At the recent 2015 Fleet Forum Annual Conference, The World Food Programme's (WFP) Afghanistan team was recognised with an award for their achievements in delivering food to hard-to-reach locations – thanks to the efficient and effective management of WFP-owned trucks.
Despite a challenging environment, WFP successfully re-launched operations in pockets of the country that were previously inaccessible, allowing WFP to reach remote communities with food assistance. At the same time, WFP also managed to reduce costs through optimisation efforts.
Within the humanitarian sector, investments made towards developing fleet safety measures and improving efficiency of operations are on the rise. During the Fleet Forum Conference, UNHCR was recognized with the 2015 Best Transport Achievement Award, which was given to them for their strategic global fleet management approach.
Fleet Forum is an inter-agency association of more than 40 members, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations, the United Nations (UN), academic institutions, donors, and corporate partners. Its purpose is to encourage, facilitate, and develop relationships between humanitarian aid and development organisations all over the world. It has grown to encompass commercial transport organisations that share concerns about road safety, green practices, and fleet efficiency.
What is the Fleet Forum Conference?
The annual Fleet Forum Conference brings together industry experts to discuss the best practices and the latest trends in fleet management. Participants include specialists from aid and development organisations such as World Vision, Save the Children and Concern Worldwide, as well as renowned commercial companies – from UPS to Toyota to Nissan. This year’s conference was hosted at WFP’s Headquarters in Rome, Italy.
What are the key highlights from the conference?
The theme for this year was ‘Professionalising Fleet Excellence.’ Through discussions and break-out sessions, participants shared experiences from their organisations that illustrated a direct link between professionalisation of fleet excellence and the performance of an organisation. Another main finding that emerged was the power of data, and the important role it plays in ensuring better operational performance and overall fleet excellence. Data sharing with like-minded logistics and transport organisations, as well as relevant benchmarking, was also identified as a top priority for many fleet managers.
How is WFP professionalising fleet management?
WFP specialises in the movement of food and relief items, working in more than 75 countries to support emergency response and development efforts. Effective resource management, logistics and administrative expertise are essential to WFP's ability to deliver. WFP-owned assets, such as heavy duty trucks and light vehicles are an important part of WFP’s capacity. Over 800 all-terrain trucks deliver life-saving food assistance, while approximately 3,300 light vehicles and 700 motorcycles transport staff and light cargo wherever they need to go.
To ensure optimal operational efficiency, WFP monitors the performance of its fleets through the Fleet Management System, which monitors spare parts, fuel usage and vehicle utilisation rates of every WFP-owned truck. Through a donation of more than 200 new KAMAZ trucks, WFP will continue to optimise the running of its global fleet, allowing WFP to call forward trucking capacity within the first weeks of an emergency, and later scale it back when it is no longer needed. The new trucks will also contribute to stronger performance, better fuel economy, and lower maintenance costs – cutting fuel usage by 30 percent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In keeping up with the changes in the humanitarian operational sphere, WFP uses an innovative leasing programme, which provides services to the humanitarian community, through the Global Vehicle Leasing Programme (GVLP). Through GVLP and light vehicle management support, WFP is able to get the most from the resources it is provided, in addition to making sure that the right vehicle is deployed to the right operational environment.