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Since the onset of COVID-19, logistics mobile app development and the overall supply chain management software market have shown skyrocketing growth.
Companies offering logistics apps have increased their annual revenue from $12.8B in 2016 to $17.2B in 2021.
What’s more, the numbers are projected to grow up to $23.8B by 2026 with a CAGR of 10% increase for the period 2021–2026. Impressive, isn’t it?
These facts prove a rapidly growing interest in investing large funds into logistics software development, building innovative and revolutionizing solutions that boost fleet management, and identify clients’ needs upfront.
For this reason, we decided to prepare a detailed step-by-step guide on how to make a logistics app and succeed within the market competition, covering:
According to Transparency Market Research, the logistics industry market value is expected to reach up to $15.5T by 2023 with a CAGR of 4.72% during the forecast period 2020-2023.
These numbers show how fast-growing the logistics industry is, proving that logistics app development services are worth investing in. That is especially true for those who strive to amaze the entire transportation market with an innovative technological solution.
What’s more, the global supply chain management market is projected to hit the level of $52.64B by 2030 (Allied Market Research). In contrast, the market was valued at $15.85B in 2019 which means that it is expected to show 11.54% of compound annual growth rate during the 2019-2030 period.
After proving the farsighted growth of the industry, let’s now discuss the key benefits of logistics software development for your company.
Fleet & Warehouse Automation
One of the key challenges and tasks in building a successful logistics services company is managing fleets and warehouses. From the ground up, you need to store, process, and improve multiple operations within your supply chain management, which may become a time- and cost-consuming initiative while scaling.
Here comes a powerful logistics mobile application that helps you automate and make fleet and warehouse management as efficient as possible. You no longer need to take stock, store, and update data manually, investing large funds and time of employees to handle these processes daily.
Logistics software development means you get an advanced technology solution that fully automates the fleet and warehouse management, along with minimizing data loss and misplacing.
Vehicle GPS Tracking
Fleet departure and arrival accuracy are among the most crucial cornerstones of any successful logistics company that wants to lead the market. The matter is that clients become more and more demanding and do not want to wait additional minutes or hours for their delivery.
What’s more, operating in the B2B sector means carrying out strict obligations or paying penalties for non-performance of contract agreements.
All these challenges become easy-to-solve with logistics app development services, offering next-gen geolocation functionality, which allows your admins and users to track fleet locations, directions, estimated time of arrivals, and any other indicators in real-time.
Geolocation features can also benefit truck drivers, providing them with real-time notifications on traffic jams, weather conditions changes, and route optimization tips and tricks.
Confirmation Procedure Automation
Modern logistics app features include real-time confirmation of the delivery procedure, which is essential in the transportation and supply chain management businesses. It helps both your logistics company and clients to get synced up about product delivery.
Besides, all the incoming data becomes stored and processed automatically in real-time thus enabling your employees to build deep insightful reports on each delivery. This is crucial to perform a 360-degree overview of the reporting time period and save lots of time on pinpointing the blind spots you have to improve or eliminate.
We help companies automate their workflow by developing bespoke software solutions. Leverage our experience in real estate, legal, financial, and transportation industries.
As we mentioned above, logistics services are about processing and storing big amounts of data daily leading to hundreds of hours of paperwork for your employees.
Thus, you invest large funds and waste lots of time handling thousands of papers instead of focusing on major supply chain management tasks and ideas.
Building a powerful mobile app for logistics companies means that you can fully transform paperwork operations into e-document management to streamline most routine tasks and automate multiple low-end operations. This way, you invest in logistics software development once and get dozens of benefits for many years to come.
Effortless Online Booking
In the era of the Covid-19 pandemic, users and clients tend to place an order remotely with single-click ease and without any personal touch. What’s more, most customers prefer to use their mobile phones to book cargo or a courier instead of using desktop or web versions.
Logistics app development services allow you to meet the modern expectations of your clients providing them with a single mobile app merging multiple logistics companies to handle all operations on a mobile screen.
Easy Sign Up/In & Social Login
If you want to build loyal relationships with clients, providing them with user accounts is a must-have. Account registration is one of the first and cornerstone functionality you should focus on while building a mobile logistics platform.
The registration process should be seamless and easy –to complete without any additional fields that may confuse your potential customers from the key goal of setting up their accounts.
Ask for the most crucial data you really need to store in order to efficiently collaborate with your users in the future. For example, full name, phone number, email address, and password are a great combination to start with.
