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Fleets told to prepare for next 'Covid-level' event

Date: 22 June 2021   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Managing the potential risk of a new event on the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic is to become an essential part of fleet management, an Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) event has heard.

ISS head of fleet Duncan Webb made the comments on the AFP's webinar 'Back to normal? A post Covid-19 landscape for fleet operators'.

He said that having formal documents covering that sort of eventuality was likely to soon become a prerequisite for winning new business.

Webb said: "Potential customers will probably want to see assessments of what would happen to your fleet supply chain as part of tender documents before they commit to working with you.

"Making sure that risks are better understood and managed, as well as how they would be handled in the event that anything like this happens again in the future, is going to be an ongoing part of vehicle management."

Webb said that the pandemic had changed the way he approached managing his fleet in several ways.

He said: "During lockdown, we saw a one-third reduction in accidents and we want that to continue, so we now have a plan of activity designed to achieve that objective, getting people back to work safely from the point of view of both driver and vehicle.

"Also, we don't want to return to the kind of overall mileages that we were seeing pre-Covid and we are looking to technology to help us do that, especially through the integration of fleet and travel functions. People will simply move around less in the future."

Webb added that he thought the effects of the pandemic had not yet been fully realised by fleets.

He said: "We are going to be living with Covid for a while yet. Personally, I think the direct effects on how fleets are operated will last at least another 12 months, with the impact working its way through the industry."