Feeding the Appetite to buy and Lease Transportation Equipment Online, and Much More

|Jun 1, 2021

DLL is committed to driving lasting solutions for asset finance in the transportation sector. Here, we talk to Neal Garnett, President of the Global Business Unit for Construction, Transportation and Industrial, to learn more about how DLL delivers innovative financial solutions that meet the unique needs of manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and users of transportation equipment.

Neal, firstly what is your experience in the transportation industry? 

Since joining the leasing industry in the 1990’s I’ve been involved with various transportation vendor programs from a commercial perspective. Most recently, I sat on the board of a European Transport Joint Venture and was involved in projects with an international rental company and a last mile delivery provider in Southern Europe utilizing electric vehicles.

Also, I recently joined a combined program together with Rabobank focusing on E-Mobility. Here we are building new commercial propositions to support our customers in the transition towards a Zero Emission fleet. Together, we might be able to offer customers an interesting proposition with financing, charging infrastructure, fleet maintenance, fleet management and much more.  

Could you explain the history of DLL in the transportation sector?

DLL has been doing business in transportation for 20 years. In the transportation sector specifically, we form partnerships with a number of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and dealers to help them win more business through solid finance solutions. We make it possible for transportation manufacturers to directly add financing solutions to their equipment offering, even if they haven’t traditionally done so.

Due to a long standing exclusive international Joint Venture, we haven’t always been able to serve the whole market, but that has changed. Today, it is a really exciting time for us to be part of a transforming industry with new waves of technology. We are actively involved in supporting different OEMs and solutions providers, including new and emerging companies, helping them to grow profitably and quickly by leveraging our international and local asset finance know-how, and associated product and service solutions.   We try to ensure we work with organizations where we can really add value and are the right partnership fit.

Could you share a few of your latest customer success stories with us? 

Thermo King is a great example. The company provides reefer units for cool trailers and had desire to move into providing the complete trailer package, cooler included. This is a great example of a business needing investment and expertise to widen their asset footprint with a new venture. We were able to move fast and support them with this.

Another success story is our partnership with Xos Trucks, Inc., a leading manufacturer of fully electric commercial vehicles, to provide financing options for electric trucks. Clean technology and transportation is very important to DLL, so we are happy to be working with a leader in the electric vehicle industry to help enable the transition from traditional diesel trucks to electric.

We also do direct business. Picnic in Germany is a great example of this. Here, we are working with an up-and-coming vehicle manufacturer to finance fleets of electric last mile delivery vans for grocery deliveries.  

These are just a few of examples. We are having discussions with many manufacturers and solutions providers on how we can support in different segments and new projects, helping them to get asset finance solutions in place ready to grow in the ‘new normal’. 

Neal Garnett
Neal Garnett
Global Business Unit President
Construction, Transportation & Industrial
We are actively involved in supporting different OEMs and solutions providers, including new and emerging companies, helping them to grow profitably and quickly by leveraging our international and local asset finance know-how, and associated product and service solutions."

How can DLL add value in the transportation sector?

Our specialization is what gives us the edge and enables us to provide support to manufacturers, dealers, rental and service providers, and end users. This combined with an international footprint which sees us providing solutions from Chile, to the USA and Canada and from Portugal to Russia to New Zealand. 


For example, we are already in early-stage discussions with players in the electric commercial vehicles market, ensuring we are in position to be a first mover, with a well-informed view on the value of assets and the way these will be distributed. We will also have an informed and sophisticated view on asset costs, life cycles and associated residual values, so will be ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding products, technologies, suppliers, and customers.


What trends do you see in the market and how is this affecting manufacturers?

When Covid-19 struck, it affected every industry differently. The transportation sector perhaps wasn’t as badly affected as people thought – lorries did shorter runs but more of them, often handing off products at national borders, but they were still running. However, bus and coach operations were heavily impacted by Covid. How they will recover after lockdowns end is to be seen, and an area which DLL will look to focus on as those manufacturers supplying buses and coaches may need asset finance support to kick start the market.


The vast majority of transportation assets are financed. In the future, buyers will be looking to finance orders or up to hundreds of thousands or millions in value.


How is DLL responding to this? 

Providing digital options is the biggest area of focus for DLL as it is what we know customers need. We already have strong digital capabilities – we were an early adopter of online credit scoring for instance and we have eDocs capability for most countries too.


We are exploring mobile apps to do quotes and exploring APIs that link with OEMs and dealers order systems, all with less clicks and more convenience and speed for the customers.  Our vision is to have the simplicity of Amazon for customers, so we’ve spent a lot of time doing customer journey analysis to inform our next steps.


