Analysis of the Vehicle parking Industry.

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Vehicle Parking Industry - Market Analysis

Smart parking is expected become a disruptive trend around the world in the coming years. It is important to note that the parking industry (not just in the United States, but globally as well) is a fluid term because there are numerous ways that different sub-segments under parking can be classified. Valet parking may be classified as its own segment in some reports, or it will be rolled up into parking management in others. For this review, the parking industry is inclusive of parking lots, garages, management, valet, smart parking, and safety management. Below is an overview of the vehicle parking industry in the United States. Included information is as follows: United States overview, key players, and global analysis and trends. Global information has been included to give a holistic look at the parking industry, which could lead to projections of how future years will play out in the United States.

Parking lots and garages (a subsegment within the parking industry) across the United States have a current revenue of $10 billion, which has grown 3.3% from 2012 – 2017. There are over 153,000 employees, and 10,039 businesses in the United States that classify as a parking lot and/or garage. Parking lot and garages revenue is projected to increase through the end of 2018, and then decrease or plateau through 2022, due to many small private companies operating on their own, as well as the growth in smart parking. However, looking at the parking industry globally (noted later on), the industry is projected to continue growing overall.

Looking at the parking industry in the United States, inclusive of all sub-segments (parking lots, garages, management, smart parking, etc.), revenue was reported at $25 billion in 2016, and is projected to grow to $29 billion by the end of 2018. According to the National Parking Association (NPA), the parking industry in the United States employees more than 143,000 people nationwide, and roughly 120 million Americans “drive to work every day.” California ($1.4 billion) and New York ($1.2 billion) bring in the most revenue at a state level, while “New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix have the most parking growth potential.”
The current and upcoming increase in the parking industry is due to population expansion. In 2015, the United States had a population of roughly 320 million, and is expected to grow to 400 million by 2050. Further, higher employment rates across the country are resulting in more commuters, which subsequently leads to more people driving for future vacations, which both require somewhere to park your car. However, there are a few factors that could lead to a decrease, or a slowing rate of growth in the parking industry when looking past 2018, including “rising fuel costs, decreasing growth domestic product, and zoning laws that limit parking lot construction.”


Key players in the parking industry in the United States are below. Please note, some of these key players are top companies in the United States, however they are considered North American companies, as they have locations throughout Canada. It has been noted within each description whether they are a key player in North America, or solely the United States.

SP+ is the largest parking company in North America, and acquired Millennium Garages in 2016. The company has 3.8 million square feet of parking space, with over 9,100 parking spaces in four garages (all of which are in Chicago). SP+ has a revenue of $1.62 billion.

Ace Parking is one of the largest key players in the parking industry in the United States, with more than 450 parking locations throughout the country and over 4,500 employees. They provide parking services for various industries, including hotels, restaurants, hospitals, airport, sports stadium, and event parking. As they are a privately held company, no financial information is publicly available, however it is estimated that their yearly revenue is $200 million.

Lanier Parking, part of Citizens Parking, is one of the largest parking companies in the United States, with over 8,000 employees and 1,200 locations (which is inclusive of the five brands underneath Citizens Parking). As they are a privately held company, no financial information is publicly available, however they have an estimated yearly revenue of $75 million.

Imperial Parking Corp (Impark) is a top parking industry contender in North America, with over 3,500 parking facilities, and “9,200 employees in 240 cities throughout the United States and Canada.” As they are a privately held company, no financial information is publicly available, however it is estimated they have a yearly revenue of $50 million.

TPS Management LLC (The Parking Spot) can be considered a key player in the parking industry within the United States, as they have 39 parking lot locations that surround 21 airports, nationwide. As they are a private company, no financial information is publicly available, however it is estimated they have a yearly revenue of $5.5 million.

