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How Auto Transport Adapts to Supply Chain Challenges – Rental Operations

With more employees working remotely, car carriers are delivering vehicles that require longer distances. PARS is also seeing more pickup and delivery address changes while dealing with long-term challenges such as a shortage of drivers with sufficient fleet experience.  - Photo: Canva

With more employees working remotely, car carriers are delivering vehicles that require longer distances. PARS is also seeing more pickup and delivery address changes while dealing with long-term challenges such as a shortage of drivers with sufficient fleet experience.

Photo: Kanba

As supply chain challenges continue, how are motor carriers working with their fleets to coordinate transportation processes?

Teri Ross, Vice President of Sales and Client Relations at PARS, a full-service relocation, transportation and logistics provider for fleets, shares her insight into the change. She discusses changing transportation behavior with fleets, long-term challenges in automotive transportation, alternative alternative vehicle strategies, and the unique challenges posed by the rise of EVs.

A new environment for transportation

Ross says the fleet is keeping a larger inventory of vehicles, as opposed to in the past when vehicles fell under replacement guidelines and were scheduled to be auctioned. “Companies are extending the life of their vehicles while they wait for new vehicles to arrive at dealerships,” she adds.

Another new development is that fleets are demanding the movement of vehicles requiring greater distances than before the onset of COVID. she said: Due to the need to move vehicles out of state, fleets will need to move vehicles longer distances in multiple states to ensure drivers own the vehicle. ”

Long-distance transportation of vehicles can also be attributed to companies allowing employees to work remotely, Ross said. PARS has experienced more pickup and delivery address changes during the pandemic as more employees work from home, she adds.

supply chain constraints

The need to move vehicles long distances is impacting other areas of the economy, as fleets need to use their current assets more than they used to, Ross said. “The longer the distance, the more often you end up traveling through multiple states,” she adds.

It’s easier to secure a rental car than it was a year ago, she said, but car rental companies are still “very reluctant” to offer one-way rentals. “Our drivers only need a one-way rental to get to and from the location,” she adds.

During the summer months when vacationers need rental cars, car rental companies typically prefer to rent cars to vacationers who are more likely to book round-trip weekly rentals than drivers who need them, she said. increase. Less than 1 day. With more employees working remotely, she predicts, “remote pickup and delivery locations are likely to continue in the coming months and years.”

For remote locations, Ross says you’ll have to use either a one-way rental or a rideshare vehicle. Similar to the challenges of using one-way rental cars, ride-sharing has become a serious problem due to driver shortages and rising ride-share prices, she said.

The motor transportation industry has had to deal with the challenge of a shortage of drivers. “The sector continues to struggle to get back to pre-pandemic levels,” she says. “There are fewer truck drivers with the experience and understanding of the fleet environment than there used to be, and this is causing delays in customer transport.”

In response to not having enough drivers with fleet experience, PARS is focused on “recruiting and retaining top-notch strong drivers,” she said. Through its mobile her app, PARS drivers “can see all open orders so they can better schedule and match drivers with other vehicles.”

She adds that when drivers take pictures of their vehicles and upload them to PARS’ web portal, those pictures help fleet managers and fleet management companies make better decisions about the condition of their vehicles.

vehicle swap strategy

Reiterating that the fleet has been storing vehicles for longer than before the pandemic, Ross reiterated, “Rental vehicle shortages and the cost of renting will be a significant issue in 2020 and 2021, and we will continue to do so today. has expired,” he added. For long lead times for new vehicles. ”

PARS allows fleets to store and use vehicles while another vehicle is undergoing expensive repairs, undergoing preventive maintenance, or waiting for a new vehicle to arrive at the dealership. “This will significantly reduce rental costs and allow clients to leverage their existing property.”

PARS’ web portal provides 24/7 access to transportation information, including storage data, and fleets can see where vehicles are stored in various locations around the country, she said. “This allows us to allocate storage vehicles based on location and driver, minimizing travel distances and reducing rental vehicle costs,” she adds.

EV transport logistics

Ross said EVs have their own set of challenges that ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles don’t. For example, is the adapter cord in the car when you pick it up? Is it fully charged when you pick it up? Do you have an active account or special card for billing?

EV transportation requires a different approach, says Ross. With fuel stations readily available, trips should be planned based on charging stations rather than traveling from one place to another. “When picking up an electric vehicle, it’s very important that it has enough charge to go to a charging station or that it may need to be changed from a driving trip to a car carrier,” she says.

Another important factor is the availability of fast charging stations. Because the length of time it takes to charge an EV can affect timing during transit, says Ross. PARS can offer a “strong ETA” for vehicle delivery due to its fast refueling, but this is not the case for EVs as charging times can vary.

She checks the health of the batteries and monitors battery charge levels monthly, whether the EV requires 110 volts of level 1 or 220 volts of level 2 charging, to determine what is needed and available. It states that it is important to know the charge level. “There are a lot of discoveries being made, and as we really dig into electric vehicles, there will be even more discoveries for the industry.”

Originally Posted in Car Fleet

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