The importance of secure truck parking in supply chain security

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Secure parking is a crucial aspect of supply chain security that has often been overlooked. While cargo is at rest, it is at its greatest risk of theft, making secure parking facilities essential for truck drivers during their mandatory breaks.

Lack of secure parking capacity

One of the primary challenges in ensuring secure parking is the distinct lack of capacity for secure truck parking globally. Many secure parking areas are oversubscribed, forcing drivers to seek alternative, less secure options such as lay-bys and side roads.

Defining "secure" parking

There is also confusion surrounding what constitutes "secure" parking. Organisations like TAPA (Transported Asset Protection Association) have introduced Parking Security Requirements (PSR) to address this issue, with a certification system based on three levels of security controls.

The European Union (EU) study

A study by the EU confirmed the need for more safe and secure parking facilities, accurate information about availability, booking possibilities, and a certification system across the EU. The study found that the current capacity is inadequate along main European transport corridors.

TAPA's parking security requirements

TAPA's PSR allows sites to become partners by confirming basic security controls are in place. The system has three levels, with Level 1 being the highest and Level 3 being the entry-level based on self-certification audits.

The EU's proposed certification system

The EU report suggests a different regime with bronze, silver, gold, and platinum levels, based on requirements for staff procedures, entry/exit controls, parking area, perimeter, and basic service levels (toilets, showers, internet, etc.).

Lack of investment in existing facilities

Despite the growing number of TAPA-certified parking locations, many existing truck stop operators are reluctant to invest in upgrading security on-site to achieve certification.

Driving factors for change

Future changes may be driven by factors such as increased competition, legislation, liability issues, the provision of grants, and the opportunity for increased profits.

Motorway service areas

In the UK, motorway service areas offer truck parking facilities, but generally with relatively little security. However, they are convenient in terms of location and may deter criminals through the presence of cameras and authorities.

Initiatives and apps

Initiatives like the Motorway Buddy app and TAPA's Spot app provide drivers with information about available secure parking facilities, recorded crime locations, and booking options.

Improving security and attracting drivers

Improving secure parking conditions can help attract new drivers to the industry by offering a better quality of working life and security. The transport sector faces challenges such as driver shortages, an ageing workforce, and safety and security concerns.


Secure truck parking is a critical issue in supply chain security, and stakeholders must collaborate to raise awareness, embrace security standards, and invest in improving the security provisions of parking locations. Addressing this issue can not only reduce cargo theft but also improve the working conditions and attract new talent to the industry.

Mike Yarwood

TT Club

David Thompson

Signum Services