What’s more, the social log-in feature increases the click-to-registration rate up to 50%, according to the Smart Insights Report. This means that implementing social log-in functionality will help you attract more potential customers and get a high registration rate from the ground up.
Facebook and Google are among the most popular social media tools used by most users, so we recommend implementing them initially.
Below you can see our designed mockups for the sign-in/sign-up screens for Flibco.com, one of the top shuttle bus providers in Western Europe.
Real-Time Truck Location
One of the key mobile logistics platform features for both customers and a company is real-time truck location tracking, which allows users to see their delivery fleet on the map in real time. This way, providing your users with delivery transparency and estimated time of arrival results in greater levels of customer loyalty.
This functionality becomes possible through GPS that requests current data from the driver’s truck device which sends consistent data to a satellite.
Confirmation and Payment
When customers want to add their delivery to the cart and proceed to the checkout process, you should offer them a seamless delivery confirmation and payment. Here we recommend providing your clients with multiple payment options that boost sales and improve customer experience.
According to Entrepreneur.com, Stripe, Apple/Google Pay, Amazon Payments, PayPal, and Payoneer are the most in-demand payment gateways used by 95% of customers.
Apart from these payment methods, we recommend offering clients to pay via cash on delivery. This way, you provide much flexibility within payment thus showing excellent customer treatment.
Below is a designed mobile mockup for the passenger confirmation and payment experience for Flibco.com.
Driver Rate & Reviews
Another important feature of your mobile logistics platform is the driver rate & review section that provides valuable insights for both your customers and employees.
Clients can evaluate the quality of delivery, placing their rates and writing reviews for each driver delivering their goods. This way, they help your quality assurance department by providing additional comments on each driver’s behavior.
It means that you can use these data to improve your social benefits program and keep your drivers interested in delivering better work quality.
Insightful Dashboard with Analytics
An admin panel is the heart of your logistics business. It accumulates all the required information on current deliveries, drivers, trucks, maintenance and repairing status, driver reviews, and many other data.
Your admin panel should support real-time tracking to boost your decision-making process and make your business flexible for fast-changing conditions in the competitive market.
For this reason, an insightful dashboard with real-time analytics, charts, and graphs is one of the must-have logistics app features in your arsenal.
Depending on your business processes, you can implement multiple mobile logistics platform admin panel features, like a real-time vehicle tracking map, alerts, customer relationship management system, fleet management, and others.
Ultimately, we recommend building an easy-to-use and lightning-fast report generation tool that will enable you to build data-rich reports in several clicks so that you can analyze multiple indicators and KPIs whenever you need.
Vehicle Management and Maintenance
One of the core logistics app features for your admin panel is vehicle management and maintenance. It consolidates the entire information of your fleet trucks, vans, and other vehicles in real-time, requesting up-to-date information from the devices installed in each fleet unit.
What’s more, you can easily update truck data visible to your customers right from the admin panel, including vehicle images, repairing schedule, patrol tank status, and many others.
Also, you get real-time updates on depreciation of the core technical modules of each fleet unit, like the braking system, shock absorbers, carrier details, and many others.
This way, vehicle management, and maintenance provide you with crucial insights into the overall fleet management status specifying detailed information on each truck. It enables you to arrange the required maintenance services even before the need arises.
Payment management is also an integral part of your mobile logistics platform admin panel to control and process multiple financial transactions.
For example, it helps your managers to store and process records of transactions, proceed with payments to drivers, refunds for customers, and many other financial operations.
One of the biggest benefits of transaction management functionality is high automation which helps to save much time on transaction storage, processing, and proceeding. Once equipped with all these features, your managers will have extra time to focus on major real-time challenges and tasks.
Your mobile logistics platform admin panel should also include a driver management feature that eliminates most manual tasks of monitoring and storing driver activities data. Employees can even provide drivers with real-time alerts, notifications, updates, and crucial messages using this functionality.
Also, driver management accumulates most information about the current on-road activity, delivery holds, driver safety level, kilometers, and so on. Automation of these processes allows you to avoid routine tasks and get deep insights into most logistics operations and costs influenced by fuel consumption, kilometers driven, and so on.
If you want to keep an ear to the ground of most business operations aligned with driver management, then this functionality is a must-have for your mobile logistics platform.
We also recommend building functionality for truck drivers so that you can clearly control their activities and provide them with advanced technologies required to perform high-quality work.
