Interviews
18 Dec 23

Nikolai Shalaev, TraXall: Bringing independent fleet management to Brazil

While global fleet and mobility management company Traxall International has just announced its acquisition of the Fleet Logistics Group in Europe, it is also working to expand its footprint in Latin America with an extra push in the region’s largest vehicle market, Brazil.

With approximately 400,000 contracts under management upon final regulatory approval of the acquisition, Traxall is considered Europe’s largest independent mobility & fleet management provider, now seeking to increase its recognition in Latin America with the help of Nikolai Shalaev who heads Brazil operations.

Compared to other Latin American countries and many of those in Europe, the Brazilian market is huge. “I see much potential in serving both our global clients as well as local companies.  As such, we have just successfully completed software adjustments to better fit Brazilian needs,” Mr. Shalaev told Fleet LatAm, the Latin America arm of Global Fleet.

Focused on offering integrated services to fit any fleet-related task, the UK-based firm operates in more than 35 countries worldwide (7+ in Latin America). Learn more about Mr. Shalaev, Traxall services, and the Brazilian market in our exclusive interview with the executive below.

Could you first start by telling us a little about your experience in the fleet management world?

I have been in the fleet management business since 2011, when we started to provide fleet management services in Russia under the local brand “Loftice”. Such services were quite new to the market at the time with the most common solution for clients being to employ a fleet manager or to delegate fleet management tasks to a facilities or HR manager. 

Some of the clients were suffering from issues such as ambiguous reporting, lack of driver communication, fraud, and inconsistencies in local and global fleet policies so we saw – and still see today - a huge potential for the ongoing demand for professional fleet management support for both local and international customers. 

When did Loftice become Traxall?

Loftice became Traxall Russia in 2017 and it has grown to be a major player on the Russian market, boasting some 12,000 managed vehicles which include a client portfolio of some of the biggest international brands. 

In 2020, our footprint expanded when we opened a new office in Almaty, Kazakhstan and now Traxall Russia provides services (both remotely and locally) to several countries in the region, including Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia, and Belorussia. 

Since the very beginning, I was in charge of business development and operations for the company. However, I received a tempting and challenging offer to head Traxall’s operations in Brazil in 2023 and that is where I am now.

Before we talk about Brazil, could you explain Traxall services and how they differ from other offerings in the market?

Sure, we are an independent fleet management outsourcing service provider. In general, the concept of the fleet management outsourcing model constitutes all internal operational issues related to fleet management to be organized, coordinated, and executed by Traxall. 

That means we support our customers with all fleet related issues, including vehicle ordering, maintenance, communication with the drivers, reporting, fines and fuel management, remarketing, among other things.  

We do not provide leasing services. What we do is manage the leasing contracts of our clients or help them choose a new supplier. We don’t offer fuel cards, but rather manage and control driver fuel spending and predict inconsistencies. 

We are not a workshop either. Instead, to relieve our clients from contract management, cost control and immersive daily communications, we offer them one invoice per month for all repair and maintenance works which are executed by our nationwide network of contracted workshops.

Basically, our goal is to provide professional solutions, process management, cost reduction, and reporting that suits the needs of each client. What we do is bring together the efforts of professionals from different segments as if we were internal fleet managers. Our dedicated fleet managers work both remotely and at the client’s offices.


TraXall international coverage area before the acquistion of Fleet Logistics Group and its Ovidrive partnership. An updated list will be available shortly. (courtesy of TraXall international)
 

Regarding fleet management in Brazil, another BRICS nation for you to tackle, what is lacking in the country and how can this be resolved? 

First of all, the Brazilian market is huge so there certainly is opportunity. Although there are many professional suppliers and elaborate IT solutions tailored to local needs, we still see a lot of customers who are suffering from a lack of professional management of their fleets. 

As the fleet industry involves a lot of expertise and proper processes and automation, companies need to elaborate customized solutions. However, one person taking on multiple roles or fully relying on leasing companies is not the best way to deal with it. 

Remember that the leasing business is about providing a vehicle, and not organizing the management of one’s fleet, a job which involves much more than just receiving, maintaining, and returning vehicles to the lessor. Considering this, we see a lot of companies seeking real support for their fleets as they are receiving driver complaints and suffering losses during the whole life cycle of their vehicles. 

As fleet management is a professional industry that hugely impacts the company’s budget, the environment, and the safety of its employees, companies need to implement appropriate solutions in each case. This is why an independent and professional fleet management supplier is extremely important when it comes to mitigating risks, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs.

Your Brazil headquarters are in Sao Paulo. How are things coming along?

Our office in Sao Paulo has actually been supporting our international accounts for a few years now, providing consultancy for Traxall’s global customers that have no active operations locally. However, since 2022, interest in our fleet management services has been increasing nationwide.  

As such, we are seeing much fleet management potential for both our global clients and local companies. And now with the latest news of the Fleet Logistics acquisition by Traxall International, we see demand increasing in Europe and in turn, Brazil.

Finally, what can we expect from Traxall in 2024?  

To be a professional partner for our clients, we need to take advantage of our global expertise, but we also need to gain knowledge of the local market. 

Therefore, I am happy to announce that we have formed a strong and professional team which is committed to delivering and translating our values to our customers. Moreover, just this year (2023), we have successfully finished the process of further adjusting our software to fit the local needs in Brazil.

Lastly, besides supporting companies in need of fleet management solutions, another important goal of Traxall is to become a trusted independent partner for suppliers (telematics, maintenance, fuel, fine management, and leasing providers, etc.). 

Therefore, we are continuously building relationships and constructing IT system connections with key players in the fleet market so that our clients get the best available option for their fleets.

I see 2024 as the year of boosting growth for Traxall Brazil and beyond, both in terms of the volume of managed vehicles and the ongoing growth of our professional excellence.

Photo: Nikolai Shalaev (handout)

Authored by: Daniel Bland
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