Parking plan welcomed as driver crisis continues

European moves to deliver safer parking standards for lorry drivers have been welcomed by a leading cargo insurer.

The TT Club said the European Commission’s introduction of its Safe & Secure Truck Parking Areas (SSTPA) Standard is a major step forward at a time when the shortage of lorry drivers is exacerbating pressure on global supply chains.

The standard is set to come into EU Law through the EU Driving and Rest Time rules, part of the Commission’s Mobility Package. The club said issue of safe parking is a major concern for logistics firms and insurers alike.

“Undoubtedly the time when cargo and driver are at most risk is when they are at rest, whether overnight, during meal breaks or due to regulatory requirements,” said the club. “TT Club collaborations with BSI Supply Chain Services and Solutions, and others, have consistently shown that over 60% of all cargo thefts from road vehicles occur in transit – and a high proportion of those while vehicles are parked.”

The new SSTPA standard follows a voluntary scheme that is in existence aimed at addressing the EU’s requirements for safe parking.  Now with EC investment that will come into effect in harmony with the new SSTPA, secure parking capacity will increase.

“At a time of severe driver shortages, warehouse capacity crisis and congestion throughout the freight transport system, there needs to be even more vigilance against criminal activity,” comments TT’s MD of Loss Prevention, Mike Yarwood. “The current circumstances are increasing the opportunities for the well-organised and targeted theft of goods. Every initiative to strengthen security, and the safety of drivers, particularly in more vulnerable locations is to be applauded.”

In the UK, similar trends in theft, and an even greater need for safe parking facilities exist.  This has prompted TT to support schemes such as Motorway Buddy, which is a smartphone app enabled a truck-stop locator. It is a driver-friendly compliance and safety management tool that provides the location of over 300 recognised truck stop facilities.

With TT’s investment and collaboration with the Freight Unit of the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS), the app is now supplied with detailed crime data, mapping cargo and fuel theft hotspots.  Motorway Buddy thus enables informed decisions as to where is most prudent for drivers to park-up, leading to a safer and more secure road freight transport.

Yarwood added: “The achievement of a more secure freight environment within the UK and Europe, and indeed across the globe, will be a never-ending battle as thieves adapt their methods to exploit softer targets. However, initiatives such as the EU’s new SSTPA Standards address one of the system’s key weaknesses — the woeful shortage of safe and secure parking facilities.  TT will also continue to highlight this shortcoming and invest in the means to improve the situation.”

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