Below you can see the list of the core mobile logistics platform features for drivers:
After discussing the must-have logistics app features, let’s now figure out how to make a logistics app. Here are the core steps you should take to get your mobile logistics platform ready to use.
Before moving to logistics mobile app development, you should clearly realize what challenges should be solved by the logistics mobile application you want to build.
We recommend writing down the main goals and problems you currently have to better understand the core functionality and logistics mobile app type you need.
In fact, there are several key types of mobile logistics platforms:
For sure, your requirements and goals may lead to a mixed mobile logistics platform type, and this is normal as a powerful mobile app for logistics companies will include multiple functionality modules like route optimization, fleet management, vehicle location tracking, and others.
So, firstly, you should come up with a list of challenges and goals you want to solve and achieve. This will help you define the core functionality you need for your mobile logistics platform as well asa clear vision and technical specifications to collaborate with the transportation app software development team.
Depending on your budget expectations and project requirements, you can choose from a variety of options to build your logistics mobile app. Let’s briefly list each of them and discuss in greater detail:
Hire a transport and logistics app development company
The core benefit of this option is the relevant background and access to a wide pool of top talents that have solid expertise and experience in building and launching similar mobile logistics platforms.
What’s more, a transportation software development company can provide valuable consulting services, thus helping you define only the must-have features your logistics app should have to be viable to launch and collect initial feedback.
Through the project discovery phase, a transport and logistics app development company you opt for can help you set up clear functionality modules, system architecture, scalability opportunities. It can also define clear deadlines that should be met to reduce the time-to-market period and help you be on time with the transportation app software development project process.
Ultimately, hiring a transportation software development company for logistics mobile app development may be rather a cost-consuming initiative at the beginning, but you will save much funds in the long run by having a scalable and secure codebase ready for further improvements and adding of features in a time- and cost-efficient manner.
Find a technical partner/CTO
Being probably the most time-consuming method, finding and hiring a business- and tech-savvy partner for your transportation app software development is a great initiative. This person should have a great background in building and launching similar mobile logistics platforms that will help you save much time and costs within each project development stage.
The most common places to find a reliable CTO are tech-savvy conferences, meetups, webinars, summits, etc. In terms of the COVID-19 restrictions, the following list of websites will be of a great help for you to hire a reliable partner:
Hire a team of freelance transportation software developers
This transportation app software development option has its vivid drawbacks like fully remote and insecure cooperation, potentially missed deadlines, source codebase reuse, and others.
On the other hand, the chances are high to find relatively experienced but affordable professionals that will help you build a mobile logistics platform saving your time and costs.
The following list of platforms will help you find a reliable team of freelance transportation software developers:
Develop a mobile logistics platform yourself
In case you already have an in-house team of transportation software developers or solid technical background, you can build the MVP functionality yourself, embedding the must-have features and scalability for further improvements.
However, this option may become the most time-consuming, as feature-rich logistics mobile app development is a complex process requiring great technical expertise and much time.
Once you’ve found a reliable transport and logistics app development company, technical partner/CTO, or a freelance team of developers, we recommend proceeding to a project discovery phase.
It will help you define clear low-end tasks, challenges, and functionality needed to roll out the minimum viable product to the market for collecting initial feedback from early users and potential customers.
Besides, a project discovery phase will provide you with deep insights into the project timelines, deadlines, and final transportation app software development costs that are important to organize your budget and eliminate most potential risks and surprises that will negatively influence the project development process, your personal expectations, and business process.
One of the most time- and cost-effective methods to build and launch your mobile logistics platform is the Minimum Viable Product methodology. It means that you build only the essential features of your logistics mobile application to show its core intent for end-users and collect feedback from early adopters and potential customers.
This method helps you avoid spending years on building the mobile logistics platform, and it follows the Agile methodology. It means you can easily change the project requirements during the transportation app software development process, adding new features, removing useless functionality, and impacting the entire process without critical risks and downtimes.
Last but not least is releasing your MVP-based mobile logistics platform and gathering valuable feedback from the market. Early adopters and potential customers will install your logistics app and provide you with their own experience of using your platform.
This way, you will get a clear understanding and constructive feedback from real users. Based on the data collected, you can improve your product and build a full-featured mobile logistics platform.
With a vast number of development companies to choose from, you may be wondering how to hire a reliable transportation software development company from the entire list, right?
Let’s discuss several critical nuances you should pay attention to so that you will hire a great tech partner for your project.
