TAPA EMEA’s secure parking survey conducted at the end of 2019 has reinforced the Association’s commitment to help increase the quality and availability of secure truck parking sites across the region by accelerating the growth of its Parking Security Requirements (PSR).

Since the launch of PSR last year, TAPA has already established a database of approved parking places and partners offering:

·         Over 5,000 secure parking places

·         56 separate sites across the region

·         Secure parking in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom

In 2020, these numbers are expected to rise significantly with more Parking Place Operators (PPOs) already working with the Association to become a TAPA partner or to adopt one of the levels of certification for their sites. This will ensure TAPA’s secure parking programme and PSR maintains its position as the most widely adopted industry benchmark for secure truck parking in EMEA.

The purpose of the survey was to conduct a sense-check of the requirements of TAPA members in the region and to identify any specific views linked to the programme and its continuing development. In total, 62 companies provided feedback.

Overall, 87% of those businesses completing the survey confirmed they were already using secure parking sites when these were identified, although the lack of availability was a regular theme for those providing comments. This statistic, however, still confirms TAPA’s view that companies will use secure sites as more TAPA-approved parking sites are promoted in its online database. 77% of those surveyed said they wanted to make increasing use of secure parking spaces.

Of the 56% of respondents who said they had seen a change in the level of crime as a result of using secure parking places, 92% stated positive benefits which increased the resilience of their supply chains.    

The cost of secure parking was criticised by seven companies. They stated that the cost usually ends up being paid by transport providers, which significantly depletes their margins. While, in many cases, customers demand secure parking for their goods in transit, there is also still a question mark over who pays for the additional kilometres covered by vehicles trying to locate a secure parking site. Again, TAPA believes more choice and capacity will help to influence these costs. Currently, secure parking remains in its infancy in terms of the number of sites but an increase in demand and subsequent network growth should bring positive benefits for both users and PPOs.

Some companies also need to be reassured over the actual levels of security provided by sites which claim to offer secure truck parking. TAPA will commence validation audits of sites in 2020 to confirm the status of their parking and to ensure they comply with the Association’s requirements. TAPA is also asking any companies which experience non-compliant sites to report these immediately so the appropriate course of action can be taken.

On a more positive note, TAPA received encouraging feedback on its secure parking online tool (SPOT), which helps route planners to identify safe parking places for vehicles. One survey participant asked if TAPA would consider making the tool available to more than the current level of three approved users within member companies.

In 2020, TAPA will also look to build confidence for users of self-certified secure parking sites and to ensure the resilience of what the Association expects will be the largest certified sector for low cost and practical secure parking options. Further updates will appear in future issues of Vigilant.