Imagine you’re behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. You’re nearing the end of an 11-hour shift and you’re exhausted. Now you face a daunting task: finding a place to park.
It’s a routine that unfolds night after night, each time a reminder of the reality that for every available parking spot, there are 11 trucks vying for it. This isn’t just a daily inconvenience, it’s a significant hurdle in the life of a trucker.
Against this backdrop, Freight Ninja is one potential solution. Its services were the topic of discussion during an interview on Friday’s episode of What the Truck?!? between FreightWaves’ Dooner and Freight Ninja CEO John Borsellino and COO Chris Lantz. During the conversation, the pair delved into how their company is tackling this persistent issue.
Community and security at the forefront
Freight Ninja isn’t just about providing parking spaces. Part of its mission is to create a community for truckers.
Lantz emphasized a commitment to monthly parking over daily options, which cultivates a sense of belonging and responsibility among drivers. It transforms parking lots into spaces where truckers not only park their vehicles but also engage in mutual respect. By doing so, Freight Ninja is hoping to address the transient nature of truck parking and its associated issues, particularly security risks and lack of accountability.
“We’ve been approached by a couple companies to get involved in [single-night parking],” Lantz said. “But we’re just not ready for that, because we feel what we’re building here is a little bit more intimate.”
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Security is paramount in the trucking industry, where the theft of loads can lead to significant losses. Freight Ninja is addressing this concern by offering secure properties for parking, ensuring truckers can rest easy knowing their vehicles and loads are safe.
Freight Ninja’s hands-on approach sets it apart. Clients interact directly with a team experienced in the trucking industry, ensuring services are tailored to the truckers’ needs. Borsellino highlighted that their team speaks the trucker’s language, offering solutions based on real understanding and experience. In this sense, Freight Ninja sees itself as not just a service provider but a partner to the trucking community.
“This is their asset,” Borsellino said. “We want to keep it safe and secure for them.”
Expansion and vision for the future
Freight Ninja is gearing up for an ambitious expansion. By 2024, the company aims to double its locations, spreading its truck parking solutions across the United States. According to its website, it currently operates some 40 locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida and Texas.
This expansion is particularly significant for smaller trucking companies (i.e., those with 20 trucks or less), which represent the vast majority of the industry but often struggle with inadequate parking options.
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Borsellino highlighted the limited availability for these companies. Freight Ninja’s focus on these smaller fleets helps to support a crucial segment of the trucking industry that frequently goes underserved.
“You’re talking about less than an acre of land [for their fleets],” he said. “We want these guys to treat these sites like this is their home.”