Sep 28 P

Safe truck parking has remained a top industry issue for both fleets and commercial truck drivers for years. In the American Transportation Research Institute’s 2019 Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry survey, parking was the fifth most important issue, behind the driver shortage, hours-of-service rules, compensation, and detention.

But, fleets and drivers differ on the importance of parking. Drivers, who must deal with issues related to finding safe parking on a daily basis, ranked the issue third on their list of top concerns. Fleets, however, did not rank parking as a top-10 issue.

Providing access to safe truck parking can be a driver retention strategy for some fleets. Typically, truck drivers can use solutions such as TruckPark to reserve parking spots for an average of about $15 per night. Getting reimbursed for that cost, though, is not as easy, and the burden is still on the driver to find the space.

TruckPark is working to change that equation. The company has launched an Enterprise Booking System (EBS) that allows fleets to book multiple parking spaces for their drivers within a single dashboard.

TruckPark Reserve provides dispatchers “direct access to safe and secure parking, the ability to book multiple reservations seamlessly, route plan more efficiently, reduce driver turnover, increase payload security and offer a guarantee by TruckPark that each parking spot will be available when the driver arrives to park,” the company said in a release.

“TruckPark Reserve also provides fleets with improved business intelligence built into the TruckPark app,” Anthony Petitte, CEO, and co-founder of TruckPark said. “We are developing a number of useful tools into TruckPark Reserve transforming the product into a super-platform for brokers, carriers, and shippers to use.”

Petitte told FreightWaves that TruckPark Reserve gives the company two complementary products — the TruckPark Mobile app for owner-operators and small fleets with under five trucks to book reservations on a nightly basis; and TruckPark Reserve.

“Fleets with five-plus trucks can use the platform to book reservations on behalf of their drivers, route plan more efficiently, and reduce driver turnover,” Petitte said. “On the same platform, fleets can manage their driver data and track in real-time when their drivers arrive and exit parking facilities for insurance purposes.”

Another benefit of the new solution is the ability to book hotels as needed. Petitte said fleets “can book reservations in hotel parking lots only and/or lodging overnight. Fleets who book lodging for their drivers experience discounts and savings.”

Fleets can access a dashboard that allows them to manage parking reservations in a single location. The system allows for parking management on desktops, phones, or tablets. Within the dashboard, users can manage driver information, and see parking locations, amenities, pricing, and availability in real-time.

According to Petitte, fleets can pre-pay for drivers on a monthly basis, and any unused reservations simply roll over to the next month.

“This creates a seamless experience for the dispatcher making reservations. He/she doesn’t have to worry about continually entering in credit card information,” he said.

Payments can be done one time through ACH pay or company credit cards.

TruckPark offers API integration and automated payment processing that includes real-time spending visibility so fleets can accurately manage their parking spend. In addition, for fleets that are concerned about the security of their drivers or high-value loads, the dashboard identifies secure parking facilities.

Once a reservation is booked, a driver receives a text message with a digital receipt (which the driver would show to a guard if one is present) and a link to navigate to the location. If a driver can’t make the facility due to driving hour restrictions or for other reasons, they would need to notify dispatch for the reservation to be changed. Full reimbursement is available for canceled reservations with at least 20 minutes advance notice, Petitte said.

TruckPark co-founder and COO Joshua Walls said EBS will help continue to drive TruckPark’s growth.

“We are bringing a number of new large fleets into partnership with TruckPark because they are excited to be able to help their dispatchers efficiently find parking for their many drivers,” Walls said.

TruckPark added thousands of spaces to its network in 2019 through partnerships with several parking lot owners, including a deal with that promises to add more than 100 locations over the next two years. It now has over 38,000 spaces across its network, with 6,500 spaces dedicated to TruckPark customers at 180 locations. The remaining spaces are made available as space allows.

Earlier this year, it announced agreements with Echo Global Logistics (NASDAQ: ECHO) and Trucker Tools.

The partnership with Echo Global gives EchoDrive Preferred members a 50% discount on parking for owner-operators and fleets with one to five trucks and a 25% discount for company drivers and fleets with six or more trucks.

The integration with Trucker Tools placed TruckPark’s parking reservation system inside the Trucker Tools app, which is used by 130,000 small fleet operations, Trucker Tools said.