Where can I park my truck? Thousands of drivers are confronted with this problem day in, day out or, rather, night after night, having steered their vehicles across Europe. Traffic data shows that by 5 p.m. at the latest, all parking spaces along freeways and highways are already full. However, mitigation is in sight. The “Park-Your-Truck” system, which is rapidly spreading throughout Europe, promises relief from the repeated stress that truckers are constantly exposed to.
"Park-Your Truck” avoids stress, the management of “Park-Your-Truck” emphasizes. Thanks to the tool developed by Managing Director, Denise Schuster, truck drivers are able to block parking spaces
for their vehicles for a given period of time. Part of this service offering includes free access to lavatories and rest rooms, unlimited WiFi connectivity, or a cheaper cup of coffee. This is
complemented by access to LNG or diesel fuel pumps.
Like sardines in a tin
Confirmed by numerous surveys, the search for free parking spaces is a constant and highly annoying challenge for truck drivers all over Europe. Latecomers often have to take detours because they cannot get access to one of the few parking lots alongside the highway. Every night, trucks are literally squeezed together in parking areas like sardines. If drivers exceed their driving time while looking for parking spaces, they face harsh and expensive penalties should they be controlled by police. However, the real culprits are the hesitant policymakers, bureaucratic naysayers and sceptics who have failed to match the supply to meet the constantly increasing demand of forwarders and their employees.
Perseverance pays off
According to statistics, it takes at least 10 years from planning a parking area until its physical operability. Yet, truckers cannot wait that long. They need immediate solutions. This is where Ms. Schuster comes into play: Her “Park-Your-Truck” service tool offers drivers and their vehicles exclusive access to parking areas managed by her company. These include hand-picked parking spaces near soccer stadiums, large retail stores, or parking spaces abandoned at night. Her tracing efforts have resulted in a considerable amount of space, located somewhat further away from the major traffic arteries, but still easily accessible and usable for truckers.
100+ parking sites
Driven by her business idea, she systematically started spotting areas that she believed to be suitable for temporary truck parking. That was ten years ago. Today, her company, "Park-Your-Truck", markets 20,000 parking lots on more than 100 sites. In addition, there are another 6,000 spaces operated by her company's own staff. Thanks to the success, she managed to expand her company’s activities throughout Europe, incepting subsidiaries in France, Spain, the UK, and Italy. Later this year, the Benelux countries will also be connected to the system, she told CargoForwarder Global. At present, the average utilization rate of all areas marketed by her enterprise stands at 80%, she assures.
Users of her tool benefit from additional services such as free access to washrooms, showers, free WiFi access, or access to LNG pumps. In addition, there are coffee vending machines located at all sites. And most importantly, the risk of cargo theft is significantly minimized by these stand-alone offerings.
Once applicants have registered their companies, they get instant access to the "Park-Your-Truck" electronic system. Via the App, drivers can request assignment to a parking lot located along their route. Since these spaces are marketed exclusively by “Park-Your-Truck”, the system immediately assigns a free parking space and blocks it for the applicant's vehicle for the requested period of time.
This "shared economy" pays off for everyone involved, stresses Ms. Schuster. Drivers are relieved of the annoying daily lottery of finding a free parking space on their own along highways. The owners of the parking areas are paid parking fees of between 13 and 18 euros per vehicle, which is automatically charged to the company booking the slot via “Park-Your-Truck". Other levied charges are based on short-term parking and flat rates offered for weekends.
Finally, Ms. Schuster and her team cash a service fee of 4 euros from each user. Most of these funds are invested in new projects and the Europe-wide expansion of her product.
On 21APR23, another area will be added to the space marketed by “Park-Your-Truck”: 19 parking lots located at the Autobahn A4 near Goeda/Bautzen, East Germany. The interstate is mainly used by Polish drivers on their way to/from Eastern Europe to the major ports along the North Sea range or to Leipzig/Halle Airport, home to DHL Express and freight carrier, AeroLogic.
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