Update: Key Bridge Rebuilding Progress

What is vehicle fleet management?

A complete guide to managing, tracking and shipping fleet vehicles

When it comes to managing a fleet of vehicles, does your company run like a well-oiled machine — or do you experience frequent breakdowns along the way? 

When every mile counts, you can’t afford to let ineffective fleet vehicle management cut into your profits and jeopardize the service you offer to your customers.

Fleet vehicle management can transform your business, enabling you to optimize one of your company’s biggest assets. It’s essential for modern businesses with corporate fleets, whether you’re a small catering company with a few delivery vans or a national logistics corporation with a fleet of thousands. With the right fleet management strategy, you can minimize downtimes and improve efficiency to drive profitability for your business.

Explore this comprehensive guide to corporate fleet management and learn how to use it effectively for business success.

Table of contents

01

What is vehicle fleet management?

Whether you oversee five company vehicles or 5,000, it’s essential to know how to manage a fleet effectively. As you might have guessed, that’s where fleet management comes in.

What is Fleet Vehicle Management

But what is fleet management, exactly?

Simply put, it’s the tools and processes you use to oversee fleet operations for a company or an organization.

Usually, a fleet describes five or more vehicles used for business purposes, but the definition can vary by state or insurance company. In Pennsylvania, for example, a business must have at least 15 vehicles to qualify for fleet account registration.

A fleet can include cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks, or it may consist of a combination of different vehicles. Some companies may also have utility trailers, machinery, and even private planes in their fleets. In other words, nearly anything with wheels can be part of a fleet.

Who needs fleet management?

If you’re wondering whether you need fleet management for your business, the answer is: probably.

Fleet management is a core operation for businesses that use vehicles to provide services, deliver goods, or transport people or cargo.

For businesses large and small, fleet vehicle management goes beyond keeping track of the vehicles you use. At its core, it focuses on finding ways to make the vehicles in your fleet more efficient and profitable for your company.

“Fleet management isn’t just about managing vehicles,” says Diana Zheng, head of marketing for Stallion Express, a shipping company for e-commerce sellers in the United States and Canada. “It’s about optimizing resources, meeting compliance requirements, improving safety, and providing exceptional service.”

Here’s just a small sampling of some businesses that can benefit from fleet management:

02

What does a fleet management company do?

While vehicle fleet management may have a simple definition, it involves many components.

Just think about all the costs and responsibilities that come with owning a personal vehicle — from registration to insurance to fuel and maintenance.

What does a fleet management company do?

As you can imagine, all these components become magnified (and much more complicated) when you’re responsible for an entire fleet of vehicles.

Managing a fleet is a complex undertaking for many businesses, which is why some choose to partner with a fleet management company. This company is an outside partner that manages fleet operations for businesses and organizations.

A fleet management company may be responsible for some or all of the following elements:

03

Fleet management services:

a comprehensive list

Does your business or organization fall within one of the categories mentioned above? If so, it’s time to get serious about fleet management.

Fleet Management Services

The first step, of course, is to recognize that you need a comprehensive strategy for maintaining your fleet vehicle operations.

Once you know what you need, you have some options for corporate fleet management. Some companies choose to handle fleet vehicle management in-house, while many businesses outsource this process to fleet companies. In addition, fleet management software can be a helpful tool to track, manage, and optimize your company’s vehicles.

A one-stop fleet management service commonly includes these features, among others:

Vehicle title & registration

Managing a fleet comes with a unique set of considerations compared to owning a personal vehicle. Not only do you need to choose the right vehicles to add to your fleet, but you need to register, license, and insure each one — and keep everything up-to-date year after year. A fleet management service like Reindeer Premier Solutions can handle title, registration and renewals.

Vehicle storage

While not every company needs a fleet management service to cover storage, it’s a critical component for many businesses. It’s also important to note that not all fleet vehicle management companies handle vehicle storage, so you will have to do your due diligence before choosing one. If you think you may need vehicle storage, Reindeer Premier Solutions can ship your fleet vehicles to one of our storage facilities located throughout the country.

Whether you need storage for seasonal demand, surplus inventory, or just temporary storage while a vehicle is undergoing maintenance or repairs, a fleet management service can provide that solution for your business.

