Maintaining your fleet during COVID and beyond

Over the last few months, we’ve seen an incredible reliance on fleet vehicles around the UK during the coronavirus pandemic. Not only have they helped to keep the public informed by communicating essential safety messages, but they’ve also helped to feed the nation, delivering food to the most vulnerable in our society as well as fulfilling our consumer spending habits. However, our reliance on fleet vehicles is in no way over yet. There is still a general nervousness about going back to ‘normal’ and many are continuing to shield, making delivery fleet vehicles essential. So, during this time and beyond, it’s important to continue to maintain your fleet vehicles, take advantage of your owned advertising media space and consider the ways in which you can reduce their environmental impact as they maintain their prominence on UK roads.

Keep your messaging relevant

The situation around coronavirus has changed rapidly over the last few months. Naturally, this has meant that messaging and advice has needed to be adapted at the same speed too. For brands like Tesco, this meant that its fleet media needed to be updated with social distancing messaging or perhaps information around delivery slots. More recently, we’ve seen some retailers share a personal ‘Thank you’ to the NHS and key workers for their efforts throughout the pandemic through the use of their fleet, with Asda’s colourful campaign launching in June. However, in some cases, updating messaging at speed can be costly and can create a lot of banner waste, something that those organisations focusing on green efforts will be hoping to avoid.

The solution? In 2019, we launched our double-sided changeable vehicle banners, powered by Agripa. For fleets, this means a lower cost solution (saving up to a third of the cost) that also involves less downtime meaning heightened levels of efficiency, something that we recognise is incredibly important during this time. These banners can be used on commercial vehicles ranging from HGV’s and trucks to home delivery vans, transit vans and Luton vans, so they can be tailored for use across your fleet. This means that you can keep your customers and communities engaged and safe through frequent, relevant message changes.

Reduce your carbon footprint

In March, Tesco recruited an additional 7,500 van drivers and product pickers to support its mission to feed the nation. More recently, Aldi partnered with Deliveroo to offer home delivery to hundreds of shoppers for the first time, with the view to roll this out across 875 of its UK stores if it proved successful. Plus, as well as the essential food shop, wider online shopping transactions surged by 129% across the UK and Europe as many practised social distancing and adhered to lockdown rules. As a result, Hermes announced that it is creating more than 10,000 through a £100m investment and it is seeking a further 9,000 self-employed couriers to bolster delivery capacity. As online consumer spending trends are set to continue, this will mean that delivery fleets like Hermes, DPD and more will continue to have a heavy presence on the roads, undoubtedly impacting air pollution levels. In line with the UK government’s net zero emissions target for 2050, many may now be asking what they can do to ensure that they are reducing their carbon footprint moving forward. This is particularly relevant now as the conversation around the positive environmental impact of COVID-19 continues, with research showing that emissions savings have dropped to 16% from 36% during lockdown alone. DPD is leading the way and has already reached its 2020 target for 10% of its van fleet to be electric vehicles. With over 130 EVs on the road and close to five million emission free parcels delivered, it has already saved over two million kilograms of CO2. However, what if fleets could take this one step further?

The solution?

At Gardners, we have recently launched a ‘pollution eating’ speciality coating called ReactivAir. As NASA-developed technology, it is made from naturally occurring materials, purifying the air by using energy from natural sunlight to breakdown harmful pollutants and odour molecules in the air surrounding the area. Results from Sheffield University show one square meter of ReactivAir can take out about 2g of NOx per day. This means that a single banner can remove the pollution generated from a bus or about 20 cars every single day. If the majority of fleet vehicles were able to utilise this resource, it could be game-changing for air quality, especially for some of the UK’s most polluted areas. If you could clean the air while your fleet remains on the road, why wouldn’t you

Our UK-wide reliance on fleet is set to continue over the next few months as businesses and individuals begin to navigate COVID-19 recovery. As online shopping continues to surge and grocery home deliveries remain a popular choice for consumers, preparation is key. This means taking advantage of your biggest asset, your owned advertising media space, ensuring you have the most relevant messaging at all times with a cost-effective option, as well as reducing the impact on air pollution levels. Let us help. If you would to speak to us about your fleet requirements, please contact us today at: hello@gardners.co.uk