TAPA welcomes the findings of the EU’s ‘Study on Safe and Secure Parking Places for Trucks’ and joins expert group working to meet the requirements of industry

TAPA EMEA has welcomed the publication of the final report on the European Commission’s ‘Study on Safe and Secure Parking Places for Trucks’ as another important step towards the creation of a network of secure parking sites for high value, theft targeted products as they move in supply chains across the continent.

The study highlights the billions of euros worth of goods transported on the Trans-European Road Network every day, which it says constitutes the backbone of the EU economy. Long distance trips – which require drivers to take an overnight break – account for 27% of the total EU28 road freight tonnes kilometres. It also recognises that ‘in the road haulage sector, cargo, equipment, and, increasingly, personnel are targets for criminals… robberies, hijacks and other violent forms of cargo theft jeopardize employee safety’.

The study adds: “In addition, criminals cause substantial financial and reputational losses to supply chain operators as the European road freight transport sector continues to be an attractive target for cargo thieves and traffickers. Cargo thefts in the European Union alone result in direct losses estimated to exceed €8.2 billion per year, with most thefts taking place when trucks are parked.”

The EU’s survey of different stakeholder groups to identify the needs and requirements of potential users of safe and secure parking places found:

·         50% of drivers find information on parking locations via the internet; 46% of drivers would like to have access to a new, dedicated secure truck parking app and 35% need a better information app

·         86% of transport operators and 83% of drivers surveyed said there is an insufficient number of safe and secure parking areas in Europe

·         64% of female drivers have experienced unsafe situations at overnight parking areas

·         Transport operators usually reimburse truck drivers for overnight and weekly rests, while drivers pay for daily breaks themselves  

·         71% of shippers - cargo owners – said there are not enough resources to find and book available parking places in areas with closed, dedicated truck slots

·         40% of parking operators do not operate a slot booking service

·         The average occupation rate of parking areas exceeds 60% for vehicles making overnight and weekly stops, with lorries staying an average of 8-12 hours in a parking space. 40% of parking operators in the survey do operate a slot booking service

·         Out of the subset of parking operators with existing certifications, 80% conducted a self-assessment of their service level and 47% conducted a self-assessment of their security level. They felt there is an urgent need for a clear definition of safe and secure parking areas in the EU and for the establishment of an independent body to oversee truck parking area security standards

·         Insurers require parking areas to have external fencing or alternative barriers, CCTV, and site surveillance through regular security checks. They also call for better information regarding parking availability and opening hours, to allow for better route planning     

In announcing its findings, the Commission stated: “400,000 safe and secure parking spaces are lacking in the EU. Cargo crimes are more frequent than ever, and about 75% of these incidents are happening when trucks are parked in unsecure parking places. As a response to this critical situation, both for drivers and cargo owners, the Commission is promoting safe and secure parking areas, making available CEF-funding, and it is setting up an expert group to implement the agreed standard.

“Most road users have witnessed overcrowded truck parking areas along motorways, where trucks are parked on entry/exit ramps to parking areas due to capacity problems. It is not only extremely dangerous in terms of road safety, it is also highly uncomfortable and stressful for drivers, and worrying for cargo owners as these parking areas in most cases provide no protection against intrusion and theft.”

It added: “Drivers have no choice but to stop when the maximum driving time expires, and deserve a comfortable, safe and secure rest.”

The study proposes a common standard for safe and secure parking areas and the Commission is creating an expert group to further implement and promote the study findings. This expert group will include drivers, unions, hauliers, truck manufacturers, forwarders, cargo owners, insurers, technology providers, auditors, motorway and parking operators and parking organisations, and will meet for the first time on 2 April 2019.

Thorsten Neumann, Chairman of TAPA EMEA, said: “The EU takes the subject of safe and secure parking for trucks extremely seriously and its proactive approach to tackling this problem – alongside this detailed study – is sending a clear message to all stakeholders about the need for more secure parking which meets a clear set of requirements for all levels of security. TAPA is of the same view, which is why we are continuing to progress with our own Parking Security Requirements (PSR), a secure parking standard which has been designed by industry for industry and which is already gaining strong support from Parking Place Operators across Europe. We welcome the opportunity to be part of the EU expert group to further develop a resilient secure parking network in Europe and to ensure the best possible protection of drivers, vehicles and cargoes moving across the continent. By aligning PSR with the requirements identified by the EU, we can ensure the shared objectives of the study lead to the long-term supply chain resilience outcome we all want to see.”      

TAPA’s PSR includes an online mapping tool which allows route planners to see recorded cargo crimes on their intended routings as well as the locations of parking places participating in the Association’s secure parking programme. 30 parking places across Europe are already listed on the tool and this number is expected to double in the coming months with more parking operators expressing their interest in joining the PSR programme.