Fleet Advantage, a leading innovator in truck fleet business analytics, equipment financing, and life cycle cost management (LCCM) today announced results of its latest survey illustrating the desire and preparedness fleets have in their ability to transport a COVID-19 vaccine to locations across the country.
On December 11, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. A vaccine produced by Moderna is also expected to secure approval soon. With the first of the vaccines now formally approved, shipments have begun and Pfizer plans to distribute about 25 million doses in the U.S. by the end of the year through a comprehensive distribution system that is centered around cold-storage transport for the vaccine.
Additional Bandwidth Exists; Concerns About Truck Reliability
Fleet Advantage commissioned the online survey in early December and found that nearly a third (32%) of those executives surveyed said they have the bandwidth available to transport a vaccine, and another third (32%) said they are interested in transporting a vaccine. Thirty-three percent also stated that they are looking into possible custom specifications for their equipment to handle special vaccine transport.
However, 65% say they do not have enough drivers to handle additional vaccine transport, and more than a quarter (27%) said they have concerns about their aging truck fleets’ ability to successfully deliver the vaccine without roadside breakdowns from maintenance issues.
Even before the availability of a vaccine, a growing number of fleet executives were realizing the need to upgrade into newer trucks for better reliability and cost savings. A recent study showed that 55% of fleets said escalating maintenance and repair costs, and 47.3% of fleets said improved fuel economy are leading motivating factors for upgrading to newer trucks.
“There are many issues of heightened sensitivity when it comes to having the right infrastructure in place to properly transport this critically important vaccine to those in need,” said Katerina Jones, Sr. Director of Marketing and Business Development at Fleet Advantage. “Fleet bandwidth, driver availability and confidence in the fleet’s truck reliability are all major factors that are now front and center for a successful vaccine transport. The trucking industry realizes the critically sensitive nature in hauling the vaccine and is proud to serve its role in such an important period in our history.”