The Impact of the National Truck Parking Shortage: Too Many Trucks and Not Enough Space

Posted - December 2, 2015

A recovering economy, demand for express shipping, and cheaper fuel prices has created an unforeseen problem for truck drivers. 

The sight is common; in the late hours of the day the lone tractor trailer parks in an empty strip mall spot or tucks away in a quiet nook of a business development. More often than not, this practice is illegal and can be a risk to driver safety. 


There is a truck parking shortage hitting the nation hard in the last few years. Truck drivers who cannot find suitable parking have to park on highway shoulders and private lots or give up rest altogether until they can find a safe place to stop for the night.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published the results of a national survey to study the extent of this problem.  

In the survey, 75% of commercial drivers reported they had problems finding secure parking at night

Land Line Magazine reports the states most affected by the shortage include New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, and Indiana.

Acknowledging the scope of the problem, FHWA adds:

‘Ideally each driver requiring rest should be able to access a safe, clean, full service parking space to obtain long-term rest whenever the need for long-term parking arises.’

But ideal situations and reality often don’t match.

Adding extra stress to the existing parking infrastructure, the American Trucking Associations forecasts a 28.6% increase in freight over the next ten years. Higher demand for freight deliveries equals even more trucks on the road. Good for the economy. Bad for the parking shortage. 

This study was conducted in part because of Jason’s Law, an national bill created to raise awareness for the murder of truck driver Jason Rivenburg. In 2009 Rivenburg, rested in an empty lot because the freight facility would not provide parking for his early shipment. That night Rivenburg was shot and killed in a robbery.

Federal and private initiatives are working to fix the problem. An electric parking notification system recently received $25 million in government grants to help drivers find nearby truck parkingLarge retailers such as Walmart have made some of their lots available during the late hours.

CSTK also now offers solutions for the truck parking shortage. Our Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and St. Louis, Missouri locations provide trailer drop lots. With 100 spaces, CSTK Bethlehem is conveniently located in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park at I-78 and Route 412. CSTK St. Louis lot has room for 150 trailers located off I-70 and North Broadway right in the Midwest.IMG_3188_drop-lot-1

Both locations provide safe and secure 24/7 access for truck drivers between stops. Trailer service options are also available for preventive maintenance and repair. Regular drop lot customers can enjoy discounted rates on trailer service along with daily, weekly, monthly and contract trailer storage rates.

Download trailer drop lot information for St. Louis, Mo and Bethlehem, Pa locations to help stay informed on your options for protected overnight parking.

Visit the Federal Highway Admiration website for the complete survey results.