We are also able to work digitally, in a way that not all businesses can. When Covid-19 hit, DLL quickly adapted to the many remote working challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, DLL remained “open for business” across our entire global network, with almost 100% of our employees working remotely from home and delivering support to our partners and customers during their most critical time of need. Other providers may not be able to be flexible on this scale, while retaining such great customer service.


What is your strategy in this market segment?

Our focus is on being a specialist solution provider to the transportation sector, not just providing/securing the credit approval and quoting an interest rate like a bank or broker.  Our experience has shown us that understanding the market and the asset itself is where we can add real value, compared to a bank for example.  We also take a greater interest in asset life cycles and new technologies and can offer informed residual values as a result.


Through a more holistic offering, we want to create opportunities for our partners to grow profitably. We know that having the right finance solution to support customers can be a helpful sales aid. But beyond this, equipment manufacturing companies can add the services they need to make the most attractive solution for their customers. This can include telematics, pay per use, insurance offerings, fleet management, efficiency data, and more. Importantly, we can support partners and customers across 30 countries – no other provider has both the experience, in-depth asset knowledge and the geographical scale that DLL does.

Truck on the street
Clean technology and transportation is very important to DLL, so we are happy to be working with a leader in the electric vehicle industry to help enable the transition from traditional diesel trucks to electric. "

What kind of businesses in the transportation sector can DLL support? And what kind of asset types do you finance?

The solutions we can offer are very varied – we don’t have a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but work to provide specific solutions, whether that is working directly with a dealer, providing a local OEM vendor program, or helping equipment users to free up cash to finance their fleets. .

The types of equipment we can finance are very varied too, including trailer units, commercial B2B vans and specialty vehicles (but not light commercial vehicles), electric commercial vehicles and off-road vehicles, as well as niche solutions for hook loaders, garbage trucks, road sweepers, and so on.

How do you specifically make the difference for transportation equipment manufacturers, dealers and users?

First, we do our research and due diligence around new technologies to ensure we are well placed to support the industry as it evolves, including attending relevant conferences and events.

This will be similar to what happened in the Aerial Work Platform / MEWP (AWP/Mobile Elevated Work Platform) sector. We started offering leasing for this type of equipment as it emerged as a replacement for many scaffolding contracts and because we understood and led the market, we were able to help customers with their negotiations. I doubt people realize that today we probably own the biggest fleet of AWPs in the world through our customer base!

It now feels like we are in that same stage in certain areas of the transportation sector, for instance new companies specializing in making electric commercial vehicles and last mile delivery firms, and we have the ability to make a real difference here on an international scale.

In transportation, the electric / green trend is huge and brings a lot of opportunities for OEMs. For the mature manufacturers, the question is: can they manufacture competitive electric vehicles and get to market quick enough to compete with specialist and in many cases well capitalized new entrants? For those manufacturers with captive leasing subsidiaries the manufacturing and supply risks associated with this trend will be amplified by the credit and asset residual value risk if they are doing this all-in house. 

We have also seen recently (due to Covid-19) that consumer change has occurred rapidly. B2B sales have changed from belly to belly selling to digital very fast. End-customers probably would buy a 10-20k asset online before, but for anything more expensive, they would typically want to see it, touch it, and talk to someone in person before committing to the purchase. But now, for all businesses and buyers, buying online and for ticket sizes well into the hundreds of thousands is commonplace. These trends have huge implications for product distribution, associated sales forces and necessitate a simple, reliable digital sales portal including integrated asset finance and service point at digital point of sale. DLL has API solutions to address this requirement for our vendor partners.

Are you ready to grow your business? 

DLL serves transportation equipment manufacturing businesses and dealers across the sector, including trailer manufacturers. Our experts are also providing the expertise needed to help OEMs and dealers win more business, supported by flexible finance solutions.  We also bring our tailored solutions and expert guidance directly to end users, so that they can benefit too.

Learn more about our specialist offering for the transportation industry and read our customer success stories here.

Switching to electric vehicles or taking finance digital? We can help.

Our up-to-date solutions help you stay ahead of the latest transportation trends, whether that’s with our finance solutions for fully electric vehicles, or our range of mobile and digital solutions that aim to take the process of buying and leasing online and make it easy.

So, whether you’re a transportation equipment user, dealer, distributor, or OEM, and looking to finance trucks, trailers, specialty vehicles, light commercial vehicles, buses, or coaches, we can help.