How Coronavirus is impacting Fleet Managers
As the Coronavirus evolves, Fleet Forum surveyed member and partner organisations from 26 March to 2 April, to get a pulse on the aid and development sector’s response and preparedness. We received over 40 responses from approximately 15 organisations. The results are shared below.
Transport demand has significantly dropped
89% of the survey respondents from aid & development organisations face a delay in programmes as a result of preventive measures of governments. Many organisations report the majority of their vehicles and drivers being idle, as a result of this.
Access to mission-critical goods has also been significantly impacted due to supply chain disruptions.
There is full focus on preparing for Coronavirus response
All fleet managers reported that they are currently re-evaluating their priorities for 2020, based on their country programme’s response plan. Research, strategy projects and capacity building activities that require face-to-face interaction have been put on hold for the next 3-6 months.
The current focus is on programmatic activities that have been deemed critical and preparing for the Coronavirus response.
Survey respondents provided examples of actions they are taking to prepare their organisation:
Establishing and communicating cleaning / disinfecting procedures
Securing PPE for drivers and passengers
Grounding and storing vehicles in a safe manner
Procuring ambulances (for those who are setting up Coronavirus-related programmes)
Fleet Forum will be actively support organisations in these unpredictable times:
We have posted a range of fleet management resources to protect staff and vehicles as well as gear up for an outbreak response
We will run a series of short ‘Corona-themed’ webinars that support Fleet Managers in their preparation and execution of effective fleet management during the Coronavirus response.
Fleet management will become more complex
In the mid-term to long-term, as the Coronavirus takes a hold in countries of operation, fleet managers are anticipating the following challenges:
Learning how to transport patients
Shortage of spare parts leading to vehicles being inoperational for longer periods of time
Increase in transport costs, as service providers (rental companies, workshops etc.) will increase their fees to incorporate the costs of implementing new hygiene standards
Fleet suppliers are also dealing with Coronavirus
Fleet Forum also surveyed suppliers to the sector (vehicles manufacturers, tracking and fleet management system providers etc). At the time of completing the survey, suppliers reported that Coronavirus has not had a negative impact on their ability to provide service to the sector. The majority of their staff have switched to working from home. For physical activities that must continue, new protocols have been enforced to ensure the safety of their staff.
Fleet managers are remaining positive and identifying opportunities
As part of the survey, we also asked fleet managers to consider the opportunities. Over 50% will be using this time to build their capacity, by getting comfortable with remote technologies and participating in online trainings.
If the travel restrictions continue, 76% of the survey respondents anticipate they would have more time to participate in virtual activities.
Fleet Forum recognises this is a challenging time for our fleet managers. Though our training activities, we have been actively advocating for the recognition of fleet management as a management profession.
Therefore, we will be offering Virtual Fleet Management trainings, so that middle managers and specialists who oversee transport in aid and development contexts can use this time effectively to build their capacity.