UK commercial vehicle activity is performing stronger during England’s second nationwide lockdown than the first, latest figures from the Geotab and Webfleet Solutions Commercial Mobility Recovery Dashboard reveal.
A comparison of the second week of lockdown (SWoL2), from November 9 to November 15, found activity levels to be 33% higher – averaging 85% of pre-COVID-19 levels – than readings from March 30 to April 5 (SWoL1), when activity plummeted to an average of 52%.
The latest data comes as the sector braces for the busiest retail period of the year, with Black Friday sales and festive purchases set to heighten demand.
Commercial vehicle activity in France is currently averaging 80%, Germany 102%, Italy 100%, and Spain 87%.
The dashboard analyses aggregated and anonymised data from more than three million connected vehicles around the world to help visualise the impact of COVID-19 on commercial vehicle and trade activity and to support strategic recovery efforts. It outlines week-to-week activity on a country-by-country basis, as well as by three sub-sectors – business services, construction and freight.
Business services have once again been hit hardest, down to 60% in SWoL2. This, however, signals a 15% increase on SWoL1 when it stood at 45%.
UK freight activity – consisting of essential services and necessary goods, such as food, medicine and post – remains strong at 100% in SWoL2, which compares to 71% in SWoL1.
Fleets within the construction industry have also coped well, averaging 92% during SWoL2, compared to 44% in SWoL1.
“These numbers, however, paint a positive picture of how fleets have learned to cope better with tighter measures over the last eight months.
“More than ever, fleet managers will be looking to squeeze efficiencies in their operations, reducing vehicle idle time and fuel consumption while improving productivity, routing and load sizes. A good understanding of fleet data will remain central to all operations’ best practice in this busy period.”
Beverley Wise, Sales Director UK & Ireland of Webfleet Solutions added: “The commercial transport sector is always under immense pressure at this time of year, as the sector grapples with a sharp uplift in online retail sales. With the tightening of the coronavirus restrictions, this pressure is even more acute.
“The latest data from our dashboard is encouraging and demonstrates how commercial fleets are successfully navigating this ongoing period of adversity and evolving their operations to suit the new landscape.
“Though we do not know what the future holds, it is clear that the fleets who adapt their processes and use data-driven insights to fully optimise workflow and drive efficiencies will be better equipped to not only deliver on surge demands, but to thrive in the post-pandemic era.”