The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

How to Manage Holiday Traffic

December 2016, by Chris Wolski - Also by this author

Photo via Ted Kerwin/Flickr.
Photo via Ted Kerwin/Flickr.

While consumers are enjoying the holiday season, flocking to malls and taking to the roads, many fleet managers and their companies’ fleets may be experiencing seasonal challenges due to increases in traffic, inclement weather, and other factors.

Over the past couple of years, data shows that December fleet vehicle usage sees a fairly large increase, and that trend is expected to continue, according to Bernie Kavanagh, SVP and general manager for North American Large Fleet for WEX.

Taken together, this can make “surviving” the holiday season particularly stressful for fleet managers and company drivers, but there are steps that fleet managers can take to meet these challenges head on.

Kavanagh said that the key to surviving the holiday season is tearing a page from the Boy Scout manual and be prepared, along with being nimble.


“Being prepared is crucial to get you through any kind of hectic time, be it a holiday or a storm or some other unforeseen or stressful event, but you also have to have that flexibility built into your day so that you can handle those things that come at you that are unforeseen,” he said. “Because as prepared as you can be, there are always things that are going to come up. You can prepare all you want for traffic, but it may be different than what you expected. There may be unforeseen obstacles that get thrown your way. Gasoline prices are spiking, and that may change your routing because what was the optimal fueling site is no longer the optimal site. So you need to be nimble, and build flexibility into the schedule and handle the unpredictable pieces.”

There are specific steps and considerations that fleet managers can take and need to keep in mind to keep their companies’ fleets moving efficiently, according to Kavanagh, such as do routes need to be rearranged or changed during the holiday period, do schedules need to be updated to take into account weather or heavy traffic volumes, is it necessary to hire additional, temporary drivers — and how can the budget be stretched to do so?

“There are complexities in each of these decisions,” Kavanagh said.

Twitter Facebook Google+


Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.


Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Verizon Connect will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fleet Management And Leasing

Jack Firriolo from Merchants will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fuel Management

Bernie Kanavagh from WEX will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Sponsored by

What made Henry Ford successful where others had failed (or succeeded on a much smaller scale)? It wasn't just his vehicles, excellent as they were-it was his unique understanding of the potential of those vehicles to transform society.

Read more


Market Trends

Mike Antich
Upward Pressure on Fleet Costs Threatens to Increase TCO

By Mike Antich
Recently, I conducted a survey of several hundred fleet managers to identify emerging industry trends. One recurrent theme expressed by fleet managers was the concern that fleet costs are starting to experience upward pricing pressures. Here's what they told me.

How to Minimize Unauthorized Use of Corporate Assets

By Mike Antich

View All

Driving Notes

Mike Antich
2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel

By Mike Antich
The Chevrolet Equinox adds a 1.6L four-cylinder turbo diesel to its lineup of engine choices for 2018. The fuel-efficient turbo diesel generates 137 hp and 240 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a six-speed automatic.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

By Paul Clinton

View All

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Adapting to a Changing Tide

By Sherb Brown
Fleets are often the beta testers of the vehicle market. That shift away from compact sedans we saw in the fleet market a few years ago is playing out in real time in the retail market right now.

Keep Realistic Fleet Expectations

By Sherb Brown

View All

Data Points

Dylan Brown
What Are the Most Valuable Services Offered by FMCs?

By Dylan Brown
What do fleet managers value in their relationships with fleet management companies? The answer may surprise you.

Demand More From Your Fuel Card Provider

By Dylan Brown

View All

In Memoriam: Coach's Insights

Ed Bobit
Thinking of the Newbies of the Future

By Ed Bobit
A lot has changed in the past 10-15 years, so we can only imagine this momentum will continue into the next decade-plus. How will this change impact the fleet manager of tomorrow?

Managing a Car vs. Work Truck Fleet

By Ed Bobit

View All


Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher