Hauliers are looking to use technology to maximise fleet efficiency to a greater degree than before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to software specialist FleetCheck which has seen more than 100 new users sign up to its fleet management software and volumes back to pre-coronavirus crisis levels.

The Wiltshire-based firm has seen the majority of users active before mid-March return and volumes back to pre-lockdown levels. In addition, more than 100 new companies have started using the system since lockdown.

MD Peter Golding said: “We’re a little hesitant about calling this a ‘return to normal’ because the truth is that what is ‘normal’ has very much changed - but we can clearly see that our customer base appears to be back to work and at levels of activity comparable to six months ago.

“What is interesting is how many customers have used the time created by the coronavirus crisis to take a good look at their transport activities.

“While clearly no-one would’ve wished for these circumstances to develop, they did create a perhaps unprecedented space in which to think deeply about the fundamentals of moving people and goods around.”

Golding said that much of this activity seemed to have been based around the digitalisation of operations.

“Really, the kind of thinking that has taken place falls into two areas. The first was strategic, tackling fundamental questions about the kinds of vehicles needed in the new normal - how many will be required, who will drive them, how they will be funded, and so on. These are issues that are deeply rooted in operational considerations.

“The second is where we have been more closely involved. As with most software solutions, there are always additional features available from which users can benefit but which they weren’t utilising pre-coronavirus.

“What we have seen is a drive to realise the further efficiencies that are available by simply adopting more of our technology to deliver present and future gains.

“We’re confident that our customer base will come out of the last few months with their fleets configured to deliver a noticeably greater degree of efficiency.”

Golding added that growth in FleetCheck’s customer base meant usage of its fleet management systems is now around 20% higher than at the same time last year with the FleetCheck Driver app proving especially popular, exceeding one million checks a month.

“To us, this proves that systems of the kind we provide have become thought of by fleets in a similar vein to how accountants think of Sage or sales teams think of Salesforce.

“Fleet management software is now absolutely central to the operation of companies running vehicles and, even when things are tough, their value is very much recognised.”