Trucking Fleets List Operational Costs as Top 2024 Priority

Shell Fleet Solutions and NAFA Conducted Survey
Electric vehicle charging
Sixty-five percent of survey respondents noted achieving fleet sustainability goals as a key priority. (Shell via YouTube)

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The trucking industry cited total cost of ownership as its top concern for 2024, Shell Fleet Solutions and NAFA Fleet Management Association found in a survey June 27.

The Shell Fleet Solutions 2024 Fleet Trends Survey Results: Surprising Takeaways on How Fleet Stakeholders Spend Time and Energy survey found 89% of respondents viewed cost of ownership as the primary concern. That was followed by safety at 86% and efficiency management at 82%.

“Overall, the top results are what we would expect based on conversations we have with our customers and the current landscape of the fleet industry,” said Jim Perkins, director of Shell Fleet Solutions U.S. “Reducing overall costs, finding ways to be more efficient and fleet safety all scored high in the survey. These are the priorities and concerns that affect fleets daily.”

Perkins added that many are working to find avenues to run more streamlined fleet operations. The survey found that regarding sustainability, 81% of respondents view finding more efficient solutions a priority. It also noted 65% view reaching fleet sustainability goals as a key priority. That includes more than half of all respondents who said they will invest in initial or additional EVs over the next year. But the top three barriers fleet face are expenses, time and technology.

“The commitment to sustainability and electric vehicles had a strong showing on the survey, which is a sign that the fleet world is actively pursuing decarbonization efforts,” Perkins said. “The momentum towards decarbonizing the transportation industry sustainably isn’t going away anytime soon, which brings its own set of challenges for fleets. It is an exciting development challenge with plenty of room for opportunity.”

The survey also found that more than 71% agreed that economic and political factors were a top concern for their fleet this year both nationally and globally. That includes supply chain disruptions, inflation, recessions and sustainability mandates.

“We believe this shows the issues affecting fleets from the pandemic are still a factor,” Perkins said, “whether it’s supply chain issues, inflation or various local, state and federal mandates and policies that affect fleet operations, such as emissions standards.

“While there have been improvements in those key areas, many of our fleet customers are acutely aware of the costs of doing business.”

Perkins noted that customers are looking for opportunities to collaborate in the fleet management space to help them work through obstacles that might affect their total cost of ownership. The survey noted more than a third of fleet managers would find external support and advice helpful in the transition to new technologies and vehicle types.

“Many fleets would like to see a full-circle sustainable solution, from energy source to EV implementation,” said Chris Nolan, global key account manager at Shell Fleet Solutions. “But there are fleets where EVs don’t make sense right now, or they may need solutions like hybrid fleets. Whatever their sustainability need, we aim to find the right solution for fleets across our portfolio of products.”

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