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National Coalition on Truck Parking: Parking Capacity Working Group - Involving Shippers/Receivers to Address Truck Parking Capacity

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Parking Capacity Working Group



Adequate overnight truck parking is essential to the proper functioning of the freight industry and all of the businesses and industries that rely on goods movement. Truck parking demand is driven by safety considerations and the need for adequate rest for commercial vehicle operators. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours-of-service rules establish the operating capabilities of a truck driver, including rest time. The needs are summarized in the National Coalition on Truck Parking 2015-2016 Activity Report. Providing adequate parking reduces driver fatigue, which helps to protect drivers and other road users.

As an essential component for the operation of the trucking industry, the development and expansion of truck parking and truck staging need to be considered at every stage of the supply chain. Most of the truck parking spaces in the U.S. are located off the Interstate Highway System, at truck stops operated as private business establishments. The public and private sectors, including private industries such as shippers/receivers, motor carriers, and truck stop owners, all need to play a role in developing and maintaining truck parking.

This document provides examples of ways that private companies can help alleviate the shortage of truck parking.

Parking at Shipping/Receiving Facility

Meijer Grocery Stores – Newport, MI and Others

Meijer Grocery Stores has incorporated truck parking as part of their distribution centers. They allow drivers who recently completed a delivery or will soon make a delivery to park in a designated "bullpen" area outside the distribution center. A bullpen is a fenced area that's on the property of a business but not inside the gated area of the distribution facility. Being outside the actual distribution center limits liability for the company by separating parked trucks from trucks in the delivery area. Local police rather than Meijer respond to crashes that occur in the bullpen. Meijer usually provides Wi-Fi, a Port-o-John, and trash collection in the parking area.

Aerial photo of truck parking at a Meijer Grocery Stores distribution center bullpen in Newport, MI, labeled to show the distribution center and the bull pen.

Figure 1: Aerial view of truck parking at a Meijer Grocery Stores distribution center bullpen in Newport, MI.
Source: Map data ©2018 Google, DigitalGlobe.

Unilever and Kriska – Multiple Locations

Unilever partnered with Kriska Transportation Group to create the Safe Haven Program, which allows drivers to park onsite or immediately adjacent to their distribution centers both for staging purposes and overnight. Kriska's dispatch assigns drivers to parking spots at the distribution centers. Drivers on site must follow specific safety measures, such as wearing safety vests at all times and carrying a flashlight at night. What originally started out as a pilot at the Newville, Pennsylvania distribution center has expanded to all of Unilever's North American distribution centers and manufacturing plants. Unilever was motivated to allow parking onsite in order to become a "shipper of choice" for drivers. This program has been in operation for over two years and so far there have been no incidents.

Aerial photo of the Unilever Distribution Center and Trailer Parking area in Newville, PA. A red rectangle has been drawn around a dozen vehicles in the parking area.

Figure 2: Aerial view of the Unilever Distribution Center and Trailer Parking area in Newville, PA. The red square indicates the parking area.
Source: Map data ©2018 Google, DigitalGlobe.

The examples in this report show innovative solutions for truck parking applied in a range of situations. Suitability in other locations will depend on applicable Federal laws, State standards, and site-specific considerations. This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. It does not create any requirements other than those stipulated in statute or regulation. The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document. They are included for informational purposes only and are not intended to reflect a preference, approval, or endorsement of any one product or entity.

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