Seven out of ten commercial fleet operators are predicting growth in the coming year, but cost control remains a primary concern for many.
That was the key finding of a survey from ExxonMobil, entitled Future of Fleets, which looked into the behaviours, concerns and predictions of senior managers at top commercial transportation companies across Europe.
Across all markets surveyed, 71% anticipated business growth in the next 12 months, with 48% predicting a significant increase of 11-30%.
However, several challenges were identified. In particular, 40% of respondents said tough economic conditions and volatile markets were the biggest threat to their business in the next five years. In addition, unpredictable fuel prices and factors such as increasing emissions regulations – including the 2020 EU Directive – were also high on the agenda.
In light of this, cost control – and specifically fuel efficiency – is in sharp focus, with 65% of those polled looking closely at fleet maintenance. Driver training and the use of telematics feature prominently in the drive for fuel efficiency. But only a third of respondents said they were using fuel-efficient lubricants.
“The long term potential of lubricants to help drive fuel efficiency remains untapped for many fleets,” said Maciej Marcinowski at ExxonMobil. “When choosing lubricants, almost 40% of those polled purchased the cheapest option available. And, when asked how lubricants are viewed within their business, 64% replied that they are seen as a cost that needs to be kept low. It’s important that the approach changes to viewing the purchase as an investment that may help save money in the long run.”