Myra McPartlin reveals how SNAP is expanding its network and enhancing lorry park security
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For many road transport managers and fleet operators, the use of SNAP, the smart parking payment system, is now part and parcel of their day-to-day business. The company’s network of partner locations spans across Europe, with especially high capacity in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.
In addition to the above, SNAP also installs security systems at lorry parking sites, which is of the utmost importance nowadays given the evident rise in freight theft.
So to learn about how SNAP is boosting security at lorry parking locations, and to find out how the company is approaching its expansion plans, we caught up with Myra McPartlin, Head of Commercial at SNAP.
Expansion of SNAP’s European network
First up, we quizzed McPartlin on SNAP’s expansion plans to learn which areas could be subject to network growth.
As it stands, the company’s network covers a diverse and extensive European landscape across 10 countries with their sights set on expanding into more countries in the near future. These locations range from traditional truck parks to motorway service areas, fleet depots, and yards.
As for where SNAP could be set to expand its network in particular, McPartlin did not specify any one country. However, she did emphasise recent expansions in Poland and Spain, and explain how SNAP is going about its European expansion:
“Over the past year, we’ve expanded our presence into Poland and Spain, and our expansion strategy is closely aligned with the demands of the fleet. We collaborate with our haulage customers to identify where additional parking is needed and then expand our network accordingly. In addition to this, we pay close attention to areas with high demand, such as ports, borders, and locations near cities. We aim to build our network to cater to these high-traffic regions.”
Moreover, while network expansion is a priority for SNAP, McPartlin stressed that maintaining consistent quality standards across partner locations is of paramount importance.
“Our approach to working with partners involves building long-term relationships based on trust. We act as intermediaries between the haulier and the site to resolve any issues and ensure that sites meet minimum standards. This collaboration results in improved facilities and better conditions for drivers, benefiting everyone involved,” McPartlin told trans.iNFO.
Alternative fuel considerations
As the industry transitions toward cleaner fuels such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), we also asked McPartlin about whether this was another important consideration for the company as it adds new sites to its network.
McPartlin emphasised that SNAP is actively expanding its range of services to address the sustainability ambitions of its partners.
“We are committed to enabling our partners to become more environmentally sustainable,” McPartlin told trans.INFO, who admitted that although this transformation “won’t happen overnight”, SNAP is “consistently exploring new services” to add to its offering.
Tapping into additional capacity
The perennial lorry parking shortage remains a focal point for SNAP, whose customers are forever seeking spaces. The company was the first in the industry to launch a service allowing hauliers to share available parking spaces at their yards with one another through SNAP.
According to McPartlin, hauliers’ yards are often underutilised, and by having their yard on the SNAP Network, an extra revenue stream can even be created. She therefore believes that there is a lot of untapped potential when it comes to yard sharing.
The technologies contributing to enhanced security
SNAP also specialises in installing security systems at lorry parking facilities. Taking this into account, we asked if there were any particular security lapses SNAP had commonly found at lorry parks.
According to McPartlin, in some cases basic measures are simply not in place:
“It’s the basics, it’s exactly what you think it would be. Good lighting, CCTV, detection and strong access control. Also, fencing around the perimeter is absolutely crucial.”
McPartlin added that technologies like Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) are becoming increasingly popular too. SNAP has installed such a system at the La Londonienne lorry park near Calais, which has achieved a gold-level security certificate from ESPORG and a TAPA PPO.
Other security technologies that McPartlin believes can be effective, particularly in risk areas, are night vision and thermal cameras.
Dispelling driver myths
Although the use of SNAP is recognised to make life easier for truck drivers, there are occasional grumbles on social media from drivers who claim SNAP venues are frequented by low-paid drivers who rarely venture out of their cabs and spend money on site.
SNAP nonetheless maintains that its partner locations all profit from being on its network, something that was reiterated by McPartlin:
“Our services have a positive impact on revenues for truck parks. By partnering with us, they gain access to a large customer base, and offering vouchers through SNAP further boosts their income. We also believe that truck parks should cater to all driver preferences, whether it’s cooking facilities or convenient food options.”
SNAP’s Head of Commercial added:
“Drivers using SNAP do not have to dip into their own pockets for basic amenities like a safe place to rest and clean showers and toilets. This improves their job satisfaction and helps retain drivers, ultimately benefiting the companies they work for.”