Truck park owners in Europe are missing out on substantial new revenues because their locations are not recognised as being secure enough by Manufacturers and Logistics Service Providers transporting high value, theft targeted products, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

As part of its initiative to reduce the soaring level of cargo losses from trucks parked at unsecured parking locations, TAPA is approaching 520 Parking Place Operators (PPOs) in 35 countries in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region to highlight the commercial benefits of adopting its new Parking Security Requirements (PSR) being launched this summer. The new security standard joins TAPA’s long-standing and highly respected Facility Security Requirements (FSR) and Trucking Security Requirements (TS), which are now a mandatory qualification in a growing number of global supply chains.

TAPA’s latest cargo crime intelligence highlights why more secure parking sites are urgently needed at strategic points across the EMEA region. The Association says freight losses reported to its Incident Information Service (IIS) rose 59.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017 to 709, a rate of nearly eight a day. The total value for the 62% of incidents providing financial data over the three months was €43.4 million, and over 72% of all crimes occurred when trucks stopped in unsecured parking locations. This follows a 72.3% rise in recorded freight crimes in EMEA in 2016.

Tony Kavanagh, who leads TAPA EMEA’s Secure Parking Working Group, says: “European freight crime, in particular, is at an unprecedented level, and the biggest threat occurs during road transportation, specifically when drivers need to take mandatory rest breaks. The lack of a database of trusted and secure parking places means vehicles end up parked in lay-bys and on industrial estates, which can make them an easy target for cargo thieves operating in those areas. In Q1 2017, 45% of crimes reported to TAPA involving losses of over €100,000 and nearly 90% of thefts with a value of between €50,000 and €100,000 took place in these types of locations. So, there is a massive business opportunity for Parking Place Operators that step up to TAPA’s new PSR requirements, which have been developed in consultation with our members. Customers want a solution.”

In fact, TAPA believes a high number of professional parking sites in Europe may already meet the minimum requirements of the new standard. The 520 sites already identified have been put forward by its member companies, and the Association says it will continue to add to this list as it aims to build a new network of secure parking sites across EMEA.

In May, a team of TAPA ‘Secure Parking Ambassadors’ commenced the process of contacting PPOs. Initially, they plan to speak to the owners of a sample group of parking locations in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy to gain their feedback on the programme before rolling it out to every site on its list.

TAPA aims to launch Phase 1 of the project in Q3 of this year. The details of each location that complies with TAPA’s Parking Security Requirements will be uploaded to the Association’s new online parking tool, making it easy for TAPA members to identify sites and make bookings when they are planning their trucking operations. The tool also provides an overlay of crime data on transport routes across the EMEA region to help manufacturers and their transport and logistics partners recognise ‘hotspots’ where crimes have occurred previously as well as the nature of the incidents.

TAPA’s secure parking programme is open to all Parking Place Operators, who will not be asked to pay a fee to TAPA to participate in Phase 1. The Association is simply focused on creating a secure parking network to benefit its members through a programme of certification, partnership and mutual recognition.

In Phase 1, there are three ways to meet the requirements of PSR:
– A self-certification entry level that will see TAPA conducting sample audits of sites;
– By signing an annual Partner Declaration to confirm the security requirements stated in the TAPA programme are in place;
– Through mutual recognition by TAPA of Parking Place Operators that have met the requirements of other organisations with TAPA pre-approved parking security schemes.

Phase 2 will see the addition of a full certification programme in 2018 featuring three levels and audits carried out by independent audit bodies.

Jason Breakwell, Vice Chair of TAPA EMEA, said: “We are working to deliver a solution that is a win/win for both Parking Place Operators and our members. Many PPOs may already meet our requirements and so gaining PSR certification will give them the recognition they deserve to support the growth of their businesses. For other parking operators, we are confident that participating in the PSR programme at Entry Level will only require a minimum level of investment. Parking locations that meet our security standards can look forward to valuable new revenue streams, while our members will achieve much greater supply chain resilience and, therefore, reduce the significant financial impact that results from supply chain losses.”