US-Based Companies Fuel Fleet Logistics Growth

Fleet Logistics has seen the size of its contracted fleet reach 137,000 vehicles, a new record and well ahead of the company’s ambitious growth target for 2014, due largely to new European business from US-based companies. Fleet Logistics, which was acquired by global certification giant, TÜV SÜD Group in 2012, is targeting a fleet size of 145,000 units by the end of this year, along with an enhanced product range and increased country scope.

The company now looks well set to easily beat its target for the year as there are almost five months remaining, as strong interest from both new and existing customers has fueled growth at a faster than expected rate.

At the same time, Fleet Logistics has expanded into several Eastern European countries and goes live in Turkey later this month. However, well-advanced plans for a new venture in Israel have been put on hold temporarily because of the current conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Fleet Logistics CEO, Rainer Laber, said that the growth in the contracted fleet was coming from both existing and new customers, and that those in the US with global businesses, including a strong presence in Europe, made up the largest proportion. “It is very important for us to achieve strong levels of growth and profitability through our contracted fleet, as it allows us to reinvest in the business and reinvest in its future.

“We are currently seeing around 60-70% of our growth coming from American companies with global businesses in a variety of industry sectors, including pharmaceutical, IT, food and drink, and engineering.

“It is increasingly obvious that we have become very attractive to American customers as we have an extensive European network and knowledge on both the automotive and leasing sides of the market. “And for companies that have extensive fleets outside of their American homeland, we are now the number one choice. They see the European market as one which is very complex with a host of different rules on tax, legal and financial issues but it is one where we are the local experts.

“Whenever I visit the US, I see that there is a lot of trust in us, especially as we are now backed by a huge global certification and automotive specialist with over 150 years of history,” he said.

Laber said that setting up offices in a host of several new countries in Eastern Europe, especially Poland, was also paying dividends. “With our presence in Poland, which is a very important fleet market for many of our customers, and in Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, we can provide extensive fleet management support across most of Eastern Europe, which is unique.

“This has been important for both new and existing clients in these countries as they have not had access to top level fleet management support there before.

“We are also actively looking at other areas including Brazil, South Africa and Japan using the footprint of our owner, TÜV SÜD. Our operation in Turkey goes live this month and we are ready to start in Israel,” he said.

Fleet Logistics is currently seeing huge interest in its fleet consultancy proposition, led by Thibault Alleyn, Director of Fleet and Mobility Consulting, said Laber, as companies looked for guidance on setting the optimal fleet policy for their head office and the countries and regions in which they operated globally.

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