Stuart O'Brien, Author at Fleet Summit - Page 11 of 17
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Stuart O'Brien

Your invitation to the Fleet Services Management Summit

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There’s a free VIP place reserved for you at this autumn’s Fleet Services Management Summit on November 11th & 12th.

Can you confirm you will be joining us?

This unique event takes place at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire.

The Summit will give you access to innovative and budget-saving suppliers for a series of pre-arranged, face-to-face meetings based on your requirements. You can also attend a series of seminars, and network with like-minded peers.

Lunch and refreshments are included with your free VIP ticket.

If this would be useful for your business, please confirm your attendance here.

EV charging sites outnumber petrol stations

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New figures from Zap-Map have revealed the extent of the UK’s electric vehicle revolution, with the number of public charging locations now surpassing petrol stations for the first time.

Data from Zap-Map shows that as of 22 May, there are 8,471 charging locations across the UK, hosting a total of 13,613 charging devices.

In contrast, as of the end of April, there are currently only 8,400 petrol stations in the UK, a figure which is continuing to decline.

Zap-Map says there has been huge growth in the UK public EV charge point market in the past 12 months, with the number of locations increasing 57% in that time.

In parallel to the increase in number of charging locations, new technologies are becoming available which offer higher charging rates.

Whereas most ‘rapid’ units are rated at 50 kW, enabling a standard EV to be fully charged in 40 minutes, the latest ‘ultra-rapid’ units are capable of up to 350 kW; ready for the next generation of longer-range electric vehicles.

The expanding network supports an increasing number of electric vehicles on the road, expanding from only 3,500 cars just six years ago, to more than 210,000 currently.

Analysts forecast that by the end of 2022, at east 1 million EVs will be in use in the UK, a figure backed by government policy that looks to electrify all new cars and vans by 2040.

Ben Lane, co-founder and CTO at Zap-Map, said: “The public and private sectors are now investing heavily in the UK’s EV charging infrastructure to ensure that there are sufficient charging points to support the growing electric fleet. This month’s milestone reveals of the rapid pace of change already underway as the age of the combustion engine gives way to an all-electric era with vehicles offering both zero-emissions and a better driving experience.”

Epyx targets fleet remarketing with tracking reports

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Epyx has launched new online reports designed to help fleets gain a better picture of their remarketing activity in the face of burgeoning data points.

The Insights Reports are being made available to businesses that use the company’s 1link Disposal Network platform to defleet company cars and vans through a wide variety of channels.

The initial rollout focuses on both vehicles available for sale and sold vehicles using three key graphs. Each of these provides an informative overview over a range of timescales as well as giving the option to drill down to a granular level.

The first graph shows a vendor which vehicles have been published for sale by different channels – such as specific online and physical sales and auctions.

The second plots total vehicles for sale, including the ability to drill down into each channel to see where they are being advertised, for how long, and by manufacturer and model.

The third graph, for sold vehicles, shows the user the number of sold units and allows them to access details such as cars and vans sold by channel and by manufacturer and model, alongside metrics such as results against CAP, against reserve or days to sale.

Vicky Gardner, head of remarketing at epyx, said: “The amount of data that fleets have to handle as part of their day-to-day remarketing grows all the time. For example, we saw sales through 1link Disposal Network rise by 15% last year, which is a pretty substantial increase. Fleets that remarket tens of thousands of cars every year, as some of our customers do, face particular issues just tracking their activity.

“This means that there is an onus on providing tools that make their online remarketing activity as easy-to-understand as possible and the new Insights Reports are our latest development in this area.

“What we have delivered, we believe, is a graphical format that allows the user to quickly gain an overview of their activity with the option to quickly drill down into all kinds of details that they may want to access. The initial reaction has been very positive.”

Image by Niek Verlaan from Pixabay 

Yodel invests £15m in green fleet

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Parcel carrier Yodel has announced a £15.2m investment in its fleet, designed to reduce the environmental impact of its road-based operations.

The investment includes new vehicles and trailers as well as technology to improve efficiency and safety.

The firm has taken delivery of an all-electric 7.5 tonne light-duty truck, the first in its fleet.

The Mitsubishi FUSO eCanter will initially be based at Yodel’s customer delivery depot in Hayes, and used across London.

