Not everyone who rents a van for a few days has the possibility to easily charge it everywhere,” concludes Docks. “Besides, they can only cover a limited distance fully charged. Customers prefer to avoid such concerns and simply want to go from point A to point B without having to worry about fuel.”
For Dockx Rental, the coronavirus pandemic has not been without its challenges, but the company has held its own. “There has been a 25 percent drop in figures, but not without a good explanation. The event sector is also very important for our business. Stage builders, catering companies, shuttle services... their work came to a sudden halt. Along with customers renting vehicles to go on holiday. This has had an impact on our business, but you won’t hear any complaints from us. Other sectors have been hit much harder. Hopefully, the situation will now take a turn for the better.”