TORONTO, Ont. – A majority of fleets believe that new technology poses the biggest challenge for the upcoming year, a recent survey by TD Bank has found.
More than half (52%) of those surveyed during the NAFA Fleet Management Association 2019 Institute and Expo cited the challenge.
“The transportation industry is on the brink of a major transformation,” said Anthony Sasso, head of TD Equipment Finance. “Traditionally, the industry has been defined by trucks and infrastructure, but the use of mobile devices, GPS and electronics have revolutionized logistics. To stay competitive, fleet managers need the capital or funding to upgrade and acquire modern equipment.”
Sixty-one percent of those who were surveyed believe that autonomous trucks will be a mainstream product within the next decade, increasing efficiencies and enhancing productivity. Forty-five percent would like to incorporate alternative fuels in the next three to five years, and 21% would embrace alternative fuel already but have found it to be cost-prohibitive.
Meanwhile, 84% of those surveyed expect to make “significant adjustments” to the makeup of their fleets to help customers deliver on promises for fast, convenient, and “free” deliveries. Specifically, 17% will invest in new asset classes to deliver to final destinations, and 33% expect to increase fleet sizes.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents expect shipping volumes to remain level or decrease.
When it comes to financing that equipment, 50% said they are more inclined to finance equipment through leasing, while 10% would prefer loans.
“Over the last few years, we have seen fleet management change dramatically, largely in part to technology advancements and changing consumer demands,” said Sasso. “Our clients are looking for greater flexibility so they can successfully meet consumer expectations, maximize efficiencies and manage demanding delivery schedules.”
The findings were based on 120 respondents who were surveyed during the NAFA I&E conference in Kentucky, held from April 16 to 17.