Fleet Management Trends to Watch
The Transportation Industry has gone through major changes in the last year. We have seen fleet technology continue to evolve, industry regulations go under major review and the demand for freight services increases. Fleet Management Professionals have had to stay on their toes to keep up with such a rapidly changing market. The SureCam team has been looking ahead, and have identified 6 key trends set to take the industry by storm in 2020. Read on to stay ahead of the latest developments, and to see what tips and tricks you can bring to your fleet.
1. Data Management
Fleet management professionals should be looking for ways to keep up with high volumes of fleet data in the coming year. With the adoption of fleet monitoring technology, such as connected dash cameras and telematics solutions, it’s easier than ever to understand your drivers’ activities on the road. Many connected camera solutions come with data packages that allow you to locate your vehicles through GPS, offer efficient dispatching services, improve fuel efficiency, and create coaching opportunities for your team.
With endless information at your fingertips, you will be fully equipped to optimize your fleet’s activity. However, such a large amount of data requires a strong monitoring system that can cut through the noise and offer information that will be most useful to you. Keep your business goals in mind while selecting a technology and data package so you can be sure to monitor your fleet’s information with ease. Review how the SureCam platform helps fleets run more efficiently here.
2. Regulatory Changes
When the ELD mandate took effect, it changed how the transportation industry operated day to day. While many fleets were busy becoming compliant, policymakers dove even deeper into their review of the industry so they could address the challenges modern fleets are facing.
Since then, we have seen several major policies go under review like Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, and CSA Scoring Guidelines. The new year will also bring changes in data collection policies with bills such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that will change how your fleet data is collected and stored. With so many updates coming down the road, staying up to date on policy changes will be more important than ever. Be sure to be on the lookout for what information will be affecting your fleet in the future so you can make sure you and your technology providers are compliant with data regulations and other upcoming changes.
3. Continuing Education for Fleet Managers
As the transportation field continues to develop, Fleet Managers will want to focus their attention on continuing education to keep up with emerging topics like fleet technology advancements, data management practices, regulatory changes, and to sharpen general skills. Many people find it both helpful and convenient to use tools like podcasts and webinars to keep up with emerging topics. Industry leaders and publications usually offer these services for free, and they are a great way to brush up on industry knowledge. Here are some of the SureCam team’s favorite online resources from 2019:
- Heavy Duty Trucking: All That’s Trucking Blog – This blog from Heavy Duty Trucking features in-depth coverage of multiple relevant industry issues and is a great place to look when diving deeper into a topic.
- Iowa Motor Truck Association’s “Top 10 Trucking Industry Issues” – This webinar offers statistical insights into industry issues such as the driver shortage and ELD compliance with the options to track the topic’s growth through the years.
- American Trucking Association‘s Reports, Trends, and Statistics page – This page has a list of comprehensive topics affecting the industry today so you can stay informed and never miss a beat.
- Recruit and Retain: Trucker Edition – This is a podcast focused on running a trucking company from the inside out. Here you can find coverage of topics from driver recruitment to maintaining a healthy company culture.
- The WorkSAFE Podcast – This podcast covers a wide array of workplace safety topics including fleet safety strategies and interviews with safety managers who are successfully building cultures of safety in their organizations.
4. Increased Freight Service Demand
Within the past several months, we have seen a high demand for rapid freight services and it shows no sign so slowing down any time soon. The popularity of overnight shipping and delivery, often associated with events like Amazon’s Prime Day, has continued to increase and delivery and distribution focused fleets have been working hard to meet the demand.
While this service boom offers some great business opportunities, it also adds extra strain to drivers and fleet managers who are already affected by issues like the driver shortage. Keeping your fleet running as efficiently as possible within the new year will be key in meeting this new demand.
Managers will want to promote good health practices among their drivers to help them manage stress and stay alert and rested on the road. They will also want to look at how they can use technology to make their fleet more efficient and consider enhancing their company culture to help retain current employees and attract new ones.
5. Leveraging Technology
With the increased demand for freight services and an influx of driver data, making good use of fleet technology will help ease operations in the new year. This can help not only reduce claims costs but also increase efficiency to help your fleet run smoothly and meet the increased driving demand.
For example, can you use the GPS tracking feature in your telematics system to support the dispatcher for your team. You are able to track your vehicles on the road and alert them to dangerous road conditions, rough weather, or upcoming road closures. Armed with this information, you can direct them to a more efficient route and help save time. The industry today is becoming more tech-based, so why not take advantage of it?
6. Culture is Key
One of the final trends we see picking up in the new year is a shift in company culture to appeal to a new market of potential drivers. Women and Millennials are both underutilized groups that can be a great asset to the trucking industry and a solution for the driver shortage.
In fact, female drivers tend to be involved in 20% fewer crashes than male drivers. They also tend to be safer than their male counterparts in almost every statistically significant behavior including seat belt violations, failure to obey traffic light signals, speeding, and reckless driving. Even with such a strong track record, women make up only 7% of the transportation industry today. This coupled with a large number of Millennials entering the workforce offers a great opportunity to recruit from these groups.
Many female drivers are interested in a culture that is responsive to their specific challenges and concerns. For example, a few main takeaways from this year’s Women In Trucking Conference highlighted that women tend to be more health-focused on the road than men and that they often look for ways to stay active such as practicing yoga or Pilates in their vehicle cabins during off time. Many female drivers are also concerned with having access to comfortable equipment and uniforms as they often end up feeling slowed down having to work with materials that were not designed for them.
With this in mind, managers can make a few simple changes to help them recruit and retain women on their team. These include:
- Make good health and safety part of your company culture: Share ways that drivers can incorporate healthy foods into their diets and stay active on the road – maybe during an annual safety meeting?
- Offer women’s sizes and styles of uniforms and consider equipment options to fit the female frame: This will allow for ease of movement and increased comfort for female employees throughout their day.
- Do regular check-ins: Meet with your employees on a regular basis to stay aware of any challenges they might be facing and how they can be addressed.
Making a few small adjustments into your daily operations can play a huge part in your driver retention and in your future recruitment efforts.
Many millennials are more interested in working for a culture than a company. They appreciate strong moral values, unique work experiences, and the opportunity to grow professionally. Make sure you clearly define your business’s values, decide how you represent those values, and show your company’s activity on the right platform to recruit from this group.
Consider expanding your company operations with the following:
- Setting up a Safety Incentives Program to reward drivers for careful driving and supporting your company mission.
- Provide regular opportunities for your team to get together and build community through office activities.
- Work to mentor and create career paths for young employees so they can grow along with your business.
- Highlight the perks of driving – like built-in travel opportunities – by encouraging drivers to explore the area during their downtime on their route.
- Build a stronger online presence on job boards and social media showcasing the great aspects of your business.
Working to highlight the positive aspects of your business, and making sure that your company has a presence on the right platforms is a great way to start getting millennials on board. With the transportation industry looking to change so much in the new year, it will be important to grow along with it to keep your business running smoothly. The SureCam team is always here to help with the latest industry insights. Be sure to check back regularly to stay up to date on new developments.