How much money could be saved if the commercial fleets in the United States and Canada that are currently using fleet optimization software achieved optimal results from that technology? A whole lot: The annual savings in fuel usage alone for the 12.6 percent of fleets that currently use fleet telematics could exceed $2 billion, and an average 20-percent decline in drivers' hours on the road could produce a whopping $35 billion reduction in payroll costs—more than $14,000 per vehicle.
These are just two examples of the eye-popping numbers in the first "FleetBeat" report produced by Fleetmatics, a developer of on-board telematics solutions that provide visibility into vehicle location, fuel use, speed, and mileage. The report estimates the impact, by market segment, that fleet management software could have on such areas as fleet utilization, service/delivery stop performance, service radius, fuel consumption, and payroll, if every fleet of five or more vehicles that is using this type of technology achieved the same results as Fleetmatics' optimized customers.
The numbers cited above are somewhat skewed, since they include everything from the local plumber driving a Dodge van around town to heavy-duty highway trucks. And, of course, as a vendor of optimization software, Fleetmatics has an obvious stake in the results of the analysis. But the detailed report is carefully researched, and the benchmarks are based on five years of data from customers and third-party sources, including research firms and federal governments. Here are just a few samples of the average improvements Fleetmatics says its "optimized" customers have achieved in for-hire trucking and "specialty" transport, which includes private fleets:
The full report, which includes breakdowns by industry vertical, season, and region, is available free at www.fleetmatics.com/fleetbeatreport.
Editor's note: The original version of this article incorrectly said the potential savings cited in the first paragraph could be achieved if all commercial fleets in the United States and Canada implemented fleet optimization software.