Geotab, an Ontario-based provider of telematics systems for fleets, has launched a time-lapse map to offer a clearer view of the scale and significance of Irma’s impact on commercial fleet activity in Florida and Puerto Rico.
Geotab is sharing insights from vehicle data collected in Irma’s path to shed light on how the hurricane is affecting the fleet industry in particular, the company said.
By analyzing data from more than 33,000 Geotab-connected vehicles in Florida, the company calculated a 360 percent increase in commercial vehicle activity between Aug. 23 and Sept. 6.
The rise in fleet activity can be attributed to businesses and employees evacuating to safer areas and increased driving as fleets responded to a growth in demand for disaster-related resources, Geotab noted.
In addition to increased vehicle activity in the major cities of Orlando, Tampa and Miami, which typically have high volumes of commercial activity, Geotab found increases in Jacksonville and Pensacola to the north, which tend to have much less traffic.
“Our data shows a significant influx in sheer vehicle activity and not necessarily an increase of vehicles,” said Neil Cawse, CEO of Geotab. “Comparing vehicle data from last month to that of today, there is an explosion of activity in Florida’s largest cities and a massive increase in traffic up the I-95 and I-75 highways. As we did with Hurricane Harvey, Geotab is working closely with our partners to provide relevant data so that commercial and emergency response fleet vehicles can travel safely and respond urgently to the victims of Hurricane Irma.”
As of Sept. 8, at least 40 percent of gas stations in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region were without fuel, as many of Florida’s 20.6 million residents were stocking up.
On an average weekday in Florida, 36 percent of Geotab vehicles fill up their tanks at least once. Over the past few days, Geotab analysts have seen this number rise to over 45 percent of active vehicles representing more than 7,500 vehicles fueling up at the pumps.
Fleet Activity Took a Hit in Puerto Rico
To understand the impact that Hurricane Irma already has had, Geotab analyzed vehicle activity in areas in Irma’s path. In Puerto Rico, there was a fairly significant impact on commercial fleet activity, the company observed.
Fleets in Puerto Rico are typically very active, with an average utilization rate of 91 percent on the average weekday over the past month, according to Geotab. On Sept. 7, only 35 percent of all Geotab-connected vehicles were active, and that number was dropping.
“With no direct evacuation route available on the island, we can see the devastating effects Irma had on commercial activity in the days leading up to its arrival,” Cawse said. ”One positive piece of news is that we have seen over 95 percent of our vehicles still communicating at this time.”
Geotab said it will continue to monitor the effects of Hurricane Irma on commercial vehicle activity as the storm hits Florida and provide updates on a regular basis to illustrate Irma’s impact.