The Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) has announced that it will explore the benefits of aligning its Parking Security Requirements (PSR) industry standard with the newly established European Commission’s (EC) Safe & Secure Parking Places for Trucks programme. TAPA is an organization that unites global manufacturers, logistics providers, freight carriers, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to improve efficiency within supply chains.
The idea behind the potential alignment of TAPA’s programme with the EC programme has to do with tackling the spike in truck cargo crimes at poorly guarded parking spots. Aligning the standards will help with adoption and thereby quicken the pace of security offered for trucks at parking areas across Europe.
“At TAPA, we strongly believe that such standards should come from the industry and be for the industry because at the end of the day it is the industry that is paying for it,” said Thorsten Neumann, President and CEO of TAPA EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region. Although a vocal supporter of the EC initiative, Neumann reserved some scepticism concerning the manner of its integration with TAPA PSR.
“We are supporting the EC initiative, and we are part of the experts’ committee. But we still see some administrative hurdles within the entire process. We strongly believe that the process is, by far, the most complicated. It’s not really going into the direction where we foresee significant support coming in from the industry,” said Neumann.
The issue separating TAPA PSR and the EC is mostly ideological. TAPA PSR has embedded a tiered self-certification programme into its process that can help rapidly increase the number of secure parking sites in Europe.
The programme was designed by industry experts and provides TAPA members with an online route planning tool that identifies all the parking spots that are PSR-approved. However, the EC has refused to implement the self-certification process to date, bewildering TAPA.
“We see self-certification as a way to start the process of securing parking spots because if you have excessive administrative hurdles, you can never get parking places certified as they will see it as too much work,” said Neumann. “We are in this triage process, where we are in constant communication with the EC, with the EC being in contact with the [European] Parliament, and the Parliament still pushing back on some areas where the EC needs to adjust.”
That said, the pace at which the standards are aligned needs to be quickened, as year-on-year recorded incidents of criminal attacks on vehicles in unsecured parking spaces have continued to go up at an alarming pace. Last year, the EMEA region accounted for 58.8% of all crimes reported to TAPA, with data from the first half of 2019 showing a 167.6% increase in unsecured parking lot crimes year-on-year.
Though a part of the rise in recorded incidents might be attributed to a general increase in the percentage of reported crimes, the trend is worrying all the same.
“We will continue to move forward with our own PSR security standard while our discussions with the EU continue, but we can see a lot of common ground to align our respective programmes and provide a solution to satisfy the high demand for all levels of secure truck parking,” said Neumann. “We are confident that by working together, we can meet our shared goal of making supply chains safer and more resilient.”