At last year’s Fleet Forum Annual Conference, we took up vehicle pooling and vehicle sharing as a major mechanism for the shifts in fleet composition and fast greening of fleets. The concept is only further gaining traction with the rise in fuel costs.
A number of speakers led discussions in 2022 to summarize the advancements made during the previous 12 months. WFP makes use of its own internal Humanitarian Booking Hub. TerraMar's transport booking system is utilized by WHO. CLS is utilized by UNHCR in a vehicle sharing pilot among UN agencies in Lebanon. And just this year, Fleet Forum received funding from USAID to facilitate a vehicle sharing pilot among NGOs. We have also chosen to start in Lebanon, given the size of the territory, the simplicity of the road network and density of humanitarian organisations in a few locations. Already organisations such as IRC, ACF, ACTED, Terre Des Hommes, Solidarités International and Médicins du Monde are participating.
During the conference, they discussed their designs, implementations, and outcomes from the construction of these services at the Fleet Forum 2022 Conference. CLS in particular reported on the quantitative and qualitative benefits of the vehicle sharing pilot in Lebanon. Over 15 months of usage, with 11 UN agencies sharing vehicles, CLS estimated savings of USD 119k in total. Furthermore, an annual cost avoidance of USD 40k is achieved by avoiding the time spent to procure new vehicle and hiring driver.
The 4 key factors of cost avoidance are:
That vehicle sharing increases vehicle occupancy, reducing unnecessary trips
That vehicle sharing increases vehicle utilisation allowing agencies to make unused capacity to other agencies
That money spent on transportation is kept within humanitarian organisations, and not spent on taxis for example
That agencies only pay for the transportation when they need it
The relevance of organisational enablers, such as interagency agreements, a sound governance structure, as well as technical tools like vehicle monitoring and booking platforms were also mentioned as supporting elements needed for effective implementation.
Participants at the conference were eager to adopt other attendees' successful vehicle sharing strategies. The following are some key takeaways:
There are undeniable advantages like increased vehicle utilization, a decrease in fixed costs, and cost avoidance.
Technology not a key impediment for the concept; rather, the cooperation of the various implementing agencies is of utmost importance. A clear set of rules in the form of a MoU must be in place before vehicle sharing begins
Digitalizing data acquisition (such the vehicle logbook) can eliminate data entry errors and save time.
The implementation team must advocate strongly and successfully manage change for vehicle sharing to be successful. Inform upper management that the benefits exceed the disadvantages.
Data privacy and sensitivity will continue to be major topics of discussion among implementing agencies.
Fleet Forum’s Thoughts on Vehicle Sharing
The expanding number of carsharing programs is something that Fleet Forum applauds because it shows that the idea can work in a variety of operating contexts. We look forward to reporting on the outcomes of the NGO vehicle sharing pilot we are facilitating.
Wider implementation will only underline how significantly carsharing contributes to lowering carbon emissions and expenses. Any organisation planning to adopt fleet systems should pay close attention to how booking platforms are developing.