Maintenance

Speaking of maintenance, a fleet management provider can keep your company’s vehicles running in peak condition. Maintenance can include many types of services and repairs, such as oil changes, collision repair, tire replacement and glass repairs/replacements. With this maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of vehicles in your fleet, minimize the risk of breakdowns, and prevent costly repairs. Bestpass has a wonderful article on The Importance of Preventive Fleet Maintenance.

Fleet tracking (Telematics)

A fleet management company typically uses plug-in devices to collect data through telematics to optimize the fleet. Telematics can track a variety of factors, including a vehicle’s location, speed, and performance. Using this information, it’s easier to manage routes for increased efficiency and driver productivity. In addition, a complete tracking system (telematics) can help you keep tabs on your vehicles when you’re transporting them from one location to another.

Drivier safety

Part of fleet tracking/telematics can also include monitoring a driver’s behavior to improve safety. Fleet management software can evaluate drivers based on their speed and braking style. With this data, you can provide feedback to drivers to make sure they’re operating vehicles safely and responsibly. Additionally, this data can be useful after an accident to determine what happened and file insurance claims quickly.

A complete driver safety program also includes fleet policy consultation, MVR checks, driver training, driver risk evaluations, and more.

Check out these resources for driver safety tips:
1. Tips for Truck and Bus Drivers
2. Responsible driver safety tips

Fuel management

It’s no secret that average gas prices can fluctuate wildly from week to week. For companies with fleets, fuel costs can quickly balloon out of control without a clear strategy in place. Fleet management software can help track fuel usage and costs, providing valuable insights into trends and inconsistencies. This information can help you manage fuel costs more effectively.

EV charging

As many fleets continue to electrify, your company may transition to an EV fleet next! When this day comes, EV charging will become a central part of your fleet management strategy. At Reindeer Logistics, we have an executive team that has built multiple EV supply chains and solutions with experience in shipping and storing 30,000+ EVs. If you decide to go electric, partner with an industry expert that can make sure your EVs are charged and ready when you need them. At Reindeer Logistics, we are a one-stop-shop for all your transportation, storage, and charging of EVs.

04

Do I need fleet vehicle management?

Pros and cons

When used effectively, fleet management ensures a company’s vehicles run safely, operate on time, and stay within budget. In other words, fleet management is absolutely essential if your business has vehicles it uses for its operations.

If you’re on the fence about whether it can benefit your business, consider these advantages of fleet vehicle management:

Do I need Fleet Management

Maintain compliance

Whatever size or type of fleet you manage, it’s imperative to remain compliant with local, state, and federal regulations. In the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency within the Department of Transportation (DOT), sets laws for commercial motor vehicles. Depending on your fleet makeup and where you operate, these regulations can include limits for how many hours a driver can be on the road and requirements for completing vehicle inspections.

Corporate fleet management can be a vital part of driver tax compliance as well. There are laws around the personal use tax benefit of driving a corporate fleet vehicle. And a fleet management company can provide a system for your drivers to report their mileage and stay in compliance with federal regulations. 

The last thing you want to do is risk breaking these rules, even unintentionally. Fleet management can provide a record of vehicle inspections and fleet maintenance services, proving compliance in the case of an audit or an insurance claim. Additionally, it can protect a company from fines and penalties that can threaten its reputation and result in expensive legal fees.

“Fleet management has a significant impact on compliance and industry standards,” says Zheng of Stallion Express. “Whether tracking driver behavior or monitoring vehicle maintenance schedules, fleet management helps businesses stay compliant and avoid costly fines and penalties.”

Lower fuel costs

If you groan at the high gas prices when filling up your own vehicle, you understand the importance of fuel management for fleets. Fluctuating gas prices, especially when they trend upward, can prove costly when you have multiple vehicles to manage.

A fuel management solution tracks fuel purchases to help you analyze fuel spending and detect fraud. A proactive program can also control costs through route planning, driver behavior, and choosing the right vehicles for your fleet.

When you have fuel data at your fingertips, you can quickly make adjustments to minimize usage and lower costs as much as possible.

“Companies can significantly reduce fuel costs by optimizing routes and minimizing idle time,” Zheng says.

