The most recent Motor Transport and Commercial Motor Hot Topic: Sector Insight 2022 survey was recently released, indicating that many fleet managers are planning to make investments in the year ahead.
1. Vehicle investment
75 per cent of the fleet operators surveyed said they would be investing in fleet vehicles. This is in contrast to figures collected in the same survey last year, which showed that investment in fleet vehicles was down 12 per cent compared with the new year’s numbers.
37 per cent of those asked reported that they would be purchasing new trucks, while 21 per cent of fleet managers were planning to purchase second-hand vehicles. Of those surveyed, operators reported that they intended to add an average of 10.2 new units to their fleets in 2022, building slightly on the 2021 figure of 9.4 units.
2. Staff investment
The second-largest area for investment in 2022 looks set to be staff recruitment and training, with 57 per cent of fleet managers choosing this as a priority. In October 2021, the BBC reported on the shortage of HGV drivers in the UK. This was due to a number of issues, including Covid-19 and Brexit.
Increasing staff wages is also a big area for investment, just behind recruitment and training. These figures are up considerably from last year’s and reflect the need to attract and retain skilled drivers in the face of a global shortage. The rise in numbers this year is understandable given the economic and global situation throughout 2021, with the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit causing supply chain and staffing shortages.
3. Costs in 2022
Fuel will remain a high cost for most fleet managers in 2022, with pricing impacted by various factors. In 2021, the factors included supply issues and a fuel shortage in September and October. Fuel prices may continue to vary, causing difficulties with forecasting and budgeting. Some of these costs and administration difficulties can be offset by utilising services such as Allstar fuel cards, which enable a company to be invoiced directly for fuel. Companies such as Fuel Card Services can support fleet managers with this.
Overall, 2022 looks set to be a year of potential growth, particularly with the online order sector remaining strong, and fleet operators have demonstrated that they are prepared to spend to maximise the opportunities available.