Commercial Fleet Telematics is booming in SA

Telematics industry is a shorthand for vehicle tracking and fleet management and this is driven by the Internet of Things.

Commercial Fleet Telematics is booming in SA

By Staff Writer

The number of active fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in South Africa reached an estimated 1.1 million in Q4-2016, according to a new research report from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight.

In spite of the country’s weak economic performance, Berg Insight is of the opinion that the market for fleet management in South Africa is in a growth period which will continue in the years to come.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6 percent, this number is expected to reach 1.9 million by 2021.

The market is dominated by a group of aftermarket telematics players including:

  • Cartrack,
  • MiX Telematics,
  • Ctrack,
  • Altech Netstar and
  • Tracker

These players are all headquartered in South Africa and have installed bases of more than 100,000 fleet management units each on the domestic market.

TELEMATICS button or key on computer keyboard. 3d Rendering

TELEMATICS button or key on computer keyboard. 3d Rendering (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

Notably, these top-5 players together represent as much as two thirds of the total number of active fleet management systems in use in the country today.

“Foreign telematics players have generally not managed to achieve any top-ranking market shares on the South African fleet management market so far”, said Rickard Andersson, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight.

TomTom Telematics, Pointer Telocation and Geotab are all examples of international providers that are active in the country.

“Most other foreign vendors have more limited presence and many renowned international players have not yet entered South Africa at all”, added Andersson.

He said that the remote location and the relatively high telematics penetration on the market – combined with the presence of an abundance of local solution providers including an exclusive group of dominant domestic players – can act as barriers to entry for international fleet management providers eyeing the South African market.

The new edition of Berg Insight’s report on Fleet Management in South Africa for the first time also includes an outlook on the overall African market.

Africa is clearly a highly diverse geographic region from a fleet management perspective.

The continent can in general be divided into three sub regions – South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) and Northern Africa.

The South African fleet telematics market is far ahead of the rest of the continent in terms of adoption, whereas Sub-Saharan Africa is the least developed region if excluding South Africa.

Northern Africa is comparably advanced and well ahead of Sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to fleet telematics penetration, though still quite a bit behind South Africa.

The African fleet management market beyond South Africa is by many industry representatives described as challenging – though certainly also promising – for several reasons.

The recent weak economic environment and foreign exchange rate fluctuations in combination with the unstable political climate makes the market a challenging business environment overall.

There are however promising prospects for players adapting to the local market dynamics as the Rest of Africa market has considerably more untapped opportunity than what South Africa can offer at this stage.

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