Key takeaways from the 2021 Global Fleet Conference

We all know it: global fleet management is hard. However, as I listened to the insights and best practices of everyone at the 2021 Global Fleet Conference on 2 December, another thought struck me.

My main takeaway from what was said by all those industry leaders and award-winning fleet managers, is that above all, global fleet management is vibrant – more confident and high-performing than ever before. Below, my takeaways from each of the conference’s five topics.

Over 500 global and regional decision makers of the Fleet & Mobility ecosystem registered for the virtual Global Conference. That strong attendance underlines two things: on the one hand, the amplitude of the business itself; and on the other, the enthusiasm and willingness of the fleet managers and the industry at large. More than ever, they are willing to adopt new solutions and business practices to secure global fleet efficiency in 2022.

As the conference’s theme, we held out an umbrella labelled ‘The world in 2022: a fascinating snapshot’. Under that umbrella huddled five key topics. Here’s what I learned from each of them:

Carbon-Neutral Targets

  • All multinational companies have now set clear carbon-neutral targets that are embedded in the CSR strategy. These targets have not been changed due to the pandemic.
  • It was made abundantly clear that overall corporate carbon neutral target goals can only be achieved if the fleet also contributes.
  • Fleets do this in first instance by introducing electric vehicles where they can, and if the offer is sufficient and cost-attractive.

Global EV Adoption

  • EV adoption is accelerating exponentially. Increasingly, fleets have concrete targets for electrifying 50% or even 100% of their global fleet by 2030.
  • The main obstacle: regional differences in EV market maturity. The recommended solution: a well-considered, step-by-step approach, probably starting in Europe.
  • While it’s not realistic to turn today’s global fleets totally electric everywhere, the electrification journey across all regions should start now.

Global Policy Design

  • A step-by-step approach is also paramount when designing and rolling out a global fleet strategy. Not just in terms of process, where you absolutely need top management buy-in and a continuous internal stakeholder management. But also in terms of practicality, as no market or region is the same.
  • However, it is feasible to establish global guidelines and translate them to regional and local market realities. Think Global, act Local.
  • A useful tool for this: the newly-launched Global Fleet Marketplace, the new worldwide RFI and search engine for Fleet & Mobility. Here you can identify any product, service or vendor across the globe. All this with a goal to simplify procurement processes.

Value of Connectivity

  • To ensure you know what you can and must do, of course you need facts and insights. And digital tools and connected technology can be of immense support here.
  • Not only in delivering you data but also in prioritising global and regional fleet actions which, as we have seen, will result in savings, in increased safety, and in a more sustainable fleet. Also at global level.

Autonomous

  • Connected technology is also a key driver of autonomous transportation, a topic that is developed, tested and piloted across all regions.
  • We have seen that for fleet managers it’s a topic still on the horizon, but one that can deliver value in the near future, once the safety and liability aspects are set.

Once again thanks to all participants, speakers, and sponsors for having supported the Global Fleet Conference. And don't forget that our 2022 Global Fleet Conference will take place live again, in Rome, Italy from 16 to 18 May! You can pre-register on the event website

Authored by: Steven Schoefs