July 03, 2018

TL/LTL Shipping Trends - Parking Shortage May Extend Delivery Times, Affect Costs

By Alysha Colangeli
A shortage of rest stops is causing some drivers to end their days early, which could lead to longer delivery times, while a new trend of prepaid parking reservations will likely increase driver/carrier costs.

Parking Shortage Could Extend Delivery Times
Drivers are facing a lack of rest stops now that hours of service are being more routinely enforced, which could extend delivery times. “What we've seen is hours of productivity being reduced, and one of those reasons is because a driver may shut down two hours earlier than his clock tells him to because there's not enough places for these guys to park to take a break,” a shipper said.

Parking Apps Help Planning, but Bump Up Costs
Many of the major truck stop chains now have mobile apps that allow truckers to reserve a parking reservation in advance. TravelCenters of America LLC’s TruckSmart app and Pilot Travel Centers LLC’s myPilot app even show how many available spots are left at their respective locations. “There are apps where you can pay money to reserve a spot at the rest stop beforehand. … These apps help save some time, but are a new added cost,” a broker said. One shipper said, “We're seeing this new trend of pre-paid truck stops, and drivers calling ahead to reserve a spot. They are going to have to create more truck stops.” Another said, “Reserving rest stops -- that's new. It’s a whole new revenue stream for these rest stops. If you're an owner-operator, that comes out of your pocket; if you're a carrier and you run for Schneider National [Inc.] or [Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc.’s] Swift, for example, then that company pays for that. And then that ends up being part of the rate.”


“I would say one of the big-picture items that not everyone's talking about is safe haven truck parking. That's going to be a bigger issue over time because there’s just not enough if it.” Carrier executive

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