4 Mar 19

Van delivery fleets seek technology solutions

Nearly one-in-three van fleets need help to adapt to the demands of e-commerce, according to a major new survey.

The accelerating pace of the online world, rapidly increasing customer expectations and rising regulation changes are presenting unprecedented challenges to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) involved in urban logistics, said the report commissioned by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi LCV business.

It questioned 3,257 business leaders around the world and found widespread consensus about the key issues confronting SMEs.

Almost one-in-five (18%) of business leasers said the pace of change and increasing demand for deliveries, due to e-commerce, has become the most significant business challenge that they face, while 11% cited urban traffic and congestion as a key concern.

Connectivity solutions

These businesses believe smarter technology holds the key to survival in the e-commerce world, and they are looking for connectivity solutions to communicate with clients to whom they are delivering, and to other vehicles.

Ashwani Gupta, senior vice president of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi LCV Business, said, “We’ve heard from business leaders themselves that prioritising smarter technology for fleets will help to reach their customers with increased speed and scale - factors that are becoming ever more crucial for survival in this space.”

EV forecasts

The survey also found that 20% of fleets expect to be fully electric within five years and 30% within 10 years, with environmental sustainability considered to be ‘very important’ by 48% of businesses with an annual turnover in excess of $100 million. This percentage halves to 25% for businesses with a turnover of $100k to $9.9m.

“The electrification of fleets is increasingly on the minds of our customers - not just for the financial efficiencies that EVs can deliver, but because environmental sustainability is clearly crucial to the future of their businesses. I’m impressed at how optimistic these fleet managers are about the speed in which their vehicles will be fully electrified,” said Gupta, who added that the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance will launch 12 new electric vehicles by 2022.

Autonomous vehicles

Building on technological developments, the survey also found that more than a third (37.6%) of businesses worldwide expect their vehicles to be fully autonomous within a decade.

Authored by: Jonathan Manning