Use YMS to Combat Truck Parking Crisis

In case you were looking for yet another reason to consider implementing a Yard Management System (YMS) solution as part of your TMS instance or even as a standalone, here’s one to consider.   Beyond the standard reasons the Collaborator blog has detailed in recent posts – improved visibility into equipment & stored freight, better dock door scheduling, improved yard safety and security, etc. – a new challenge faces truckers thanks to the new Hours of Service rules: access to safe, overnight parking.  Follow past the jump for details on the new challenge and how YMS tools can alleviate the pain.

Our good friend Adrian Gonzalez of Talking Logistics read the same Wall Street Journal article we did last week.  Titled, Too Many Trucks, Too Little Parking, the WSJ’s piece (registration required) highlighted the plight of truckers who need a place to park their rig, mid-shipment.  Whether because the DC isn’t ready to load/unload their trailer for several hours or because they’re butting up against HOS mandated rest periods, truckers are reporting there aren’t enough spaces to park.  Truck stops are overflowing due to the increased stops brought about by HOS rules.   Read Adrian’s post at Talking Logistics for his take on the issue.

All this is forcing truckers to find alternatives for overnight parking that operate in a grey area between safe/legal and risky/illegal.  Parking at places like abandoned gas stations, vacant lots, behind shopping centers and even alongside freeway ramps puts drivers and freight alike at risk for theft and penalties from law enforcement.  The WSJ piece even reports on a recent case where a trucker was burned alive in his rig, parked just outside the gates of the plant where he was waiting to make his delivery.

Adrian took the data shared in the WSJ piece and produced the following two charts that instantly clarify the scope of the challenge.

YMS Combats Driver Parking Issues
Charts courtesy of Talking Logistics

This got us to thinking about how something as simple as improved yard management might have saved that unlucky driver’s life.  An actively managed yard provides managers with a clear inventory of available spaces which could be used in theory to allow truckers to dwell as they wait – sometimes for hours – for loading or unloading.   Extra yard space for those with ample lots could be made available to truckers for overnight parking.

Keeping drivers off of public streets, freeway ramps and vulnerable, remote parking places like abandoned lots is a laudable goal.  It is also one that logistics as an industry is going to be forced to address.  Consider a YMS implementation.  It is a low–cost initiative that will easily pay dividends in security and efficiency improvements alone.  Plus, leveraging the YMS to provide much needed parking capacity to the industry would be good publicity for those organizations forward-looking enough to take this step.

For more on UltraYMS, click here to view information sheet.

2 thoughts on “Use YMS to Combat Truck Parking Crisis”

  • Thank you for this article and for offering a solution to our nations professional driver regarding the serious truck parking shortage

    As one of the founders of North American Trucking Alerts (NATA) I commend this call to action. North American Trucking Alerts is calling on the industry; truckers, trucking companies, freight brokers, shippers, receivers, and other related components of the trucking industry, to address the serious issues faced by drivers and the trucking industry.

    The Goal of North American Trucking Alerts is to essentially address these issues, creating a vital conscious awareness throughout the trucking industry and also to the general public.

    NATA recognizes that it will be up to the industry as a whole to actively acknowledge their individual responsibilities regarding driver issues which are greatly affecting, not just professional drivers, but everyone.

    Accountability – Driver issues are no longer just driver problems, they are industry problems.

    It is our goal to highlight those such as yourself, who are willing to take the step and offer their solutions.

    For more information on how to be recognized as a supporter of professional drivers by demonstrating your part of the much needed solutions, please go to

    Allen Smith

    For those who would like to review the Truck Parking Survey results which was led by Hope Rivenburg, the crusader of “Jasons Law” in Map21 (widow of murdered trucker Jason Rivenburg) please go to

  • I totally agree with Allen the parking shortage even affects team drivers as we need to stop and take a 30 minute break and with no parking available leaves us either tying up a fuel island which is a BIG no no or parking unsafe for 30 minutes which leaves us vulnerable for an accident because we’re not parked correctly or on the off ramp and both situations are unsafe. The fuel islands are parked up so badly because the new drivers think is okay to park for 30 minutes tying me up to get fuel. There are many times I was able to get my 30 minute break in and done before even getting to the fuel island. But this parking situation is so out of hand and unsafe as at some truck stops were backed out on the road

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