In the latest issue of INTRANSIT, the magazine of ESPORG for secure parking areas and transport companies, is an interview with our colleague Lars. Read the interview below.
The Truck Parking Europe app is a household name amongst European truck drivers. Currently showing over 36.000 parking locations, big and small, across Europe. Since 2018, transport companies can pre-reserve a guaranteed parking spot at carefully selected partner locations.
We interviewed Lars Kobesen, Business Development Manager at our new partner Truck Parking Europe, on how they pivoted their business from mobile application to full scale booking platform.
How did Truck Parking Europe start?
Lars; we started with a map of 9.000 parking locations, mostly situated along the highway. Drivers quickly discovered our app and provided us with an enormous amount of feedback on existing and new locations. This information was used by our first Shareholder PTV Group to further optimize their route-planning systems and software.
What made you change from app to platform?
Beginning of 2018 we saw a huge spike in the number of locations that were being claimed by their respective owners on our web app. At the same time, more transport companies were finding their way to our platform. That got us thinking; How can we connect these groups, helping both the driver and dispatcher, as well as our parking operator partners.
Did you directly come to the current setup?
Yes and no. We quickly saw that offering advertising space in our app was not ideal for the driver experience. At the same time, our web app was growing and the search filters where being used more and more. With Repsol we got our first partner to accept online reservations. At the same time, we started talking with our new and main shareholder Volkswagen Financial Services, who emphasized their interest in Truck Parking Europe and its ability to offer a booking.com-like service platform for truck parking.
Where do you currently stand?
Beginning of 2019 we breached the milestone of 1 million downloads and at the same time we signed our 40th bookable location. That number expands to 90 locations by the end of this year, making us the fastest growing network of bookable secure truck parking locations in Europe.
What is your main challenge?
Our challenge is two-fold. At one side we keep getting requests from transport companies for more secure bookable locations. For example, in the triangle Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Nuremberg or at the French Spanish border. In the end there is a huge demand for these locations across the continent.
The other one is digitization in the transport sector and increased market acceptance to pay for parking. Many companies are used to their current way of working and changing behavior does not happen overnight. We are expanding our team so we can knock on more doors and further grow the number of active transport companies on our platform. In the end we will be able to offer them secure European corridors.
What are your expectations for 2020?
We are an ambitious company; currently 14 certified ESPORG locations are connected to our platform, I say we should double this amount in 2020!
That seems like a goal we can all agree upon. Is there more to come in 2020?
Yes, for sure. We will be launching a new web app that will drastically improve the user experience for companies and make booking a parking spot as easy as 1,2,3. With the expansion of our sales and marketing team we keep pushing the digitization agenda across the sector. We are all aware that keeping driver and cargo safe is of the highest importance and we’re happy to have found a great partner for this in ESPORG.
That is an interesting journey, thank you for sharing Lars. More information on Truck Parking Europe can be found on their website www.truckparkingeurope.com.