Geotab maps activity ahead of Irma

Data from new timelapse map provides key fleet activity insights from Florida and revealed devastating impact on Puerto Rico

Geotab's data showing the increase in fleet activity and fuel demand in Florida
Geotab's data showing the increase in fleet activity and fuel demand in Florida

Geotab, a pioneer in smart transportation and telematics technology, has launched a timelapse map to present a clearer view of the scale and significance of Hurricane Irma’s impact on commercial fleet activity in Florida and Puerto Rico.


Considered to be one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma has already left a devastating trail of damage in the Caribbean and poses one of the most severe meteorological threats in Florida’s history. Geotab is sharing insights from vehicle data collected in the affected areas in an effort to shed light on how Hurricane Irma is impacting the fleet industry in particular.


By analysing data from over 33,000 Geotab-connected vehicles in Florida, a 360 per cent increase in commercial vehicle activity was calculated between 23 August 23 and 6 September. This rise can be attributed to businesses and employees evacuating to safer areas and increased driving as fleets respond to a growth in demand for disaster-related resources.


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.”


Data showed that at least 40 per cent of gas stations in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region were without fuel as many of Florida’s 20.6 million residents stocked up. On an average weekday in Florida, 36 per cent 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 per cent of active vehicles representing over 7,500 vehicles fuelling up at the pumps. The spike in gas station activity can be attributed to the increased commercial activity as referenced in Geotab’s series of timelapse maps.


To understand the impact that Hurricane Irma has already had, Geotab analysed vehicle activity in areas in Irma’s path.


In Puerto Rico, there was a fairly significant impact on commercial fleet activity. Fleets in Puerto Rico are typically very active, with an average utilisation rate of 91 per cent on the average weekday over the past month. On September 7, only 35 per cent of all Geotab-connected vehicles were active, and that number is 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 per cent of our vehicles still communicating at this time.”


Geotab will continue to monitor the effects of Hurricane Irma on commercial vehicle activity as this storm hits Florida and provide updates on a regular basis to illustrate Irma’s impact.


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