Enhance safety

If you oversee a fleet, you have a vested interest in the safety of the drivers and vehicles you manage. Fleet management can become a central part of your company’s safety policies. Through technology, you can get real-time feedback about risky driving habits and vehicle performance. By tracking this data, you can implement targeted driver training to address unsafe behaviors and perform maintenance to keep vehicles working safely.

Even with stringent safety policies in place, accidents can happen. When they do, having a fleet management company by your side can often speed up the process, ensure your vehicles are repaired correctly and at the appropriate price, and provide valuable support to your drivers, allowing them to get back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.

Provide better customer service

The best way to make your business stand out from the competition is by providing customer service that goes above and beyond. With a fleet management provider, you can improve customer service by ensuring you make on-time deliveries each and every time. Plus, with a real-time fleet tracking system, you can offer up-to-the-minute expected arrival times, building trust with the customers you serve.

For Zheng, whose business depends on accurate, timely shipments, fleet management can make all the difference.

“Fleet management directly impacts customer service by increasing delivery velocity and speed,” she says. “Real-time monitoring and optimized routing enable businesses to deliver accurate end-to-end addresses and proactive updates to customers, resulting in greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.”

Cons of fleet management

With all the benefits of fleet management, you might wonder whether there are any downsides to it. For the most part, businesses can benefit significantly from partnering with a fleet management company. However, as with any new system or process, it can have a few disadvantages, including:

Upfront cost:

While fleet vehicle management can go a long way toward reducing costs in the long term, the initial vehicle acquisition cost may seem daunting. But it doesn't have to be. Contact Reindeer Logistics for help.

Learning curve:

Any time you start using a new software or service, there’s a learning curve involved. That’s why it can be beneficial to work with a partner that can help you implement and oversee your fleet management program.

FAQs about vehicle fleet management

Do you have even more questions about fleet management? Learn the answers to some other frequently asked questions below.

Fleet management can serve many purposes, but essentially, it’s a way to optimize your company’s fleet operations. Fleet vehicle management can also enhance safety, lower overall costs, and ensure compliance.

Fleet telematics is the technology used to  track vehicles in a fleet. The system gathers data including location, driver behavior, engine diagnostics and vehicle activity. Real-time fleet tracking can help you plan efficient routes and stay on schedule, check the status of your vehicle relocation or better inform customers about delivery times.

Fleet managers face many challenges in their jobs. They must source the right vehicles for their fleet, determine vehicle maintenance schedules, stay up-to-date on insurance and registration renewals, and meet complex compliance requirements — all while finding ways to minimize expenses and save money. Other challenges, like fuel costs and market fluctuations, are often completely outside of their control.

With so many factors and challenges to consider, many companies turn to fleet management solutions to handle this part of their business. Partnering with a fleet management company can relieve many burdens associated with managing and maintaining fleets.

Many companies don’t have the expertise or infrastructure to handle fleet management on their own. In this case, they outsource the process to a fleet management company. When choosing a fleet management partner for your business, consider the following factors:

  • Experience: Choose a provider that has robust experience in all areas of fleet management and corporate transportation.
  • Services: A good fleet management company isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, select a provider that offers customized solutions to provide the services you need. Whether it’s vehicle acquisition and maintenance, or EV charging and fuel management, you should be able to choose from an a la carte menu of services.
  • Customer Service: Ask a potential provider about the type of support they offer for their clients. When you call with a question or concern, will you be put on hold with an automated system, or can you expect to receive personalized service and responsive communication?

Partner with Reindeer Logistics for fleet vehicle solutions

If you’re looking for the right fleet management provider for your small business, company, or organization, we can help. At Reindeer Logistics, we specialize in offering customized services for corporate fleets. Our end-to-end service delivery solutions keep your fleet covered at every mile, with services ranging from registration and inspections to vehicle storage and maintenance to EV charging and management. We’ll work with you to determine what your business needs to optimize your fleet operations, providing solutions that drive results and boost your bottom line.

We’ve been a leader in the domestic, international, and freight of any kind (FAK) industry since 1997, moving over 500,000 vehicles across the United States and Canada. We are a full-delivery solution provider for clients with corporate fleets. In everything we do, we remain committed to our approach to real. personal. service.

Contact us today to learn how we can partner with your business to meet all your vehicle transportation needs.

Skip to content