It will be put through its paces to ensure that the subsequent electric vehicles are deployed in the right locations. Silent and emission-free, the state-of-the-art vehicle has a load capacity of up to four and half tonnes and is powered by six high voltage batteries.

The carrier has also invested in Microlise technology for all its tractor units and trailers, a total of more than 1,300 assets. This software monitors factors such as speed, location, and road traffic levels. It reports back to Yodel’s business control tower, allowing the team to view the network in real-time and adapt to dynamic conditions.

Microlise’s Android-based DriveTab tablet devices act as the main interface for driver communication and navigation. Journeys can be planned and monitored by the business control tower and instructions sent to the driver, while driving style can be evaluated and feedback provided to optimise performance. Yodel has already seen a seven per cent improvement in fuel efficiency since the introduction of the technology.

In addition, Yodel has fitted every tractor unit with a Microlise panic button, enabling drivers to alert the business control tower of an emergency. The carrier is also trialing a number of dashboard camera systems for its tractor units, to aid incident investigation.

Yodel is also looking to expand its urban bicycle delivery offering. It currently uses bicycle couriers to deliver parcels in central Oxford, Stevenage, Hereford and Brighton with plans to introduce them in Birmingham, London and Manchester soon.

Andrew Peeler, CEO of Yodel, said: “This large-scale investment in our fleet is designed to improve efficiency and minimise the environmental impact of deliveries. I’m delighted that we’ve introduced electric to our fleet this Spring, and we have plans to expand our use of both pedal and electric power this year.

“In addition, we have invested in technology to calculate the most efficient routes and evaluate our drivers’ driving style to further reduce our carbon footprint. 

“Our CollectPlus service helps to minimise congestion and pollution by consolidating deliveries to local stores, which customers can then pick up at their convenience. We are also striving to ensure that every home delivery is successful on the first attempt through the use of enhanced tracking and our Inflight service, which allows customers to redirect or reschedule if they realise they are going to be out when their delivery is due.”

The fleet announcement follows Yodel’s £1m investment in a bespoke semi-automated sorter at its Wednesbury site at the end of last year. The sorter, dubbed Merlin, has enhanced the speed and efficiency of sorting irregular shaped items and improved safety by reducing manual handling.

Your free VIP place at the Fleet Services Management Summit awaits

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There’s a free VIP place reserved for you at this autumn’s Fleet Services Management Summit on November 11th & 12th.

Can you confirm you will be joining 60 senior fleet management professionals?

This unique event takes place at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire.

The Summit will give you access to innovative and budget-saving suppliers for a series of pre-arranged, face-to-face meetings based on your requirements. You can also attend a series of seminars, and network with like-minded peers.

Overnight accommodation, all meal and refreshments, plus an invitation to our networking dinner, are included with your free VIP ticket.

If this would be useful for your business, please confirm your attendance here.

Places are limited, so register today or contact me to avoid disappointment.

Join your peers at the Total Supply Chain Summit

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Register today for the Total Supply Chain Summit – It’s free for you to attend and could help you reduce your expenditure by matching you up with innovative suppliers.

As one of just 60 VIP guests, you’ll be joining fellow senior supply chain, distribution, logistics and operations professionals.

Simply register here to book your free VIP place.

  • As one of our VIP guests, you will be provided with a bespoke itinerary of face-to-face meetings with suppliers based on mutual agreement. No hard sell, and no time wasted.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to attend insightful seminars and interactive workshops.
  • Network with 65+ other senior professionals who share your challenges.
  • Enjoy full hospitality throughout, including overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments, plus an invitation to our gala dinner with entertainment

Taking place on November 4th & 5th at The Midland Hotel, Manchester, the Total Supply Chain Summit provides a platform for new business connections.

Book your place today or contact Jamie Higgs on 01992 374058 / to find out more

If you are a supplier to the sector and would like to meet with senior supply chain, distribution, logistics and operations professionals who are sourcing new suppliers, contact Nick Stannard on 01992 374092 /

Wales receives £32m transport infrastructure boost

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Grants of more than £32 million have been announced by Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates in an effort to improve transport links across Wales.

Over 100 applications were received after local authorities were invited to submit for funding, with 52 schemes selected across 21 local authorities supported by £28.8 million from the Local Transport Fund and a further £4.1 million from the Local Transport Network Fund supporting 14 schemes across 12 local authorities.

A new bus interchange costing £3.6 million has been scheduled for construction at Merthyr Tydfil, with £20 million earmarked for further public transport improvements. 

