Addressing a major public health problem
“Deaths and injuries caused by road traffic accidents are a major public health problem in the Latin American (LATAM) region.
Of high concern is that the upward trend of both means road traffic accidents will continue to be a significant burden on the health and development systems of the countries in the region.
However, many of these deaths and injuries can be prevented by implementing an integrated road safety approach.
This includes enacting and enforcing risk factor legislation. Applying safety standards for transit routes and vehicles, and improving access to pre-hospital care.
In addition, with improvements in the availability and analysis of traffic data, at a strategic level, countries can better assess the risks of death and trauma caused by traffic accidents, as well as prioritise road safety activities based on evidence and track their results.”
- Luis Anaya Abello, CEO, SABI
This is a powerful insight into the transport challenges faced in Latin America.
Paraphrasing it, there is no “silver bullet” that can solve the issue. But a combination of small increments across a wide range of areas, will lead to a significant change.
Fleet management – part of the solution
With that idea in mind, and within the strategic context, at a fleet management level, companies, fleet managers, and drivers can help by taking proactive steps to mitigate risk, and react more rapidly, when things go wrong.
Here’s some additional insight we found, about fleet management in Latin America.
Fleet management in Latin America – moving beyond security
A 2014 report by ABI research highlighted how the use of telematics had been mainly for security reasons in Latin American fleet management.
Rather than risk management and operational efficiency.
It went on to highlight how that was beginning to change, with market forces, society, and government factors all combining to lead fleet operators into using telematics for wider solutions than just security.
This point of view was more recently echoed in a Berg Insight report, which stated:
“Latin America has traditionally presented a very different scenario (to North America), often requiring an educational process in order to extend the perception of fleet management beyond security related aspects.”
The report went onto say that it was “of the opinion that the market for fleet management in Latin America is in a growth period which will continue in the years to come.”
It underlined this with a view that the penetration rate for telematics units in fleet management would move from 9.7% in 2016 to 17% in 2021.
A near doubling in only five years.
A fleet of 27 million, vital to the region.
Commercial vehicle fleets play an essential role in the economies of Latin America.
With logistic and transport operators primarily relying on road transport, as the railway networks are not as extensive as the road and highway networks.
Additionally, as part of the drive to improve public health and safety, the road networks are receiving substantial investment for modernisation. Which also promotes sustainability through better quality roads contributing to a reduction in vehicle emissions.
Given this, it is not surprising that the number of commercial vehicles in operation in Latin America’s fleets is estimated at 27 million.
Of which six million are heavy trucks/HGVs and 21 million are light commercial vehicles.
A changing approach to fleet management in LATAM
As mentioned above and highlighted in the quoted reports, the use of telematics in fleet management in Latin America, is changing.
Investments in the systems are being made on the basis of reducing operating costs, and improving fleet, driver, and public safety.
Fleet operators are therefore going for the latest telematics systems, which give a focus on vehicle and driver safety. These tend to be the camera-based systems which support driver behaviour management.
As such, many of the fleet operators are embracing the shared responsibility to contribute to reductions in road traffic accidents, in the region.
It’s all about the drivers and their families
However, within all this, there is one striking difference in the Latin American fleet management market, which CMS has noted. It was also highlighted in a report by one of the telematics manufacturers.
That is, the drive for improved safety is not being driven by a culture of litigation risk control, and corporate reputation management, as is the case in the USA.
No, the drive for safer fleets and safer roads is simpler than that. And, more human.
It is about keeping drivers safe and their family’s whole.
By observation then, that deep cultural belief in family, which everyone identifies with Latin American culture, is probably the one key difference about fleet management in Latin America.