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Supply chains top concerns: Parking

bp truck parking

For this transportation-themed series, Blueprints hosted a roundtable discussion of crucial issues affecting the sector. Learn what our panel of nine experts had to say, as they offer their perspectives and weigh in on key issues and more.

As the number of trucks on the road increases, the availability of safe, convenient parking spaces has not kept up.

The issue of parking has been on American Trucking Research Institute’s list for a decade and was ranked fifth on the most recent survey.

This dearth of parking and a lack of national standards around the issue is making the problem worse and worse for those on the road.

Budget shortages have led many states to close rest areas, and some estimates indicate there are as few as 313,000 truck parking spaces for over 3.5 million trucks in the United States.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) says drivers can lose almost an hour of driving time per day looking for parking, which translates to a 12-percent annual pay cut.

Here’s what our panel had to say.

Marshall Kipp, president and CEO, Advanced Transportation Services (A.T.S.), Inc. BB #:120506 in Visalia, CA
Traffic and congestion continue to be challenges; as the population grows, so does the number of trucks needed. I think the biggest issue facing the industry is parking tractor-trailers.

If drivers can’t park on the property where they’re about to pick up or deliver, they’re forced to start the day clock on ELDs [electronic logging devices] prior to getting loaded or unloaded, eating up drivable hours.

At a conference earlier this year, a panel of drivers was asked what frustrates them the most—and this was the major issue.

Mike Laws, founder and president of Laws Logistics in Naples, FL
One of the major driver complaints we hear is lack of overnight or off-duty parking capacity.

While we’re aware of various programs and apps to help navigate some of these challenges, they tend to be regionally focused or industry specific.

Norita Taylor, director of PR, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) BB #:162349 in Grain Valley, MO
Technology alone cannot solve the shortage of parking for trucks. Infrastructure upgrades and improved standards are needed.

Ted Prince, COO and EVP for planning, Tiger Cool Express, LLC BB #:290720 in Overland Park, KS
For us, since we run intermodal long-haul, it’s not an issue, but it’s kind of the flip side of ELDs: before, you didn’t stop, and now you have to stop. It’s an unintended consequence of the legislation.

This is an excerpt from the Transportation & Logistics supplement to the July/August 2022 issue of Produce Blueprints Magazine. Click here to read the whole supplement.