2021 Fleet Industry: Looking Ahead

The events of 2020 were truly unexpected and led to a year that was unlike any other. Many businesses were significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and it forced them to adapt to get ahead of a new set of challenges.  

With the start of the new year, many are wondering how the impact of the pandemic will affect the transportation industry moving forward. We anticipate much of the next 12 months being centered around managing costs to help offset the uncertainty the next year will bring. As you plan ahead for the new year, take a look at these 4 trends so you can know what to look for to help maximize efficiency and set your team up for success. 

Trend #1: Increased workload for last-mile fleets

E-commerce sales skyrocketed in 2020 as the public adapted to changes in product and travel availability. As a result, last-mile delivery fleets had to gear up to meet the increased demand. With coronavirus cases on the rise, and many waiting to hear about additional potential lockdowns, we are not expecting to see many changes in this area for 2021.  

Maximizing fleet efficiency to ensure seamless delivery times will be key for business fleets looking to get ahead in the new year. Working to properly dispatch routes and encouraging your team to implement safe driving habits will be key to increasing productivity in this area – helping to ensure a smooth delivery process.  

More frequent starts and stops to fulfill deliveries put commercial vehicles at higher risks for accidents. Prepare your team to be vigilant against crash for cash schemers out on the road. 

Trend #2 – Increased maintenance costs due to miles driven

With an uptick in miles driven – particularly for last-mile delivery fleets – fleet managers will be looking into preventive maintenance measures in order to keep their fleet running and avoid even more costly repairs down the line.  

Preventative maintenance can encompass a number of different tasks for fleets including

  • Performing regular facility walkthroughs 
  • Checking for out of place water and oil stains 
  • Visual inspections of vehicles 
  • Performing routine maintenance checks 

 

Managers can even help to instill safe driving behaviors in their team as a method of preventative maintenance. By hosting annual safety meetings, you can help to educate your drivers on safe braking distances, vehicle maintenance checkpoints, and other helpful actions while on the road to help prevent wear and tear and maintain the functionality of the vehicle. Each of these steps will help keep your fleet running at its best and keep your maintenance costs low.  

Trend #3 – High resale value for vans and delivery vehicles

Another excellent reason to keep up on vehicle maintenance is the high predicted resale value for smaller vocational vehicles such as utility trucks and delivery vans. While over the road vehicles might have seen a decrease in total miles driven over the past year in an attempt to help cut business costs, the e-commerce boom brought about by the pandemic caused local delivery fleets to see a huge uptick in activity that looks to remain steady over the next year. 

Acquisition costs for vocational vehicle types have been steadily increasing over the past several months due to both high demand and limited inventory availability. This demand is expected to continue as economic activity increases over the next quarter. Keeping your vehicles in top shape for resale or looking for a good rental deal can be helpful in maximizing profits. 

Trend #4 – Fleets turning to technology to help cut costs and manage remotely.

With such a heavy emphasis on vehicle maintenance to keep up with the uncertainty of the year, many fleet management professionals will be turning to technology to help manage their team more efficiently. For example, the use of a full-service telematics solution can help you identify areas of cost savings, help build safe driving behaviors to maintain vehicles, and also help you manage your fleet remotely to keep up with new coronavirus social distancing guidelines. 

For example, using a full-service telematics solution, you have access to a full dashboard of fleet data. A few of these data points include: 

  • GPS location 
  • Idle times 
  • Delivery rates 
  • Harsh driving alerts 

 

With this information, you can identify areas of coaching for your team, touch base with them virtually, and continue to monitor their progress as time progresses. This allows your team the ability to grow and improve while adapting to social distancing guidelines brought about by the pandemic.  

SureCam has a great direct integration with Geotab which allows you to access these valuable telematics data points for your business while also viewing your incident videos all from a singular platform. If combining video with vehicle telematics data is a priority for you this year, be sure to check out this direct integration option. 

Does the pandemic have your budget tighter than ever? Adding more technology to your commercial vehicles may not be the right move for you this year. This does not mean that you still can’t leverage your SureCam connected dash camera technology to better enable you to remotely manage your fleet. In addition to video capture, live GPS tracking, and trip logs, we have a wide variety of safety and operations reports available within our platform. Connect with us if you want to review your account and determine how to best leverage your SureCam technology for remote fleet management. 

While no one is entirely sure of what this next year has in store — thank you 2020 for teaching us how wildly unpredictable a year can really be — we know that building up a strong team and using the resources you have on hand to the best of their ability is a great way to set your business up for success in 2021 

In the meantime, the SureCam team is always here to help support your team and answer your questions.