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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