The European Commission’s introduction of its EU Safe & Secure Truck Parking Areas (SSTPA) Standard has been welcomed by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA EMEA) as another important step towards improving driver safety and reducing cargo crime in Europe.
The lack of secure parking places now represents the biggest threat to the safety and security of drivers, trucks and cargoes in Europe. The EU is now on track to approve the new SSTPA into EU Law through a Delegated Act in the remit of the EU Driving and Rest Time rules, part of the Commission’s Mobility Package 1.
The move represents “a welcome addition to the tool kit that targets road transport cargo crime and security,” said Thorsten Neumann, president & CEO of TAPA in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region.
This new version of the SSTPA will replace the existing voluntary SSTPA scheme which was produced following a comprehensive study into EU parking needs. The availability of EC funding, alongside the new SSTPA, will help the industry to invest in projects that improve conditions for drivers and increase truck parking capacity.
Thorsten Neumann stated: “TAPA EMEA supports the introduction of the EU SSTPA because urgent action is needed to support the resilience of road transport supply chains in Europe, minimise the level of cargo crime, and, of course, protect the safety of truck drivers. The capacity for secure truck parking will not meet demand for many years but this is a positive step forward. TAPA EMEA estimates the industry has a shortfall of over 2,000 secure truck stops and over 400,000 parking bays in Europe.
“The EU Standard shares the objectives of TAPA EMEA’s Parking Security Requirements (PSR) in promoting and facilitating the growth and use of classified secure truck parking. We, therefore, will actively support the adoption of either of the Standards. There are similarities in requirements between the two Standards, but there are differences in approach. So, it’s not a case of which standard is best, but more a decision for each operator on which standard best suits their needs. The overwhelming priority – at a time when we are seeing severe driver shortages across Europe – is to deliver a safer and more secure operating environment for drivers, trucks and cargoes. On this, we all agree.”
As a leading supply chain resilience and security Association representing Manufacturers, Logistics Services Providers and all supply chain security stakeholders, TAPA EMEA has played an active role in supporting the Commission’s SSTPA Standard. However, the Association – which has been helping to protect its members’ supply chains for over 24 years – has also recognised that businesses are cautious because the EU LABEL project, the predecessor to SSTPA, failed to attract many parking sites and certifications were not maintained.
TAPA EMEA’s PSR Standard was created three years ago based on the Association’s knowledge of the business reality facing supply chains as well as its understanding of what customers of secure parking places will accept. “We support all initiatives, Standards and regulatory requirements which promote the safety and security of people, goods, equipment and services in the global supply chain as long as they are affordable, easy-to-adopt, fit-for-purpose and sustainable. We will progress faster if we all work together,” Thorsten Neumann added.
Whilst recognising the long journey ahead, TAPA EMEA says its PSR continues to see strong growth and interest from Parking Place Operators and customers of secure trucking parking places. The TAPA EMEA secure parking database currently includes over 75 parking sites in 14 countries in the EMEA region, offering over 7,000 parking bays.
TAPA EMEA members remain deeply concerned by the lack of secure and affordable truck parking locations in the region. Theft from Vehicle attacks on trucks – and, often, drivers – continue to represent the highest percentage (>60%+) of cargo crime incidents reported to TAPA EMEA’s Incident Information Service (IIS).