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Park It! How Unused Spaces Can Help The Trucking Industry – And The Environment

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Back in the 1970s, there was a pop-culture craze based around long-haul truckers. Movies like Convoy and television shows such as BJ and the Bear romanticized life on the open road and portrayed drivers as freewheeling iconoclasts. And while there is something undeniably cool about an 18-wheeler being driven by a bad-ass loner (accompanied by his pet monkey) snaking its way across the country, one thing that was never shown was a decidedly less hip aspect of trucking: parking at the end of the day. Fortunately, this is a major problem for the transportation industry, and it’s also an opportunity for property owners to generate additional revenues.


According to trucking industry magazine Fleet Owner, parking for truckers is an acute problem that is only getting worse. While there are generally plenty of spaces at truck stops along highways, once trucks enter cities, they have few options after dropping off their cargo. That’s because city parking is far more expensive than it is in exurban areas, and it can literally cost drivers hundreds of dollars to find a place for their vehicles. Needless to say, most drivers can’t spend that kind of money, and they often drive up to 50 miles outside of their destinations cities for the night, only to return the next day to pick up the next load. We are talking about an extra hundred miles of driving every day for long-haul truckers.

Environmental and Economic Costs of Inefficient Truck Parking

That has a massive environmental impact – literally millions of pounds of carbon are being released into the environment every year just from the unnecessary roundtrips that truckers need just to park their vehicles. But there are other costs as well, including economic losses. Because truckers are restricted on the number of hours they are allowed to drive each day, these long-distance parking searches cut into time they can actually spend delivering shipments. And then there are the costs to the local economy. Trucks cause an inordinate amount of damage to roadways, meaning that local and state governments need to increase the frequency of repairs. And, of course, there is the contribution to traffic, which is already at a tipping point in many American urban centers.

Utilizing Unused Parking Spaces to Alleviate Urban Parking Issues

Of course, they would also need to factor in things such as wear and tear, providing electrical hook-ups, and noise and pollution mitigation practices. And, of course, a digital marketplace to make the booking and administrative process smooth. But these are fairly easy to do and would not present a major barrier to successfully executing this kind of program. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and a willingness to think outside the box when it comes to uncovering new revenue streams and utilizing space efficiently.

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