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22 Sep 21

Finding the right fleet management balance in Latin America

Latin America is a huge region with different aspects to consider in terms of optimising fleet management so knowing the right way to balance these differences is key, according to the founding partners of the most recent Fleet LatAm Conference.

 The world is more connected than ever before and knowing what our neighbors are doing is key to optimisation. Fleet manageres need to recognize fleet success in other countries, according to Eduardo Canicoba (pictured top left) who is AVP for Business Developement in Latin America for IoT and telematics firm Geotab

“Although success abroad may not always be applicable in Latin America, they actually are in most cases. You first need to understand the local differences and then know what really can be put together in the country you are working in,” Mr. Canicoba said in the final session of the digital conference which took place on Tuesday (21 September).

Transportation is a large concern in much of Latin America so many countries have large fleets in the region and it is difficult to capture all the necessary information if you are not paying attention, said Alexandre Valadão (pictured top right) who is Commercial Director in Brazil for vehicle leasing and mobility management company ALD Automotive.

"When it comes to full-service leasing, markets are maturing at different levels throughout the region. Moreover, aspects such as car policy and funding methods may be different but fleet harmonization can be accomplished if you put in some work. In Latin America, we still have more steps to take, but the market is maturing,” said Mr. Valadão.

For harmonization, the collection and analyzation of data is needed, and this also means knowing your return on investment on these actions. Telematics can help optimize vehicle maintenance and fuel usage, address safety issues aimed at reducing injuries, and prepare for a more electrified fleet. It is more than just vehicle tracking, said Mr. Canicoba.

Data not only helps with costs, but with managing driver behavior. Remember that it is more of what you do with the data then the actually collecting of it, added Mr. Valadão.

Latam Trends

Among the trends Mr. Canicoba sees in Latin America today are last-mile vehicles for the delivery of food, medicine and other goods, vehicle rental and leasing, and electric vehicles (EV) which he really sees as a matter of public health. And according to the executive, Geotab solutions can support all of these trends.

Yes, electrification is growing in Latin America, but it is maturing at different levels throughout the region, said Mr. Valadão. While it is happening faster in countries like Mexico and Colombia, the transition to electrification is slow in countries such as Brazil.

There are no firm government targets aimed at electrifying but companies across the board are working on it as they are looking for sustainable solutions, and I see Brazil being in a different place in a few years.

For Mr. Valadão, shared mobility is the trend to look out for, especially in large cities with traffic issues such as Sao Paulo, Bogota, Mexico City, and Lima. Better mobility helps companies as a whole and not only the fleet drivers, according to the executive who highlighted that ALD Automotive is currently working on an EV sharing project in Brazil.

Today and Tomorrow

With a focus on supporting fleet managers in their transition to a regional or more international fleet approach in Latin America, both executives stated that their companies have been experiencing growth in the region in the past few years, and this includes the entry of Geotab into Brazil in 2021.

Both also confirmed that Latin America commonly faces crises, but the locals know how to adapt and deal with them. Yes, the region goes through a lot of ups and downs, but we are always preparing for new alternatives, they said.

“Believe in the importance of data and understand its value. Once you know this, build analytics on top of that and develop the right decisions based on this information” said Mr. Canicoba.

“Remember that Latin America is a large region with different levels of maturity and individual characteristics. When it comes to harmonizing your fleet policy, it is crucial to develop the right balance first, and then create an appropriate action plan,” said Mr. Valadão.

Fleet LatAm team

Also present during the Fleet LatAm Conference were Pascal Serres (bottom left) who is Chairman of the Fleet LatAm Business Networking Group and Daniel Bland (bottom center) who is Fleet LatAm Editor, both of which gave presentations on the current scenario of Latin America. They were joined by Steven Schoefs (bottom right), Editor-in Chief of Fleet LatAm and Global Fleet and host of the Fleet LatAm Conference.

Thank you to all who participated and to all of our partners!

Authored by: Daniel Bland