2023 Fleet Management Trends

Change becomes inevitable as the need for material handling equipment continues to grow. We saw in 2022 that there were plenty of challenges for companies that utilize mobile equipment. According to Global Market Insights Inc., the material handling equipment market is expected to surpass $250 billion by 2032 in its latest report. Let’s look at the fleet management trends and predictions we have for 2023!

Adoption of Electric MHE Equipment –

This trend has been up-and-up for the last few years, with programs in various states offering money for switching from IC (internal combustion), diesel, and other non-renewable fuels to electric material handling equipment. For example, in California, two programs aid in purchasing electric equipment. The California business can apply for grants to replace specific internal combustion (IC) forklifts, ground support equipment (GSE), and port cargo handling equipment (CHE) with new models with zero-emission technologies. Once the new electric equipment is in use, these businesses can make money by generating Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits and selling those credits to companies that generate deficits in the program.

Something to keep in mind if you are planning on transitioning to an electric fleet is if your infrastructure can handle it. Planning is imperative for a smooth transition to electric. Do you have the budget to fund this initiative? Are your operators familiar with operating this kind of equipment? What metrics should you track to ensure the asset is appropriately utilized? When you start considering transitioning to an electric fleet, these questions should be asked.

Not to worry! You can always turn to a partner like Fleet Team to help you plan and strategize your move! We’ll assess your current application and find the best-fit assets to work with your business needs by auditing your current fleet to help make informed decisions on how best to move forward on this transition.

Continued Supply Chain Challenges –

With no surprise, supply chain challenges are here to stay in 2023. Political unrest, raw material shortages, and rising energy costs fuel delays and disruptions. Inflation also plays a significant factor in the supply chain, affecting the pricing of material-handling equipment for end users.  

Expect longer lead times, potential order cancellations, and increased acquisition costs. As an alternative, many businesses are looking for ways to extend the life of their existing equipment by right-sizing their fleets, adjusting maintenance windows, and adjusting their expectations for lead times.

Here are a few ways we are combatting these supply chain challenges:

  1. Take a longer-term view on replacement. For equipment that you are looking at today, expect that equipment to be delivered in 18-24 months. If you are armed with your fleet’s data, you’ll find trends in equipment that may need to be replaced within that timeframe. Our strategic fleet consultants have years of experience, combined with our data analysts, to suggest when specific equipment needs to be replaced so that the supply chain disruption doesn’t disrupt your business!
  2. The optimum utilization of a mobile equipment fleet is between 50%-75%. This sweet spot uses equipment as needed, without over/under-utilizing it, and helps determine the optimum fleet size. Most companies fall on either side of that spectrum. Right-sizing your fleet becomes so important! At one facility, you may have equipment that isn’t utilized enough that could be reallocated to another location that is over-utilizing its equipment, causing constant breakdowns and repairs. With a Fleet Audit, we can help you find that sweet spot, develop a Fleet Management Plan to reallocate equipment by serial number (that we track and manage), and right-size your fleet for maximum efficiency.
  3. Another option is fleet leasing. Leasing equipment provides the flexibility your fleet and business need through these supply chain challenges. If you are experiencing asset procurement issues, leasing is an excellent option as it gives fleets of any size options around financing terms, equipment acquisition and disposal, and terms catered around your business if you have seasonal needs. With these supply chain challenges in mind, we offer various financing options without the lease-end return fees associated with many banks. We meet you in the middle as a partner to find the right option for your business needs with the flexibility you deserve.

Increased Maintenance Costs –

As part of the COVID domino effect, companies need help to get newer equipment on time, causing them to keep their current equipment longer than they may be used to. Companies must consider the toll that their operations are taking on their equipment and adequately plan for maintenance and repairs so that damaged equipment doesn’t constrain production.

Maintenance costs are also being constrained due to labor shortages affecting the industry throughout 2022 and continuing into 2023. As a brand-agnostic partner, we can find alternative dealers to help maintain your equipment if you struggle to get the support you need.  

Another area to look at is your Total Maintenance and Repairs to see if you are getting what you are paying for. Chances are, you’re not. It may make sense to consider a managed maintenance program and have your equipment maintained at different intervals to allow it to run longer and incur less damage.

Guess what? We can help with that too! With our Fleet Team Insights, we can review your repair and maintenance intervals, look at damage trends, and help you determine which equipment could benefit from a managed maintenance program to help prolong the life of your equipment.

All in all, 2023 looks to be a promising year with many changes on the horizon. Is your company prepared to handle these trends in the new year? If you aren’t sure where to start, our team of experts has extensive knowledge and can help you develop a strategy for each! Contact us today for more information.


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