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Car Pooling: 2 Case Studies, Fleet Forum Annual Conference 2023


The first afternoon of our conference kicked off with a breakout session with two compelling case studies on carpooling initiatives by Stefano Nicolai, Global Passenger Mobility & Carpooling Manager at World Food Programme, and Cyril Pierrot, Project Manager at Fleet Forum. Both initiatives share the same goals but utilise different approaches to achieve outcomes.


The case studies highlighted the growing traction, benefits, and challenges of carpooling (also known as vehicle sharing) in different countries and contexts.


The session highlighted the importance of increasing vehicle passenger occupancy rates and reducing the number of vehicles on the road.


Two different approaches


WFP Global Shared Services

Stefano showcased UN Mobility, the passenger mobility and carpooling solution of the UN booking hub and the key role that the first location Nigeria, played in the development of the solution.


This digitalised and innovative booking hub transportation service and the Global Shared Service (GSS) is already in use by 12 UN agencies, 85 agencies at local level, with 21 carpooling operations worldwide. The system has data showing proven results and the GSS is ready to be scaled up and availability expanded.


The key benefits of external delivery (carpooling) using the system include:

1. Larger common fleet

2. Fleet optimisation

3. Significant cost and emission reductions


Nigeria was the first location for UN Mobility that sparked a transformational effort across the UN. Nigeria has continued providing feedback which was crucial in evolving the solution. Nigeria then led the way in carpooling and was vital in building interagency partnerships. The result, Nigeria will now pioneer carpooling with armoured vehicles.


NGO Carpooling Initiative, Lebanon

Last year Cyril Pierrot, Project Manager at Fleet Forum discussed the traction vehicle sharing was having andintroduced our pilot programme in Lebanon. There are now eight organisations, including Action Against Hunger, Médecins du Monde, Terre Des Hommes Lausanne, Solidarités International, ACTED, CONCERN, World Vision International, and the Danish Refugee Council, signed up to the carpooling initiative, with a memorandum of understanding (moU) in place to outline minimum requirements.


When analysed, the total cost per trip of a van over one month from Beyrouth to Zahle shows an impressive 65% cost saving per trip when pooling.


The data showed there is undoubtably many positive impacts that come from vehicle sharing including reducing costs enabling funds to be directed to beneficiaries. However, of course there are also challenges.


(embed YouTube video in the article : LEBANON: rethinking how we operate)


Obstacles and Lessons Learned


Implementing a vehicle sharing model in the humanitarian sector has not been without its challenges. One of the most significant hurdles faced and discussed by both Stefano and Cyril is change management. Our keynote speaker from day two of our conference Niels van Quequebeke - Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour at Kühne Logistics University offers expertise in effectively managing change.


Other challenges include accountability to donors, ownership concerns, safety and security, fleet management, and solutionism “we need a solution now that’s ready to use, we will wait and see if it works”.


Thanks to our collaboration with Hulo we will not only continue the program in Lebanon but also initiate a new project in the Central African Republic, funded by ECHO, until the end of 2024. This expansion further highlights the recognition of the positive impact of vehicle sharing on environmental sustainability in humanitarian operations.


Despite the challenges vehicle sharing remains a very powerful tool for humanitarian organizations to combat climate change and ensure that their own operations align with their mission. With a gradual approach you can start carpooling with minimal resources before scaling up to maximise efficiencies and benefits.


Find out more:

  • We are scaling up in Lebanon, make sure your agency joins the 8 partners already reducing costs and environmental emissions by reaching out to Cyril.Pierrot@fleetforum.org

  • We are about to kick-off in CAR, contact Rose.van.steijn@fleetforum.org to make sure your agency pioneers vehicle sharing in Bangui.


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