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Future Kent truck lot to serve tractor-trailer needs

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Tractor-trailer parked along the side of the highway.

Delaware is about to see an increase in available tractor-trailer parking thanks to the Tucker brothers. l PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSEPH PAUL/UNSPLASH

CHESWOLD — A new parking option for truck drivers finding their way through Delaware will soon be available as brothers Jordan and Ethan Tucker work to open a new lot in Cheswold.

The brothers are partnering with Baltimore-based Parking Lots For Rent (PLFR) to fill the need for more truck parking in the First State and hope to have the new lot open by June of this year.

“It’s an interesting time in the trucking world in Delaware. We had a shortage of drivers before the [COVID-19] pandemic, but now we have an oversupply and even when we had a shortage, we didn’t have enough parking,” Jordan Tucker told the Delaware Business Times. “It’s not just Delaware, either. The country has been undoing this trucking parking crisis for a while now. It’s been on the presidential agenda; it comes up in legislature discussions. . . We’re hoping to fill at least a small void.”

That void was previously examined in the Delaware Statewide Truck Parking Study prepared by CPCS in association with Century Engineering for the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO) and Delaware’s Department of Transportation (DelDOT) in September 2021. Their findings showcased a need for future solutions like the new lot to be created by the Tuckers.

According to the study, Delaware has only 12 truck parking lots across the state with a total of 337 parking spaces amongst them all. Seven of those lots offer overnight parking. The study also identified 32 undesignated truck parking clusters, as well as other undesignated parking options such as along the shoulder of a highway or on the side of the road near developments, highlighting the need for additional parking opportunities statewide.  

To help offer a solution, specifically in central Delaware, the Tucker brothers are renovating more than 10 acres of industrial outdoor storage at 435 and 440 Twin Oaks Drive in Cheswold through their Baltimore-based company, the Deronda Corporation, focusing first and foremost on parking for big rigs.

Jordan Tucker said they became familiar with Delaware and its need for more parking accommodations while the family visited their home in Bethany Beach.

“Every time we visited, we noticed how much congestion there was. Delaware is booming and there’s always so much construction – that’s a good sign. But it brings concerns with it, as well. When I saw this piece of land for sale, I knew we wanted to use it for a parking lot,” he told DBT. “It’s close to Del. Route 1 and 13 which are two main routes in Delaware for freight and it’s pretty close to the interstates, too.”

When the lot is completed, it will act as a gated community for nearby truck drivers whether they are staying in the area for a night while on their travels somewhere else or in need of a more permanent nightly or monthly parking situation.

The lot will include 180 parking spots, each measuring 75 feet long and 12 feet wide.

“There will be enough space in each drive lane to back a regular car or truck into it, too, so they can have access to their own personal vehicles,” Matt Mercer from PLFR told DBT.

While the lot itself will be owned by the Tuckers’ Deronda Corporation, PLFR will manage the day-to-day operations. According to Mercer and Tucker, the lot will be equipped with security cameras, a bathroom and Wi-Fi for the truckers to enjoy during their downtime. In order to access the parking lot, reservations must be made with PLFR and an access code given to the driver ensuring secure access at all times.

Highlighting the need for a new parking lot fit for truckers, Tucker said 40 of the 180 lots have already been reserved for when construction is complete.

“It does take a lot to finish this kind of project. It requires site work, fencing, lighting, striping, bin blocks to mark every spot and fabricators so a trucker coming in at night can see their spot, camera system installation, electricity. . . It’s a lot more than just throwing some milling down and opening up the lot for trucks to park. I wouldn’t have known any of that without the management company [PLFR],” Tucker told DBT.

The effort is worth it in the end, they both said with safety in mind.

“A recent study from Cloudtrucks showed that in the last couple of years, most people don’t realize there’s a need for truck parking. In fact, 95% of people didn’t realize that there was a problem. But from a shortage standpoint, for every 11 trucks on the road, there’s one parking spot – just one safe and legal place for them to stay and rest their heads for a night,” Mercer told DBT.

Executive Director Kent Economic Partnership Linda Parkowski said the new lot will be a welcomed addition to Kent County. 

“The establishment of new trailer parking facilities in Central Delaware represents a significant advancement for our logistics infrastructure,” she said in a prepared statement. “This project will not only address the critical need for truck parking but also stimulate local economic growth by attracting more commercial activities and improving supply chain efficiency in the region. By enhancing our transportation network in Central Delaware, we are positioning this area as a key hub for businesses and investors, fostering job creation and economic development within the community.”

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