How the Nationwide Truck Parking Shortage Disrupts Supply Chains

Red truck in the city

If you’re in the trucking or logistics industry, you can’t help but be aware of the truck parking shortage in the US. But this is a much larger issue than simply a lack of truck parking. This problem affects many other industries and businesses in one way or another. 

Below, we’ll take a look at, specifically, how the truck parking shortage disrupts supply chains.

It Makes Driver Recruitment Harder

While the trucking industry is always looking for new truck drivers, the truck parking shortage makes it more difficult for companies to recruit drivers. This is largely because even aspiring truck drivers don’t want to deal with the pressures and complications of not having access to parking when they need it.

This is further complicated by the Hours of Service (HoS) requirements mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). The FMCSA demands that drivers drive for no more than 11 hours at a time. While this is a reasonable safety precaution to ensure that drivers don’t drive when fatigued, the truck parking shortage can make it difficult to adhere to these requirements.

In fact, this recruitment problem is significant enough to have ranked third in the top five trucking industry challenges of 2022 (as stated in a report by the American Transport Research Institute). At the time, it had already been an issue of significant concern since 2005.  

As you can see, the truck parking shortage directly correlates to having a limited number of available truck drivers. Naturally, insufficient driving staff can lead to problems with supply since there aren’t always enough drivers to drive all the loads. 

It Compromises Road and Driver Safety

When there’s a serious truck parking shortage, it makes it harder for drivers to practice safe driving. 

Overturned truck

Some of the ways this may affect drivers and driver safety include the following:

Fatigued Driving

Fatigue is just one of the ways in which this is true. When there isn’t an available space to stop and take a rest, drivers often have to keep going longer than is advisable. Fatigue is a serious problem and can result in fatalities.

According to estimations by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 328,000 drowsy driving accidents occur every year. Of those, more than 6,000 are fatal. While this may not be strictly related to the truck driving industry, it does show the dangers of driving while fatigued.

While the loss of life is already devastating, there’s a secondary element to this. Since truck drivers play an integral part in the supply chain when they get into an accident, it also results in damage to, or loss of, the merchandise they’re transporting. This can severely affect the supply chain, especially in the case of rare or valuable items.

Speeding to Reach Safe Parking Areas in Time

The other side of the truck parking shortage is that truck drivers may try to drive faster to reach their destination. They may also attempt to reach a certain space where they know they’re likely to get parking before reaching the end of their Hours of Service.

Again, speeding leads to accidents. In the trucking industry, accidents translate to lost merchandise.

Having to Park in Unsafe Locations

Due to the truck parking shortage, there’s often not enough safe parking for all the trucks on the road. This means that some drivers will, by necessity, have to park in areas that aren’t as safe. 

This not only places the drivers in danger but is a risk to the supply chain. When drivers are forced to park in unsafe areas, the merchandise is at a greater risk of being stolen or damaged.

It Causes Delays 

Another side of the truck parking shortage is that it can cause supply delays. 

Truck with three trailers

As stated earlier, truck drivers have to adhere to Hours of Service regulations. Failure to do so can result in fines or even the suspension of their commercial driving license.

When a truck driver arrives at a designated truck parking area, and there isn’t another nearby, but they’ve reached the end of their 11-hour drive time, they may be forced to wait for a space to open. This can result in delays to the merchandise reaching its destination.

Truck drivers may also have to wait in line at distribution centers, resulting in frustration and longer wait times. 

While minor delays may not be serious in some industries, they can be devastating in others. For instance, where just-in-time inventory is concerned, on-time delivery is essential. Companies relying on this type of logistics rely on their deliveries to be well-coordinated and perfectly on time. 

The truck parking shortage can lead to significant delays in this industry. Since Just-in-Time services play a part in most supply chains, this can lead to further disruptions and delays for companies and services relying on the affected companies.

How Truck Parking Club Can Help

Truck parking shortages can be a significant factor in many ways, and there’s no denying that they exist. However, there are ways to mitigate its effects. For example, you can use Truck Parking Club.

When you use the Truck Parking Club app on mobile devices or the desktop site, you get access to hundreds of parking spaces that aren’t generally available to truck drivers.

Since you can book your space in advance, you can rest assured that you’ll have a parking space when you get there. Through our unique approach, we connect truck drivers to parking spaces that are typically overlooked.

The process is fairly simple:

  1. Register a free account.
  2. Find an available parking space in your area of interest.
  3. Book your space as far as days in advance.
  4. Drive with an easy heart.

From the East Coast to the West Coast, if you need a place to park your truck, we can help you. Thus far, we’ve connected truckers to parking spaces all around the country. So, what are you waiting for?

Join Truck Parking Club Today!

The information published herein is for general informational purposes only. Truck Parking Club does not make any representations or warranties about the completeness, reliability, legality, and accuracy of this information. Any reliance placed on such material is strictly at the user’s own risk. Truck Parking Club shall not be responsible for any losses or damages incurred in connection with the information published herein.