Transport sector sceptical of zero emission mandates

In Uncategorized, News7 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 15, 2024

Less than half of global fleet managers believe governments will follow through on planned zero emissions mandates, according to the latest industry survey from Teletrac Navman.

The survey of more than 500 fleet operators throughout the UK, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America, sheds light on the industry’s latest trends and challenges, as well as the viewpoints of global operational leaders on topics including safety, AI adoption, alternative energy and 2024’s biggest obstacles for fleets.

The annual report focuses on three key areas: Sustainability, Safety, and Efficiency.

Two-thirds of global fleets are currently operating PHEV, BEV or FCEV vehicles in their fleet.

However, switching still presents challenges with emerging technologies, high vehicle cost and limited public charging points, the report found.

Fleets list their top three expenses as (1) unstable fuel costs, (2) equipment/vehicle maintenance and (3) purchasing new equipment/vehicles.

Driver wellbeing and safety technology is the number one investment fleets are looking to make in 2024.

Sustainability: Fleets still lack credible information sources as challenges remain

With more than half of fleets (65%) feeling environmental pressure to transition to alternative energy, many are operating a multi-energy fleet or are about to begin their transition while still experiencing a lack of awareness and readily available, trustworthy guidance.

“Fleets of all sizes and scales are already planning and navigating their transition, but we know there simply isn’t enough credible information out there to help simplify what is a complex move for any business. Alternative energy is still such a new concept for many fleet operators and the process of switching can feel overwhelming,” said Alain Samaha, global president & CEO of Teletrac Navman.

When seeking guidance on transitioning fleets to electric or alternative energy, a quarter of respondents (25%) prefer advice from experts, and 15% would opt for dedicated training courses.

While the switch to alternative energy keeps rising on fleet operators’ agendas and a quarter of TS24 respondents (25%) name tackling rising fuel costs as a key motivation, challenges still remain. The frequency of emerging new technologies, high purchase cost of alternative energy vehicles and limited availability of public charging points have been identified as the top obstacles for businesses on their way to decarbonisation.

This is highlighted even further as nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents state that ongoing cost pressures will likely delay their transition to EV or alternative energy vehicles. In New Zealand and Australia, 69% express doubts about the governments’ commitment to the planned ban on fossil fuels, outnumbering the 46% in the US who share similar doubts.

Driver safety: Safety and wellbeing top business focus for 2024 

Driver safety remains a top priority for fleets, with half of the businesses surveyed currently monitoring and measuring driver behaviour and 30% of respondents planning on investing in driver wellbeing technology this year.

Over two-thirds of TS24 respondents (73%) have seen fewer accidents on the job since adopting telematics solutions, and 73% are actively rewarding drivers for better performance.

TS24 also found 71% of respondents have seen improved driver performance through driver rewards programmes.

More than half of the businesses surveyed (62%) recognise the cost-of-living crisis’s impact on their drivers’ mental health. Teletrac Navman has seen a 110% increase year-on-year in driver appreciation activities, a 54% increase in adopting reward programs, and a 52% increase in the promotion to senior driver.

Rising fuel costs are considered in driver behaviour management as well, with a 33% increase in businesses implementing new driver behaviour programmes in an effort to navigate rising fuel costs since last year.

 “The last 12 months have come with their own set of challenges for fleets, and rising insurance and fuel costs have been a leading concern for operators globally,” said Samaha. “This in turn has led to an even higher emphasis on safety, prompting operators to prioritise safe processes and behaviour to manage costs effectively as well as look after staff wellbeing.”

Efficiency and Streamlining 

TS24 also found businesses are working towards keeping up with the latest technologies in order to achieve streamlined operations.

With the top costs for fleets listed as fuel, followed by equipment and vehicle maintenance and purchase, almost all TS24 respondents (96%) say they have made measurable savings by implementing telematics, across admin time savings, fuel savings and overall cost savings.

According to the industry-wide survey, asset visibility, meeting compliance regulations and more efficient routing and dispatching are the top three benefits operators have seen since implementing telematics solutions.

Despite the widespread adoption of telematics solutions (98%), less than half of businesses (43%) feel they are using these tools to their full potential.

“Businesses are facing many different challenges now, with the ‘great resignation’ leading to the higher turnover of people and therefore the need for more frequent training and handovers. Furthermore, technological advancements may require deeper training, and the varying needs of different departments can result in underuse across the diverse features of platforms,” said Samaha.

While AI technology is beginning to grow in prevalence the market is increasingly recognising the possibilities of data-led and machine learning applications, with 47% of TS24 respondents currently leveraging AI solutions.

“Businesses are slowly but surely embracing new technologies, and there is an anticipation of increased availability of advanced AI tech in the near future, enabling more sophisticated applications and vehicle and driver monitoring.”