With low demand for gas and cheap crude prices due to COVID-19, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has been steadily declining. But on April 30th, that trend reversed course when the national average increased by a penny to $1.77 per gallon. For perspective, the average price was $1.79 per gallon in the third week of April, $2.01 near the end of March compared to $3.12 at the end of April 2019.
Driver and vehicle safety are a top concern for every fleet manager. Considering that $11 million is the average cost for a fatal accident, $500,000 for an accident with injuries, and $75,000 for accidents that cause damage, it’s easy to see why. And, there is the damage accidents can cause to a company’s public perception and employee morale. All of these costs can quickly add up quickly and negatively impact a company’s bottom line.
Tags: Fleet Management
The global economic fallout from COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation with ramifications across a wide range of markets, including energy and freight. Actions to combat the impact of the pandemic have intensified, resulting in supply chain disruptions, travel bans, and widespread lockdowns nationwide and around the world.
As a precaution to keep COVID-19 from spreading, companies nationwide are increasingly requiring employees to work from home and banning or limiting travel.
Given the economic, environmental, and bottom-line benefits that natural gas can provide, it makes good business sense that corporations have invested in natural gas to power their fleets. This past October, UPS announced it would add over 6,000 vehicles to its natural gas fleet beginning in 2020 and running through 2022. The vehicles will be equipped with compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems. This three-year commitment represents a hefty $450M investment in UPS’ expansion of their alternative fuel vehicle fleet and supporting infrastructure.
There’s no question that developing and controlling a fleet’s budget is a key responsibility of fleet managers. A fleet manager’s value is often measured by how well costs can be controlled or cut, which is no easy task. Costs can get out of hand and bust even the most carefully planned budget.
Love of the open road is the main reason behind the career choice for many truck drivers. But, for truck and fleet drivers who must navigate busy urban streets, the road is anything but open. It’s more like an obstacle course that makes driving in urban areas more dangerous than driving on the highway.
That’s because, in urban areas, drivers must watch out for multiple situations that can distract them from the road, distractions like:
- Drivers searching for parking spaces
- Unseasoned drivers who are unfamiliar with the area
Considering these situations, it’s no surprise that a 2016 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that, because of the number of vulnerable road users in cities, 72% of pedestrian fatalities and 68% of cyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas.
However, the good news for fleet managers is the driving dangers associated with urban areas can be minimized. Here’s how:
Fuel costs are one of the top operating expenses for utility fleets. For many, fuel costs can account for over half of a fleet’s operating budget. While this can be a “wake-up call” for fleet managers of any size utility fleet, it’s particularly one for larger fleets. Why? Because the larger the fleet, the faster fuel costs add up.
There’s no question that using fuel cards can provide fleets numerous benefits that you can’t get with traditional credit or debit cards. For starters, fuel cards are convenient for drivers to use. Most are accepted at nearly every gas station in the country.
Additionally, fuel cards can cut fuel expenses, reduce fraudulent charges, and provide accurate transactional records and reporting. In turn, it helps fleet managers track expenses, streamline administrative tasks, and control their fuel budget.
Tags: Fuel Card
As 2019 comes to a close, let’s take a look at how autonomous vehicles will transform the transportation industry, and the benefits they will provide your fleet. Plus, a look at the U.S. and global trends to keep on eye on that can affect fuel prices in 2020.
Tags: Industry News & Reports