Learning Zone

The digital world: how to prepare your delivery fleet for an increase in demand

By Ellen Sowerby
24 June 2021

It’s no secret that the shift to online shopping has been significantly expedited in the past year. While this is mostly due to the pandemic, it’s a trend that’s predicted to continue. In fact, reports indicate that global e-commerce sales will rise to 19.5% this year, which is a 45.8% increase in e-commerce market share over the past 2 years.

fleet driver delivering a parcel to a customer, with the delivery fleet vehicle behind him

With more and more customers discovering the convenience of online shopping and speedy home delivery, how can your delivery fleet keep up with the demands of a digital world?

The right tools for the job

When it comes to choosing vehicles for your delivery fleet, it’s worth weighing up all your options. There’s no point in opting for a HGV that comes at a higher cost to purchase and maintain when a van could do the job. Consider things like the average size of your deliveries and journey distance to ensure your vehicles give you the best MPG.

It’s also important to consider the type of fuel your vehicles use. If your delivery vehicles are generally travelling around urban areas, then a fleet of electric or hybrid vehicles could be right for you – and you could even benefit from local green energy initiatives. If your fleet needs to go further afield and carry heavier loads, then a high-energy fuel like diesel could be a better choice for fuel efficiency.

Keep your fleet costs low by integrating telematics and fuel cards with your fleet management software to track fuel costs and driving efficiency.

Consider the season

It’s vital to plan ahead for big shopping seasons. Christmas, Valentine’s Day and other holidays can prove perilous if you’re not prepared. Ensure you’ve scheduled enough drivers and have enough vehicles available to keep up with the demands of the season.

Using fleet maintenance software can help you stay on top of your vehicle maintenance, with automated reminders making it easy to keep your fleet at full health and reduce the risk of downtime.

Plan your route

Your customers expect their deliveries to arrive on time. Use telematics to avoid delays by planning the most efficient routes for your drivers and cutting out areas of high traffic and other roadblocks.

You can also integrate your telematics with your fleet management software for full insight into your data, allowing you to generate reports that help you plan for the future.

Be realistic

The notion of same day delivery might seem fantastic, but for most businesses it isn’t a viable option just yet. Offering services you can’t keep up with puts pressure on your operations, disappoints your customers and increases the chances of mistakes and accidents happening.

Be realistic when it comes to last mile delivery and deliver on a timescale you can manage, to keep your team and customers happy.

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