PARKING PARTNERSHIP

TAPA EMEA’s new Parking Security Requirements (PSR) will only succeed if they win the support of forward-thinking and quality-driven Parking Place Operators (PPOs) like Truckparkings Rotterdam. It was one of the first operators to show its commitment to the Association’s secure parking programme. Vigilant caught up with the company’s Director, Ton Barten, to find out why…

Ton, please introduce us to Truckparking Rotterdam?

Truckparkings Rotterdam Exploitatie BV (TRE) was established in 2015. It is a 50/50 joint venture of Maat Transport company and myself. Maat Transport launched a secure truck parking in Alblasserdam in 2007 and I initiated secure truck parking All4Trucks in Calais in 2009. TRE initially operated three secure truck parkings in the Port of Rotterdam and two secure trailer parkings. In 2016/2017, the Port of Rotterdam built two more, which we also operate. In addition to these 5 parkings in the Port of Rotterdam, we opened a new secure truck parking in Hazeldonk on the Dutch/Belgian border and participated in a new secure truck parking in Duiven, near Arnhem, Germany. I believe we are currently the biggest operator of secure truck parkings in Europe with our own control room.

 

How would you describe the current cargo crime situation in the Netherlands, specifically in relation to trucks being targeted in unsecured parking locations?

 

The Netherlands reported an increase in cargo crime in 2016 in unsecured parking locations, which stabilised in 2017. It is too early to say that this is due to the development of six new secure truck parkings in the last 18 months, but they do contribute. Cargo crime around Hazeldonk is reported to have halved after the new secure truck parking came into play.

 

So, you have seen greater demand for secure parking?

There is definitely greater demand for secure parking. However, the reason for this is often the higher level of comfort and predictable availability of these sites. The loss of productivity for transport companies goes beyond cargo crime. And the same is true for road safety.

 

What security features and benefits do your sites offer today?

All sites offer LABEL 3 to 4 locks security. Access and exit control for every vehicle, license plate recognition, access control of every pedestrian as well as fencing and alarms. Lighting and full CCTV coverage. We run a 24/7 control room to monitor all sites.

 

What driver services do you offer?

We offer leisure facilities, toilets, showers, TV rooms, vending machines, WiFi and laundry/drying machines.

 

How much does a secure truck parking place cost?

It varies from a maximum of €11,50 on weekdays and €15 at weekends in Rotterdam to a maximum of €14 for Duiven and Hazeldonk

 

Are customers able to pre-book secure parking at your sites?

Pre-booking is possible only in relation to fixed-term contracts. Customers then receive a dedicated access pass that will always grant access.

 

What is your view of TAPA’s PSR?

I do believe that we need a platform to discuss progress and the way forward. PPOs and customers need to work together to find an optimum solution regarding security and associated operational costs. We created secure truck parkings using our knowledge of systems and operations based on our understanding of the market. However, we continuously need to monitor and adapt. The only way forward is to do that in a constructive dialogue with our customers. It is clear that TAPA provides the best platform to discuss security levels and requirements for a PPO.

 

TAPA has launched an online secure parking tool to help route planners identify secure parking sites. You must welcome this initiative?

Clearly, this is the way forward. Locations of secure truck parking areas (TPA) need to be known and potential new locations will be created in the high demand areas deriving from this tool.

 

Are all of your sites adopting the TAPA PSR Standard?

Yes.

 

What is the benefit to a PPO of operating a TAPA-approved secure parking site?

I believe a PPO operates a site that he or she believes is right. There will always be an optimum between investments/operational costs and what customers require. The benefit of TAPA-approved sites is that they are transparent in what they offer their customers regarding security, safety and comfort. It also forces the operator to be consistent and have a continuous dialogue in order to improve.

 

Some parking places claim to be secure but actually offer very little in the way of security. Will TAPA’s PSR provide a trusted assessment of those PPOs like yourselves which are making a genuine investment/commitment to providing a professional level of secure parking?

The sharing of information by users is essential to see if a PPO’s security claims are for real. Every customer wants to have some form of guarantee that their supplier delivers what is expected. With regards to secure truck parkings, this is achieved not only through investment but also by the quality and integrity of the operation. The latter is probably the most important point and will only be experienced and noted by frequent use. Continuous judgements will be necessary.

 

If you go for Levels 1 & 2 of PSR when they are launched in October, do you expect to have to invest more in your truck parking sites to meet these Standards?

We do not expect that we will need additional investment to meet the TAPA Standard at this point.

 

Are you planning to open new sites – if so, will all of your future sites meet the TAPA PSR Standards?

We do want to extend our network further and, yes, we feel committed to TAPA PSR Standards for all our sites.

 

Can you estimate the total market size/potential demand for secure truck parking in the Netherlands?

Statistics on demand for secure TPA’s are not available yet. Based on our experience, however, I believe we will need at least 10 more secure truck parkings in the Netherlands

 

What needs to happen for TAPA’s PSR to be a success and for it to be adopted by more PPOs across Europe?

I do believe that the dialogue between customers and PPOs is essential. Since this is a new phenomenon, all parties - investors, operators, public bodies and customers - need to learn from each other to make this a professional business. TAPA has the technical knowledge and the market power to guide developments in the right direction. This should help operators and investors to make the right decisions. We would like to participate in that process to move the industry forward.

 

TAPA believes there is a significant commercial opportunity for PPOs that meet a recognised secure parking standard – do you agree?

Here, I hesitate. The right security level at the right place at the right cost will be, of course, a very big commercial opportunity for all parties. The question, however, is how do we get there? It goes beyond having a recognised secure parking standard. It requires commitment from the PPO as well as from the TAPA members to get to that stage.

 

What is your message to TAPA members about the need to support parking sites which have adopted the PSR Standard?

To operate efficiently, as well as securely and safely, one has to face the fact that for every long-haul road transportation, the truck and cargo are not moving for 50% of the time. Planning these resting areas, confirming their availability and the security offered has a great impact on crime prevention and efficiency.

 

You have recently joined TAPA EMEA – what is the value of membership?

TAPA EMEA provides a platform for a PPO to discuss all elements of security directly with customers at large.

 

What else would you like to see TAPA doing to raise the profile of PPOs supporting PSR?   

We would like TAPA to take the lead in sharing knowledge on technical security measures elsewhere in the logistical chain that can be used by PPOs. The level of innovation can be increased. We do expect TAPA to provide us with the requested platform to discuss improvements and we do want a partnership to provide secure parking places at the right price and in the right locations.