Fleet industry for trends for 2021: what can you expect?

With the ongoing pandemic and need for social distancing, home delivery fleets have become pivotal to UK consumers and retailers. With this growing demand, there has naturally been a growth in the fleet workforce and also the number of vehicles on the road to help manage customer expectations. While we predict that the reliance on home delivery service will continue throughout 2021, what other trends can we expect to see from the fleet industry in 2021? For our blog this week, we’re answering this very question.

Ongoing home delivery reliance

As we discussed in our recent blog, home delivery services became a staple in the UK throughout 2020, seeing everything from toilet paper, gym supplies and home working attire become essential deliveries. Over the festive period, we also saw B&Q deliver real Christmas trees straight to the doors of its customers with Ideal Home describing it as ‘the home delivery service needed to save Christmas.’ Now, the latest research suggests that UK food sales will break £21 billion by 2022 thanks to a shift towards online sales as a direct result of the pandemic. With online retailers’ market shares set to increase from 6.2% to 8.9%, reliance on home delivery fleets is predicted to continue throughout 2021 and beyond.

Prioritising fleet utilisation

According to research from Europcar Mobility Group, 75% of UK fleet managers said the pandemic required them to review their fleet acquisition policy. 43% also said that delivering fleet efficiencies through pro-active management was one of their top three priorities for the next 12 months. We’ve seen that fleet managers have had to be incredibly flexible throughout 2020 to cope with fluctuations in demand and as highlighted above, this trend is likely to continue. As fleet utilisation becomes a top priority, fleet managers will also need to ensure that fleet messaging is kept up to date to promote wider brand messages while on the road. As such, our Agripa banners will provide an effective solution, allowing for safe, quick, expert installation with zero downtime.

Increased fleet tracking systems

Expected to become a $75 billion industry by 2025, reliance on fleet tracking and telematics is growing for those across the industry. That’s because this technology is able to pinpoint an asset’s specific location, and collect valuable vehicle and routing data, helping to outline best routes for drivers. This will allow fleet managers to have a more in-depth, data-driven view of operations and utilise this to create more cost-effective routes. Not only will this help to improve overall efficiency and therefore customer satisfaction, but it will also help to protect valuable fleet assets.

An environmental focus

Over the last few years, we’ve seen consumers become more focused on environmental issues. Research from Entrepreneur highlights that customers prefer companies that are more sustainable, regardless of industry, and throughout lockdown, emission savings dropped to 16% from 36%. Many businesses are already taking note, especially in light of the Government’s 2050 net-zero emissions target. Our sales director, James Morris, has recently spoken in-depth about green promises and the need for businesses to make a commitment to their environmental strategy if we wish to realise collective change. As such, in 2020 Gardners launched its speciality polluting-eating ReActivair coating, designed to help reduce emissions through print placements. Our research estimates that for 10 RGV vehicle livery coated with ReActivair can offset the air pollution of one truck. We predict that demand for this service will grow throughout 2021 as many organisations look to make green-focused decisions.

There you have it. While we appreciate that the global landscape is evolving frequently throughout the pandemic, we believe that these trends will have the biggest impact over the next 12 months and beyond.