Efforts by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) to identify and encourage a network of secure parking places for trucks across Europe has taken further significant steps forward, the shipper-driven freight security initiative has claimed, as cargo loss data revealed an almost 90% rise in freight thefts last year from trucks parked in unsecured parking locations.
Progress has included the publication of all three levels of its Parking Security Requirements (PSR) certification programme for industry review and the signing of an MoU with SNAP Account, the cashless payment system for the haulage industry, which works with more than 3,000 transport operators.
TAPA has also reiterated its strongly held belief that there are hundreds of professional parking sites in Europe that can already meet its self-certification PSR Level 3, a free-of-charge certification for Parking Place Operators (PPOs) that is available now. It said the need to protect drivers, their cargoes and trucks is increasing demand for more safe and secure parking locations.
“TAPA is already seeing demand for controlled parking locations outweighing availability on key routes and says PPOs that do meet the TAPA security standard will find a ready-made market of potential customers,” the organisation said.
Cargo loss data for 2017 produced by TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) revealed an 89.9% year-on-year rise in the number of freight thefts that occurred among trucks parked in unsecured parking locations, mostly due to the lack of secure parking options. The over 2,000 such cargo crimes last year also accounted for the majority of the €105 million of products stolen from supply chains in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
Thorsten Neumann, chairman of TAPA EMEA, said: “Sadly there is no quick fix to tackle the risks drivers and cargoes face when they have to stop in unsecured locations. However, at an industry level, we have to start providing more controlled parking areas that offer improved safety and security, and reduce the need for vehicles to stop in laybys, on industrial estates and at motorway service areas where statistics show they are highly vulnerable to attack.
“We are working hard to engage with Parking Place Operators to highlight the commercial benefits of being TAPA-approved, and we are also encouraging our members who book parking spaces to promote the new PSR standard to the parking site owners they know.”
TAPA is on course to launch the higher Levels 1 and 2 of its Parking Security Requirements as planned later this year following the latest stage of consultation with its manufacturer and logistics service provider members, who have been asked to review the standards to confirm they are fit for purpose. As well as addressing the critical issue of security, PSR also recognises the importance for sites to provide suitable driver facilities, which remains an important factor for drivers with the ability to choose where they park.
TAPA, which describes its PSR as ‘practical and realistic’, has also launched a new membership category for Parking Place Operators (PPO) to increase their engagement with customers, and extended its Security Service Provider membership to include Parking Booking Platform Operators.
Its secure parking programme has been boosted by the signing of an MoU with SNAP Account, which completes over one million transactions a year for transport companies.
Nick Long, site liaison manager at SNAP Account, commented: “The main feedback we receive from transport companies is that they wish for all the sites we work with to become more secure. 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.
“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 can provide more areas with TAPA accreditation where drivers can park securely each night and get a good night’s rest. We are already in talks with some of the sites we work with in regards to PSR.”
TAPA has also given its full support to the European Commission’s ‘Study on Safe and Secure Parking Places for Trucks’ and has urged its members to participate in the research project, which aims to identify the true need for safe and securing truck parking areas in Europe.
Tony Kavanagh, TAPA EMEA’s Secure Parking Lead, commented: “The EC Study is a very significant initiative and it needs the support of industry to develop common security standards and a new rating system to guide parking owners and users. TAPA members and others are being given every opportunity to influence the outcome. Once the results of the EC Study are known, we would hope to be able to closely align TAPA’s Parking Security Requirements with the direction taken by the Commission.
“Ultimately, we all share the same objective: more safe and secure parking for trucks and their drivers. The momentum is building and we all have a responsibility to ensure the positive activities now taking place produce the parking benefits businesses so urgently need.”