One of the core initial aspects you should consider while choosing a transportation software development company is the expertise and experience in building similar mobile logistics platforms in the past.
The transport and logistics app development company should have a vivid portfolio of works and case studies with the initial project requirements, challenges, solutions, and business results it helped clients to achieve.
At Ascendix, we provide a detailed case study of logistics software development services for Luxembourg-based Flibco.com, one of the leading private airport shuttle service providers with a passenger turnover of 1.9 million/year in main Western European countries. This way, we demonstrate our expertise and showcase exact project details and results achieved through cooperation with Ascendix – a logistics software development company.
When communicating with a transportation software development company in terms of your project, we recommend paying extra attention to the core focus they follow.
If a vendor fully agrees with your ideas, comments, and concerns, this should become an indicator for your team that the company may be focused on money-making purposes instead of building a high-quality product for customers.
The more a vendor is a product- and customer-oriented, the better mobile logistics platform you will get. If a transportation software development company pays special attention to your final end-users needs then the vendor is reliable and interested in building a powerful mobile logistics platform embedding end-users’ needs first.
Another crucial aspect we recommend considering while choosing a transportation software development company is its communication and commitment level.
Pay much attention to English proficiency, as it will directly influence the entire project development process. Any miscommunications, language barriers, and other issues will negatively impact the cooperation and the final product quality.
You should make sure the transportation software development company clearly understands what you need by asking clarifying questions. What’s more, you should also ensure that you perfectly realize all comments, suggestions, and updates a vendor provides you with.
The next part of this aspect is the level of commitment which is mostly expressed in the number and quality of clarifying questions a vendor asks even within the first several meetings. The more a company’s solution architect and development teams are interested and involved, the better delivery quality and outcomes you will get.
Hire Ascendix experts. Leverage our experience in real estate, legal, financial, and transportation industries.
At Ascendix, we have solid knowledge and expertise in logistics mobile app development gathered for 10+ years in the market.
We know all the ins and outs of this business domain as we have helped multiple market leaders build, implement, and improve their mobile logistics platforms to meet end-users needs and boost sales.
One of our successful case studies is logistics app development services for Luxembourg-based Flibco.com, one of the leading private airport shuttle service providers with a passenger turnover of 1.9 million/year in main Western European countries.
The client initially contacted us for assistance in upgrading the old software for a service called Shuttle Bus. They also needed cross-platform shuttle transportation app software development for an innovative airport logistics app software solution called Door2Gate.
However, the cooperation led to significant product improvements and multiple extra services provided to Flibco.com in order to strengthen their digital presence and market positions through technological solutions.
What challenges we had to solve:
What solutions we have built:
Ascendix has made a thorny way of software development outsourcing to 5 different locations. This experience allowed us to gather multiple data and weave them together to provide as flexible client-oriented approach as possible.
Specifically, we offer multiple engagement models that allow you to choose the most relevant combination of resources that meet your project requirements and budget expectations.
If you want to fully outsource logistics mobile app development to Ascendix without your active involvement, we can take absolute control over the project development process, providing our offshore developers from Europe.
In case you want to collaborate with US-based project managers and business analysts to make sure we are on the same page about your project, we can offer a blended engagement model. It means our US-based PMs and BAs will closely collaborate with you on the core tasks of the project while our Europe-based software engineers will handle its technical implementation.
Ultimately, you can actively control our transportation app software development teams as a part of your in-house resources by getting a dedicated team of Europe-based developers. This way, you still optimize the project development expenses and get full control over the tasks and goals you set for our logistics software development technical teams.
As a technology advisor, we partner with small firms and global enterprises helping them bring automation to their operational processes.
Logistics mobile app development is a complex yet profitable and perspective business initiative. We hope our guide will help you get a clear understanding of the core development ins and outs, steps, and details so that you will know how to create a logistics app in a time- and cost-effective manner.
If you’re looking for a reliable transport and logistics app development company, Ascendix is always at your service. We’ll be glad to provide you with a ball-park estimate with detailed timelines, costs, and functionalities you need.
If you are interested in our logistics app development services, please contact us and check our case studies. Let’s build an advanced mobile logistics platform and solve your end-users’ problems together!
Daniil specializes in content marketing and has a deep knowledge of promoting the company's products and services through high-quality content. On the Ascendix blog, Daniil shares his tricks and tips on custom software development, provides technology trends and insights, and helps you get valuable content to make your business even more successful and profitable.
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