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4 Fleet Management Trends to Watch in 2021

posted 02 February, 2021 by Jackson Balling
Following an uncertain year, fleet managers have their work cut out for them in 2021. For those looking to keep your fleet profitable while staying ahead of the latest disruptions, you’ve come to the right place to plan.
Here are four fleet management trends to keep in mind this year and beyond.

Last-Mile Delivery Efficiency

It’s impossible to ignore the significant eCommerce growth in 2020. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers flocked to online shopping vendors in unprecedented numbers. US consumers spent $199.44 billion on online purchases in Q3 2020, increasing 37.1% from Q3 2019 and accounting for nearly $1 in every $5 spent. And none of it would’ve been possible without last-mile delivery.
Despite the increased importance of last-mile delivery fleets, they remain the most expensive step of the shipping process, accounting for 53 percent of overall costs. Their uptime is precious, and total utilization has expanded with seven days of delivery schedules. Unfortunately, that puts fleets in a precarious position. The typical last-mile delivery vehicle experiences a lot of stop-and-go driving with lower fuel efficiency, as well as prolonged periods of idling. 
The immediate challenge that lies ahead for last-mile fleet managers is maintaining proper maintenance habits. As the time comes to expand your fleet, newer and more efficient vehicles should take precedence over the traditional options.

Telematics or Bust

No matter what type of fleet you manage, telematics is likely on your mind. According to Verizon’s Fleet Technology Trends Survey, “the number of fleets using GPS fleet tracking technology has increased from 64% in 2019 to 72% in 2020.” The overwhelming majority that has adapted to telematics saw an average 8% decrease in fuel costs, 11% in accident costs, and 10% in labor costs. 
The most significant contributor to that growth is regulations designed to require the recording of driving hours and rest periods among vehicle operators. Outside of the benefits to driver safety and reduced costs, your fleet’s telematics data presents an excellent opportunity to optimize efficiency in 2021. You can easily track vehicle or asset location, as well as vehicle speed and seat belt use. Any data you gather can inform how you train new drivers and manage their productivity amid traffic or poor weather conditions.
One of the most considerable impacts of telematics is measuring your fleet’s maintenance needs. With the ability to track hours-of-use and maintenance schedules, you can avoid costly services just by staying up to date on each vehicle’s current condition. When the time comes to address any urgent maintenance issues, you won’t be caught off-guard or have to jeopardize your bottom line to do so.

EVs Are Coming

The hottest trend to watch this decade will be the shift to electric vehicles. Despite slower market growth than China or Europe, the US remains in good shape to begin phasing out ICE vehicles - particularly within the trucking sector. McKinsey estimates that eTruck adoption will exceed 30 percent by 2030, across the light commercial, medium-duty, and heavy-duty segments. 
Right now, the biggest issue for fleet managers is charge anxiety. Not only are EVs still progressing in terms of total range per charge, but time to charge as well. While available models may not fit your fleet’s needs at the moment, it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on what newer options bring to the table. One example of a popular on-demand charging solution is BoostEV, which connects EV owners and fleets with charging providers who come directly to them.
With more significant strides in battery and electric powertrains, fleet operators will have an easier job with route planning due to boosted range and performance, even after replacing refueling with recharging strategies.

Rebounding from an Off Year with Mindful Maintenance

Following last year and the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, fleets of all sizes will need to manage maintenance with care. Those that were forced to downsize in early 2020 may be forced into a similar utilization rate as last-mile delivery fleets. Managers with smaller budgets to work with will have to anticipate their vehicles’ needs and extend service life correctly.
Telematics data can make it easier to keep up with your fleet’s fuel costs and preventative maintenance. Both can combine at the least opportune time and put a dent into your revenues, which is why it’s critical to keep them controlled. There’s nothing wrong with doing what you can to better optimize your business for the future, especially in the wake of 2020.
If you’re looking to take a weight off of your shoulders for the months ahead, then let it be your fleet’s preventative maintenance. With Spiffy’s Fleet Management as a Service™ (FMaaS) model, you can have confidence in a one-vendor solution that comes straight to you - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year - for in-fleeting, preventative maintenance, and de-fleeting. Our dedicated Fleet Account Management team is here to support you every step of the way. The Spiffy Fleet app allows you to schedule Spiffy services, track, and report on the process and provides immediate digital billing so you can get back to business, all at zero cost to you.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Spiffy can get to work for your fleet, then be sure to reach out to our Fleet Account Management team today. We’re eager to make 2021 your most comfortable year for preventative maintenance yet!
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Posted in Fleet

Written by Jackson Balling

Jackson is our Content Marketing Manager, bringing over five years of professional experience in creative copywriting, audio production, and video editing to the Spiffy Marketing team.
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