TAPA EMEA’s initiative to identify and encourage a network of secure parking places for trucks operating in Europe, driven by the launch of the Association’s new Parking Security Requirements (PSR), has been given a major boost by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SNAP Account, the cashless payment system for the haulage industry.

SNAP works with more than 3,000 transport operators and over 110 HGV parking sites across the UK, processing over one million transactions in total in 2017. SNAP’s fast-growing business in the UK and the start of its expansion into Europe will provide valuable communication and certification channels in support of TAPA’s secure parking programme.

Vigilant spoke to Nick Long, Site Liaison Manager, at SNAP Account to learn more about its business and why it is so keen to work with TAPA.

Introduce us to SNAP Account?

SNAP Account was started back in 2010. We are a cashless payment system for the haulage industry that allows drivers to use services that include: Parking, Washing, Dartford Crossing tolls, Roadside Assistance, Daily Checks and Asset Finance. The system is based on license plate numbers which allows fleet operators to add and remove vehicles as they wish. 

How did you learn of TAPA EMEA and how do you view the Association?

We’ve been aware of TAPA for some time now and met with representatives of the Association at a conference last year. The work TAPA EMEA does to help protect the supply chain process seems to be working very well and we feel that the overall aims of SNAP and TAPA are aligned. We also wish to provide a secure network of HGV parking sites right across Europe.

You’re obviously aware of the importance of secure parking. What’s your opinion of TAPA’s new Parking Security Requirements (PSR) and the Association’s plan to identify a growing network of secure parking sites across Europe? And, what do you like most about the new Security Standard?

Secure parking is at the forefront of all fleet operators’ minds, so their cargo arrives safely and on time. TAPA’s new PSR allows parking areas to see how good they are against an industry benchmark and to strive to improve. The rating system seems fair and appropriate for when you are talking about security. It is evident that a lot of work has gone into this so parking operators can ensure they adhere to the Standard. Growing a network of secure parking sites across Europe will help fleet operators and drivers ‘sleep easy’ at night. Coverage is obviously key for a network of sites. We have only recently achieved that in the UK and aim, similar to TAPA, to grow this coverage all over Europe.

You’ve signed a MoU with TAPA – what does this commit both parties to do?

That is correct, the MOU allows us to understand what we both can do in support of our shared mission, which is to help improve and grow the secure parking network that is already in place. Our hope is that we are able to provide more areas with TAPA accreditation where drivers can park securely each night and get a good night’s rest. 

So how is SNAP going to encourage HGV parking sites to meet TAPA’s PSR requirements?

We have already been in talks with some of the sites we work with in the UK in regards to the PSR. We work with a range of sites and we feel that some of these will already meet the requirements of PSR Level 3. We know that there is a huge benefit to the parking owner to improve their safety and security, and also gain recognition if they already meet a certain standard. We realise that TAPA has a good standing in the supply chain network, which will also reflect positively on the parking site.

Why are you doing this – what’s in it for SNAP?

We are doing it for two reasons. The first is to allow TAPA members to utilise parking areas that we currently work with, ensuring that their cargo is secure. The sites that we are recommending at the moment are ones that we feel confident will help reduce the risk of theft. The second reason is to ultimately help TAPA-approved secure parking sites which do not have a booking platform to be able to accept our customers onto their site. We feel that having more facilities that can accept our drivers will mean there will be a further reduction in cargo thefts/crime for SNAP-registered customers.

How many HGV parking places are booked using SNAP every year?

Last year, SNAP processed over a million transactions. On average, our method of payment was used every 29 seconds. Our software allows sites to also process fuel cards for parking and washing, which in turn opens them up to over 3,000,000 extra customers. Some of the fuel companies we work with include BP, DKV, Keyfuels and UTA.

Do you also find that demand for secure parking far outweighs supply? Aside from working with TAPA, what has SNAP been doing to identify more secure parking sites?

Absolutely, this is the case in most areas. We provide a network of pre-bookable depot sites which have become ever more popular as fleet operators wish to know there is a space available for their drivers in a secure yard. We have focussed our efforts in finding more and more of these sites as we have existing depot sites which are full of pre-booked drivers by 14.00hrs every day!

You work with nearly 3,000 haulage companies – what feedback have you received from them regarding the need for more secure parking locations, not just in the UK but across Europe?

The main feedback we have is that they wish for all the sites we work with to become more secure. Hence, our Access & Security team have been so busy! We can help with installation of ANPR and CCTV cameras to automated barriers and self-service payment systems. We find that fleet operators see these listings and feel more confident to park there. But this doesn’t just mean in the UK, it also includes Europe.

You are currently working with 110 parking sites in the UK. How many of these do you hope will adopt PSR and in what timescale?

We would hope that around 20% of the parking site we use in the UK would be able to adopt PSR Level 3 from the outset. We would then hope that eventually all the sites we work with will be able to meet this criteria if not better. We are finding that some of this comes down to funding, which is in short supply if it is not privately funded.

Do you work with HGV parking sites in mainland Europe and, if so, will you also be encouraging them to gain PSR certification?

Yes, we are. We currently work with a site in France and we are in talks with others across Europe, which we hope will follow suit. We are keen to show sites the benefits we are providing in the UK, as building a secure parking network in Europe is something that is both new to SNAP Account and TAPA.

SNAP provides the Intruck truckstop finder app. Will this highlight secure parking sites with PSR?

Yes, our partner App Intruck can display this information, which will add more weight to the site itself. We will always list the most up-to-date information for each site and we would hope that fleet operators will appreciate this extra reassurance.

Based on your knowledge of the market, how else can TAPA reach out to the biggest possible audience of HGV parking sites – and what is most likely to influence parking place operators to support PSR?

We feel it’s best doing it through relationships that are already established. Knowing your audience and how it can benefit them in terms of being a part of the supply chain network. We hope that by us supporting TAPA EMEA in their mission we can help increase this visibility. We do realise that most Motorway Service Areas (MSA) would not be able to reach this accreditation without significant investment as most of these are fully open sites which are hard to manage.

Does SNAP partner with any other booking platform operators in other markets?

Not at the moment. As we expand into Europe, we are constantly evolving and changing, which means that down the line we may do. We have only just recently launched both asset finance and our own online shop, so things are continually evolving.

As you know, TAPA has two other Security Standards, including its Trucking Security Requirements (TSR). Going forward, is there potential for the Association to work with SNAP to promote TSR to the large group of hauliers you work with?

We would hope for this to be the natural progression for our working relationship with TAPA. We feel that being able to help TAPA in this way would most certainly ensure their network grows. We, of course, wouldn’t want to promote this in a commercial way, only advise in how it may help assist the fleet operator. What we are finding at the moment is that the European driving rules are very different to UK rules. This can include things like daily checks which aren’t necessary for European drivers, for example. We would hope that TSR would help unify some of these differences and help reduce the amount of crime that drivers are exposing themselves to.