Ever since US president Donald Trump commenced “trade wars” with US trading partners by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from China, Canada and the European Union, companies around the world have raised concerns about the potential short and long-term impacts on their profitability and viability.
These concerns have proven to be genuine, with the Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, US, Barry Eichengreen, noting that growth dropped in the second quarter in the five large European economies (Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK). Meanwhile, he notes that financial difficulties are mounting in emerging markets as they have experienced capital outflows that have forced their central banks to tighten measures, while China’s stock market and currency have lost ground.
Further, Eichengreen argues that the current boost in the US economy is a false dawn, with the increase in manufacturing output and orders, including export orders, a direct consequence of worries about trade policy actions. He says that US companies are accelerating production in order to achieve increased financial output before their supply chains and access to imported inputs are disrupted.
As such, companies are searching for ways to weather the storm while this trade dispute plays itself out. One of the best ways for companies to increase reduce costs and create better stability in a volatile economic environment is to implement operational functions that improve operational efficiency.
Fleet management, which refers to the intelligent management of commercial vehicles such as cars, trucks, vans, specialist vehicles and trailers, could prove to be especially beneficial in offsetting the negative impacts of the trade wars for companies in which their fleet of vehicles are critical to the organisation’s functioning.
In particular, the telematics aspects of fleet management could prove to be valuable to companies. Vehicle telematics relates to the convergence of telecommunications and information processing in vehicles. This burgeoning technology has enabled fleet management to be highly effective in achieving tangible and underlying value for companies.
These are some of the benefits of fleet management that will help companies minimise the effects of the trade war:
- Vehicle telematics enables companies to receive detailed reports about driver behaviour. Subsequently, these reports can be used as a means to implement remedial action that will improve driver safety and reduce unnecessary costs
- Telematics data relating to actions such as harsh turning, idling, speeding and unnecessary acceleration can be derived and used as a way of making intelligent decisions regarding driver training
- Routes can be analysed and the timing of journeys modified, which will help companies save time and money
- The causes of fuel wastage and theft can be identified, and appropriate actions can then be taken to defuse these operational interruptions
- Companies can better identify the reasons for breakdowns and put plans in place to avoid these breakdowns in future
- Premiums could potentially be reduced as fleet managers can actively demonstrate to insurers that they are achieving higher levels of safety
As a leading global provider of fleet management and insurance telematics services (along with stolen vehicle recovery), Cartrack is perfectly positioned to implement world-class and tailored fleet management solutions for companies. Through dedicated GPS monitoring, our clients can always locate all the vehicles in their fleet and monitor this fleet’s activity, which is accurately shown on our web-based street-level map, in real-time. Clients can use their PC or smartphone to monitor their fleet, with no additional software required.
Find out today why implementing Cartrack’s fleet management solutions is the best way to counter the international trade wars.