Fleet management provider Fleet Logistics has seen the size of its contracted fleet reach a record high of 137,000 vehicles, due largely to new European business from US-based companies.
Fleet Logistics, which was acquired by global certification giant, TÜV SÜD Group in 2012, is targeting a fleet size of 145,000 units by the end of this year, along with an enhanced product range and increased country scope.
The company now looks well set to easily beat its target for the year as there are almost five months remaining, as strong interest from both new and existing customers has fuelled growth at a faster than expected rate.
At the same time, Fleet Logistics has expanded into several Eastern European countries and goes live in Turkey later this month.
However, well-advanced plans for a new venture in Israel have been put on hold temporarily because of the current conflict in the Gaza Strip.
Fleet Logistics CEO, Rainer Laber (pictured), said that the growth in the contracted fleet was coming from both existing and new customers, and that those in the US with global businesses, including a strong presence in Europe, made up the largest proportion.
Laber said: “It is very important for us to achieve strong levels of growth and profitability through our contracted fleet, as it allows us to reinvest in the business and reinvest in its future.
“We are currently seeing around 60-70% of our growth coming from American companies with global businesses in a variety of industry sectors, including pharmaceutical, IT, food and drink, and engineering.
“They see the European market as one which is very complex with a host of different rules on tax, legal and financial issues but it is one where we are the local experts."
Expansion in Eastern Europe
Setting up offices in a host of several new countries in Eastern Europe, especially Poland, has also paid dividends.
Laber said: “With our presence in Poland, which is a very important fleet market for many of our customers, and in Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, we can provide extensive fleet management support across most of Eastern Europe, which is unique.
“This has been important for both new and existing clients in these countries as they have not had access to top level fleet management support there before.
“We are also actively looking at other areas including Brazil, South Africa and Japan using the footprint of our owner, TÜV SÜD. Our operation in Turkey goes live this month and we are ready to start in Israel.”
Interest in fleet consultancy
Fleet Logistics is currently seeing interest in its fleet consultancy proposition, led by Thibault Alleyn, director of fleet and mobility consulting, according to Laber, as companies look for guidance on setting the optimal fleet policy for their head office and the countries and regions in which they operated globally.
He said: “We are seeing increasing levels of engagement with companies which want fleet consultancy and advice on setting the optimal fleet policy. This is often around striking the correct balance between reducing the total cost of ownership and supplying attractive vehicles to attract and retain the right calibre of employees.
“We are well practised in working with the various stakeholders in internal departments, such as finance, HR and purchasing, to understand exactly what they want to achieve with their fleet policy, and then helping provide them with the best way of achieving it.
“We are currently looking at increasing our presence in the consulting arena and growing our consultancy proposition organically."
New driver app
In terms of the development of new technology, Fleet Logistics has just launched a new driver app to provide fleet drivers with access to all their vehicle details, mileage data, support services and other key information. This is one of several new product launches and IT enhancements the company has planned for this year.
“There has been a very positive reaction to the new driver app from our customers as they see that this new tool helps take our communication with drivers to another level," said Laber.
“This is most definitely not a gimmick but an important interactive solution which helps us to communicate directly with drivers. The drivers themselves deliver the information which optimises the customer’s fleet data, while the completed data forms the basis for cost-affecting decisions in the customer’s budgeting process.”