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LABEL Newsletter Nº 3 : September 2010

by ROB DE LEEUW VAN WEENEN — Senior Project Manager, NEA Transport research and training

LABEL Audit of First Batch of TPAs Completed

After producing initial recommendations that set the levels with regard to safety, security, comfort & dignity and food & shopping, the next step for LABEL was to start with the practical aspects. LABEL auditors and certifiers have assessed parking areas across the European Union in order to test the approach. A select group of Truck Parking Areas was offered the possibility to be audited and to be among the first to obtain a LABEL Certificate, thus getting a head start. From the many enthusiastic Truck Parking Area Managers that expressed their interest, 71 were audited. While performing the audits, we aimed to include a wide range of security and quality levels, i.e. from unserviced areas to high quality and/or high security sites. The criteria for the shortlist of parking areas to be LABEL certified were:

DEKRA Certification GmbH and Atlantis International Services SA carried out the audits. The audits resulted in a wealth of information which enables us to further fine-tune LABEL’s approach. Additionally, auditors from ADAC Eurotest performed a number of checks to compare the results. ADAC chose 25 sites from the initial batch of 71 TPAs and 25 sites that were not LABEL related. The audits were basically done according to the LABEL approach, but also showed some differences, such as the fact that they were unannounced. This was done to be able to compare this approach with the “regular”, announced audit methodology that was performed by DEKRA and Atlantis. Complete with ADAC’s findings, the final criteria and audit methodology will be further worked out. This also means that the interim results will be turned into final results and that LABEL is heading towards finalisation. Although we haven’t determined the final results yet, there are some conclusions that can already be drawn.

Reliable information on security and safety is very important for truck drivers and freight transport in general. At the same time, our audits show that the scope of the results are widespread, with scores on both sides of the spectrum. Drivers should know what to expect when they are taking a break. This is one of the reasons for which European TPA certification is an absolute necessity. More TPAs must be certified, in order to ensure reliable information. It will take sizable efforts to close this gap in the future.

It is good to realise that although the toolkit is being developed by the LABEL project, in the end this can only succeed if all stakeholders involved join forces in order to make LABEL work in practice. In order to lay the foundation for this, the conference “Heading for More Safe and Secure Truck Parking Areas” will be held on the 25th and 26th of October. The LABEL results will be presented at this conference. It will contribute to this goal by bringing together all stakeholders to not only take stock of European initiatives but to also come up with further concrete measures that Member States could take. It is only through working together in a truly multidisciplinary approach that freight crime can be successfully tackled.

More on the conference "Heading for More Safe and Secure Truck Parking Areas"

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