Leading parking lots/garages in the United States, by availability of parking spaces:
Seattle-Tacoma Airport (13,000 cars)
Detroit Airport (11,500 cars)
Disney World (11,000 cars)
Universal Studios (10,200 cars)
Disney Land (10,000 cars)
Chicago Airport (9,266 cars)
Baltimore Airport (8,400 cars)
Dallas Airport (8,100 cars)


The parking industry market, worldwide, was $285.85 billion USD in 2016, and at an estimated CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 9.3%, is expected to reach $614.59 billion USD by 2025.

Smart parking is a growing trend (e.g. sensors in parking lots that detect if spaces are occupied, wireless entry sensors, self-parking vehicles), and globally, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18% through 2021. Cashless payments have been beneficial for both the consumer and the parking operators. A simplified payment process “reduces congestion at the entrance and exit gates of parking lots.”

Technologies utilized include in-vehicle transponders, magnetic strip cards, smart cards, and vehicle-mounted bar codes. Leading vendors in the smart parking market (globally), include:

IPS Group (headquarters in United States)
Libelium Comunicaciones Distribuidas (headquarters in Spain)
Parkeon (headquarters in United States)
Transcore (headquarters in United States)
3M (headquarters in United States)
Aeris Communications (headquarters in United States and United Kingdom)
Cisco (headquarters in United States)

The Americas is the driving geographical region globally for smart parking, followed by APAC (Asian Pacific) and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). Due to the increasing availability and cost-effective smart home automation systems in the Americas, which connects everything to IoT (Internet of Things), smart parking is expected to grow in popularity.


The parking industry in the United States is expected to grow to $29 billion by 2018, and either plateau or slightly decrease through 2022. More than 143,000 people are employed in the parking industry, with an estimated 120 million people driving to work each day. Key players in the United States and/or North America include SP+, Ace Parking, and Imperial Parking Corp, while a growing global trend includes an advancement in smart parking, with leading vendors such as 3M, IPS Group, and Parkeon.

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Vehicle Parking Industry - Innovations

As cited by several industry reports from reputable firms, the key innovations in the parking sector in the past five years are the following: move towards sustainable parking, parking using mobile apps and websites, technological developments such as pay-by-plate, and automated parking garages. There were no pre-compiled lists available that rank the top parking developments so these innovations were just taken from various credible sources. Some of the reports are from 2013 as the research requirement is to enumerate trends from the past five years.


Parking is just one of the industries that are moving toward more sustainable green options. Structured parking spaces are now being constructed to minimize spaces allotted for cars. These types of parking areas also have other green features such as efficient technologies for lighting and ventilation setups, renewable local building materials, and availability of renewable energy sources such as solar-powered installations.
Parking spaces are also being constructed alongside mixed-use facilities that can house shops that people usually visit. This arrangement encourages people to contribute to the reduction of traffic congestion and carbon emissions by driving less frequently when going to these stores.


Parking can now become more convenient with the use of parking mobile apps and parking websites.
One such app is Haystack which lets users sell their parking spots to anyone who needs it. Another app is ParkMe, which provides relevant parking information such as availability as well as allow electronic payments in 1,800 cities and 32 countries. ParkChicago, meanwhile, allow their users to pay via phone for their parking charges.
Mobile app parking can contribute to the reduction of pollutants, as drivers can now use these mobile apps to minimize their time on the road looking for parking spaces. Through these apps, payments will soon shift from cash-based to mainly electronic payment options.


Cloud Parc’s Pay-by-Plate technology will soon replace parking meters. The technology utilizes machine detection and artificial intelligence to minimize the time searching for parking spaces. With the use of sophisticated sensors, users can get notified of available parking spaces. Once they park, a license plate registration software will identify their vehicle from the database and the camera can detect the vehicle’s parking duration. Regardless of whoever parked in the slot, the technology can match the license plates with the right car and owner. The owners can then get notified via phone on the amount that needs to be paid.
This innovation can also help in increasing the revenues of parking authorities. By generating heat maps that reflect parking lot occupancy levels especially during high-traffic events, authorities can make strategic pricing decisions to maximize revenues and reduce congestion. Valuable data can also be gathered to inform the authorities if more revenue-generating parking areas are needed.