In north Wales, £3.6 million will go to improve public transport and active travel on the B5129/A548 through Flintshire and on to Deeside Industrial Park, while more than £3 million will benefit local authorities across mid and south west Wales to enhance public transport corridors and interchange.

“These grants are a substantial investment to support sustainable local economic growth, enhance public transport facilities, create and improve routes that will encourage more people in Wales to walk and cycle,” said Skates, speaking at Deeside Industrial Park where improvements were already being carried out.

“The successful projects, such as this in Deeside, are prime examples of the practical solutions we have asked the local authorities to design in order to make it easier for residents to connect with their places of employment and businesses, and to do so more sustainably.”

This investment in local transport schemes further boosts the grants announced by the Deputy Minister Lee Waters last week.

These included the allocation £19 million from the Active Travel Fund, and £10.9 million for the creation of Safe Routes in Communities and road safety schemes.

AI likely to be used to identify common fleet documents

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The first widespread use of artificial intelligence in fleet management is likely to be to identify common documents.

That’s according to Neil Avent, IT director at FleetCheck, who explained that AI was good at looking for patterns within clearly defined boundaries, so would work well for this kind of task.

“The important factor to understand about current AI technology is that it has no innate sense of context. It works well in situations where there are a limited number of possibilities and outcomes,” said Avent.

“For example, if you give it a thousand pictures and ask it to find all the ones that include kittens, you could teach it to do this pretty effectively by providing enough examples of pictures containing a kitten.

“This is why it is likely to first find its practical use when it comes to documentation. When different sorts of document arrive into a fleet department, it could be used to simply answer a series of questions – is it an invoice? A driver’s licence? A speeding fine notification?

“AI is good at a singular type of task such as this. It can be taught to identify some of the key features of each kind of document and then place them in the appropriate queue for action with a high degree of accuracy. This saves a lot of administrative time and effort.”

However, Avent also explained that the current boundaries of AI were revealed by the fact that the technology was not currently sophisticated enough to then manage the documents.

“A separate process would be needed to know what to do with those documents in terms of the next action. That is because a more general type of software-driven intelligence, in terms of the technology available, is a long way away.

“Going back to the pictures of kittens, AI’s intelligence about kittens would end with being able to identify images. It knows nothing more about kittens than the visual characteristics of the example images containing kittens. It does not know what a kitten is.”

Several paradigm shifts would be needed before AI could take over even some quite basic fleet management processes, Avent added.

“In a sense, it is a shame that AI as a term includes the word ‘intelligence’ because it provides a very misleading picture of its capability. It has no intelligence of its own and is, in many ways, just a further development and refinement of existing IT processes that gives the illusion of intelligence to users not aware of its constraints.

“However, it does have potential for some pretty significant gains and one of the things we’ll be looking at within FleetCheck later into 2019 is how some of those can be incorporated into our fleet management software.”

SAVE THE DATE: Total Supply Chain Summit

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The second Total Supply Chain Summit of 2019 will take place on November 4th & 5th in Manchester – Register your VIP delegate place!

Attending as one of just 60 senior supply chain professionals will enable you to:-

  • Source innovative and budget-saving suppliers
  • Attend insightful and inspirational seminar sessions
  • Network with like-minded peers
  • Enjoy complimentary overnight accommodation plus all meals and refreshments
  • Join a networking dinner with entertainment

For more information, visit

2019 fleet management buying trends revealed

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The 60 senior fleet professionals attending this autumn’s Fleet Services Management Summit have revealed their purchasing priorities for the next 12 months.

Specifically, these buyers are looking for suppliers in the following categories (% of delegates looking for those solutions):

Accident Management – 42%

Car & Van Manufacturers – 46%

Contract Hire & Leasing (Long Term) – 38%

Contract Hire & Leasing (Short Term) – 33%

Dash Cams – 46%

Driver Training – 50%

Electric Vehicles – 75%

Fleet Management Software – 42%

Grey Fleet – 38%

Hybrid Vehicles – 63%

LPG/Alternative Fuel – 38%

Risk Management – 50%

Service, Maintenance & Repair – 42%

Tyres – 38%

Vehicle Tracking – 42%

The Fleet Services Management Summit takes place on November 11th & 12th at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire – for more information about the event, attending as a delegate or showcasing your solutions, visit