Understanding Industry Dynamics on Fleets by Applying SIC Codes

 In Blog, Market Insights

In a recent FleetSeek survey, more than half (52%) of our readers said they would like to see information about fleets broken out by industry. This industry segmentation is achieved via use of Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes, which are government groupings of major segments of the economy, such as construction, manufacturing, the service industry, and so on. Breaking the data down into these segments of the economy can provide insights about the fleets operating in those industries, giving us a sense of what challenges fleets in those specific areas face.

Heeding the call, our analysts have dug deep into SIC breakouts for several trucking metrics, including fleet sizes, safety indicators, and ownership vs. leasing rates. Even more exciting, the data we are showcasing this month is specific to private fleets. As anyone who has looked into SIC codes and trucking fleets before might be aware, obtaining this industry-specific level of detail for private fleets in particular can be a struggle as when these fleets apply for authority they are not required to specify the industry they serve; but luckily FleetSeek analysts are always up to the challenge.

The industries and sub-industries we have broken the private fleets out by are included below (click “Show 10 more” to see full list). This analysis focused on nine primary industries and a total of 53 sub-industries.

Industries with smallest and largest fleets

Our Fleet Size Indicator breaks fleets out according to how many total vehicles they operate. Total vehicles include both trucks and tractors but excludes trailers. Our analysts have broken the fleet sizes into segments of 1-10, 11-25, 26-50, 51-99, and 100+ vehicles.

Among private fleets, the service industry had the most small fleets, with 83% in the 1-10 total vehicle bucket. Within the service industry, the sub-industry of finance had the highest percent of small fleets at 92%. The sub-industry of personal services had the smallest share at 64%.

The public utility industry had the most large fleets, with 13% in the 100+ total vehicle bucket. Within the public utility industry, the sub-industry of gas transmission had the highest percent of large fleets at 27%, while communications had the lowest at 5%.

Industries with the most unsafe driving and vehicle maintenance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) assigns a plethora of safety scores to fleets, including scores for unsafe driving, hours of service, driver fitness, drug and alcohol infractions, and vehicle maintenance. For this analysis we took a look specifically at unsafe driving and vehicle maintenance. In each category, a low score is a positive sign and a high score indicates poorer performance.

The service industry had the worst unsafe driving score among the private fleet industries reviewed, with an average score of 3.6. Within the service industry, the sub-industries of entertainment and amusement had the lowest score at 2.5 and the business sub-industry had the highest score at 4.3. Of the 53 sub-industries analyzed, only seven had average ratings of 4.0 or higher, with timber (a sub-industry of construction) and agriculture (a sub-industry of manufacturing) tied for the highest at 5.2.

The public utility industry had the lowest average unsafe driving score at 1.4. None of the public utility sub-industries had a score above 2.7, indicating a relatively safer set of fleets.

FMCSA’s vehicle maintenance scores quantify how successfully a commercial motor vehicle is being maintained. According to the FMCSA, infractions can include shifting loads, spilled or dropped cargo, overloading of a vehicle, inoperable lamps and reflectors, and worn tires, to name just a few examples. Looking at the vehicle maintenance scores in the chart above, construction had the worst average score at 9.3. Within construction, the sub-industry of mining had the relative lowest score at 8.5 and the sub-industry of timber was the highest at 10.5. Mining’s score of 8.5 is still quite high, as only seven of the sub-industries from outside of construction rated at an 8.5 or above. The services sub-industry of petroleum had the highest score at 11.0.

Retail and wholesale industries had the lowest combined average score for vehicle maintenance at 5.7. The sub-industry of general stores had the lowest score at 3.9, while building materials and nursery had the highest at 7.0.

Industries with highest likelihood to lease

The percentages for ownership and leasing shown in the chart above indicate how many of the fleets within each industry own at least one vehicle and how many lease at least one vehicle. If a fleet both owns and leases vehicles then that fleet would be represented under both headings.

As we can see, the share of fleets that own vehicles was high among all industries. The lowest percent of ownership was in the manufacturing industry; however, their relatively low rate was still 91%. The highest rate of ownership was within the construction industry with 98% of fleets owning at least one vehicle.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given its relatively low ownership rate, manufacturing had the highest rate of leasing with 23% of fleets, leasing at least one vehicle. Likewise, construction had the lowest rate of leasing at 6%.

About FleetSeek’s Data

All of the information shared this month is directly from FleetSeek’s proprietary database which powers the FleetSeek application. FleetSeek customers can filter fleets by industry type and safety information directly in the application. For more customized data views, like shown above, custom data and analysis can be requested by contacting your FleetSeek representative directly, calling 888-665-9887, or emailing fleetseek@fleetseek.com.

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