Automated parking garages are now being developed to make parking more efficient. Combined with self-driving technology, the car parking process can now be done automatically through sensors and a mobile app. Owners can control their cars via the mobile app and the strategically-placed sensors can help park and retrieve their cars. Since there is no need for car doors to be opened, vehicles can be parked more closely. This will yield 20% more parking spaces that can further increase revenues.


Top innovations in the US vehicle parking industry in the last five years focus on sustainable parking, mobile and website-enabled parking, various technological breakthroughs like pay-by-plate, and automated parking garages. These innovations target to reduce carbon emissions, streamline the parking process, make full use of technology, and increase parking revenues.

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Vehicle Parking Industry - Challenges

We looked at recent surveys, industry reports, and insight from experts to determine the top challenges facing the vehicle parking industry in the U.S. We found that while drivers in dense urban areas such as New York City struggle to find available parking, large retailers like Macy's have an abundance of unused spaces in their lots. Uber and other ridesharing services have disrupted the parking industry and are impacting the need for parking spaces. Our deep dive is below.

Challenge #1: A lack of urban parking spaces

A 2017 study published by INRIX Research looked at how much time drivers in ten U.S. cities spent searching for available parking. New York City drivers spend the most time, at an average of 107 hours per year. Those hours translate into a cost of $2,243 per driver in "wasted time, fuel, and emissions."

Detroit came in tenth, with the average driver spending 35 hours looking for a place to park, at a cost of $731. Other cities included in the study were Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, and Dallas.

This lack of urban parking does not appear to extend to residential parking at apartment complexes, which we cover in Challenge #5.

challenge #2: A lack of designated truck parking

In October 2017, The American Transportation Research Institute released survey results concerning critical issues in the trucking industry. The survey had 1,557 respondents who were asked to rank their top ten concerns. A lack of adequate truck parking was described as "pervasive" and was the fourth highest concern.

Adequate designated truck parking is critical for commercial drivers because they must adhere to break and sleep schedules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. When asked how often they are forced to park in undesignated or unauthorized spots, 48.7% of truck drivers said they must do so three to seven times per week.

Challenge #3: An ABUNDANCE OF AIRport parking spaces

According to a September 2017 article by Airport Improvement, ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber are cutting into parking revenues at airports. Parking is described as a "significant revenue stream" at most airports, and takes a hit when airline passengers are dropped off versus driving themselves.

Challenge #4: an abundance of brick-and-mortar retailer parking

CDM Smith, an engineering and construction company, has identified the abundance of unused parking spaces at large retailers as one of the "biggest issues shaping the future of parking." The company cites increased online shopping as the cause behind so many empty mall parking spaces.

Last June, Investor's Business Daily News reported on how Macy's is dealing with their unused parking spaces. Since the retailer usually owns their own spaces, they have the ability to repurpose them. Opening up the space to other retailers, such as Starbucks, has been discussed as an option. Doug Sesler, Macy's executive vice president for real estate, cites the increased use of Uber as one cause for the abundance of parking spaces.

challenge #5: determining adequate parking for urban apartment developments

Last summer, National Real Estate Investor reported that apartment developers are struggling to determine how many parking spaces are enough for residents. While parking is viewed as an amenity, a study of the San Francisco area revealed that many residential parking spaces go unused.

In New York City, apartment developments with few or no parking spaces are being constructed. With an increase use of ridesharing services such as Uber, some apartment complexes are being designed with designated Uber pick-up and drop-off areas.


We found examples of five challenges that have been identified by parking industry experts and stakeholders. These challenges all center around the amount of available parking. While urban drivers and truck drivers face a shortage of parking, there is a surplus of spaces at airports and large retailers. In large cities such as New York and San Francisco, apartment developers are struggling to determine how much residential parking is adequate.

From Part 01