Undoubtedly, the scarcity of available truck parking spaces is a pervasive problem across the nation, causing daily headaches for truck drivers. A 2021 survey conducted collaboratively by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Trucking Associations (ATA), and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) reveals that there exists just one parking spot for every 11 drivers, which translates to a staggering statistic: on any given day, an estimated 90% of drivers may find themselves without a suitable parking spot.
This challenge is supported by a 2023 report from Trucker Path through data provided by Trucker Path mobile app users. According to this report, truckers encountered “no parking available” as frequently as 36% of the time in various regions across the country.
This predicament is a nationwide issue that plagues most drivers, as their primary challenge is not only the availability of parking spaces but also their accessibility at the right time and place. An ATA study suggests that drivers spend an average of 56 minutes daily searching for suitable parking, adding a substantial time burden to their already demanding schedules.
In 2019, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) Research Advisory Committee recognized the need for greater consistency in providing truck parking availability information to drivers. To address this concern, they prioritized “Standardizing Truck Parking Information Systems.” Their goal was to discern how drivers receive information about parking availability and their preferences for the dissemination of such data.
Both public and private entities have worked to help drivers identify available parking spots through advanced technologies that monitor parking space availability and deliver real-time information. While these efforts are helpful, they are only the first step. What is really needed is a tech that compiles all this information into one, accessible place.
Embracing an open API infrastructure, which can assimilate data from various sources into a single platform, is a promising solution. The advantages for drivers are evident: access to parking information that is more readily available, faster, accurate, and up-to-date. Shortage in truck parking not only presents a logistical challenge but also poses safety concerns for drivers who may have to park in undesignated areas or on highway shoulders and ramps.
The time spent searching for parking accumulates to a 12% loss in earnings annually, according to the FHWA, ATA, and OOIDA study. These losses are compounded when drivers are forced to stop prematurely to secure parking before they exceed their Hours-of-Service (HOS) limits. For trucking companies, the search for parking translates into lost revenue, averaging $5,500 per driver each year.
The shortage of truck parking has consistently ranked as a top-five concern in the annual ATRI Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry survey since 2015. In 2022, it claimed the third overall ranking, and for the third consecutive year, it was the top concern for drivers, surpassing compensation. In 2023, ATRI recognized the importance of expanding truck parking by including it in its list of top research priorities.
Source: Trucking Info