The fleet management benefits of fuel cards

The fleet management benefits of fuel cards

Fleet cards can provide both control and freedom to resume on-the-road operations.

In a rather noisy era of both operational and cost uncertainty in the fleet world, control and convenience are a necessity. The unpredictable nature of the economy, rising costs for everything from parts to labor, and a supply chain that is still recovering from the pandemic all make it difficult to carve out healthy profit margins. These factors force fleet managers to get creative and find new ways to offset additional costs.

Thankfully, the fleet world is increasingly offering services that help streamline operations. However, there’s an option that can help save time and money that many fleets may not have considered: fleet cards. Between saving money and simplifying tasks to free up time, fleet cards can provide both control and freedom to resume on-the-road operations.

And numbers don’t lie. The global fuel market is expected by a recent TMR study to grow 5.6% from 2022 to 2031. With the widespread transition to cashless transactions, fuel cards offer seamless fuel payments. They also include integrated data to track a fleet’s activity at the pump, insights on maintenance and much more.

Fuel cards are a popular service provided to fleets around the country. Onboarding is easy, and customers can implement the cards quickly. For example, the Shell network of nearly 13,000 fueling stations make it convenient for fleets to save wherever they operate, and the Shell Fleet Navigator Card is also accepted at 95% of all fueling stations in the U.S.

The control to set limits

Fuel cards allow fleet operators to set limits that make the most sense for a fleet’s needs, including limits on what’s purchased and when. The ability to manage an account either online or by phone makes fleet operations much more automated.

On-demand service

As a fleet card customer, long wait times on the phone are becoming a thing of the past, as cards often offer around-the-clock service. Additionally, gas stations are increasingly accepting fuel cards, making it much more convenient to streamline operations—from the computer screen straight to the fueling pump.

Cost-savings and path to easier budgeting

Fuel cards offer many incentives for loyal customers, from rebates on fuel prices to intuitive, data-based insights on fuel spend. Money saved now along with a picture of future costs allows fleet operators to make better budgetary decisions. Most digital platforms allow operators to pull reports directly to allow ease-of-use for operators and finance managers.

Integration with other fleet services

One overlooked feature of fleet cards is that they can often be integrated with other fleet services. One example is combining fleet cards with a telematics solution that shows operators where drivers are filling up, which allows for optimized routes and helps ensure that fuel cost is consistent.

Peace of mind

With eyes on fleet activity every time a driver swipes a fleet card, each transaction can be monitored with personalized purchase controls that allow a manager to know who purchased what, when and where. Cards can be activated or terminated through digital platforms, which can reduce the risk of fraud or misuse.

Operational costs and on-the-road setbacks are oftentimes pains of the industry, but fleet cards provide the opportunity to alleviate ongoing stress, allowing managers time, savings and clarity to focus on the improvement of day-to-day operations.

The ease of use of fleet cards and access to a digital platform that shows fuel spend per fleet vehicle are enticing to fleet operators, just to name a few benefits. Fleets are always looking for ways to optimize operations. A recent report by Verizon Connect found that 40% of fleet managers spend the majority of their time carrying out administrative activities over more productive tasks. Using fuel cards offers cost savings and convenience, and the elimination of paper receipts help save time for value-added activities.

Sasha Arasteh serves as manager of e-mobility and services at Shell U.S.A. To learn more about the fleet card options that can money and time, you can visit the Shell Fleet Card website.

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