How to Make a Logistics App for Your Business: The Complete Guide

How does a logistics app work?

Why embark on logistics app development?

  • Overall management upgrade
  • Driver performance
  • Reduced resource usage

Logistics industry: Market overview

  • The value of the global logistics market reached $8.6 trillion in 2020. (Statista)
  • By 2023, its value is expected to reach $15.5 trillion. (Transparency Market Research)
  • The value of logistics deals increased 105% over the past 12 months in comparison with fiscal 2020. (PwC)
  • Related to logistics digitalization, the total value of the IoT industry is expected to reach $1.05 trillion this year. (Mind Aspire Market Research)
  • In addition, 34% of logistics companies that adopted cloud technologies for their supply chain state that it has been beneficial since everyone can now access the same information. (Logistics Management)

Types of transportation apps

Fleet management

Warehouse management

Route optimization

On-demand logistics

Prominent examples of logistics apps

XPO Logistics

Source: XPO Logistics

Veeqo

Source: Veeqo

FedEx Corporation

Source: FedEx

Key logistics app features

Features for a Driver

  • Sign up/Sign in: This basic functionality is necessary for almost any application. Drivers should be able to create a profile using their email address, phone number, or social media accounts. You can also implement passwords, PIN codes, or Face ID to give drivers secure access to their accounts.
  • Profile: This helps drivers manage the necessary documentation, see the statistics of their drives on a dashboard, and track their activity. It’s also a convenient way for managers to quickly access the information they need.
  • Route management and navigation guide: The app should be able to automatically plan drivers’ routes with the help of GPS so they can avoid traffic jams and narrow streets. In addition, drivers should also be able to edit routes manually if the system failed somehow.
  • Logbook: Drivers should be able to check the main route points, log work hours, and report the state of their cargo as necessary. Administrators can then monitor the drivers’ work.
  • Offline support: It’s definitely helpful for drivers and admins to be able to communicate quickly, for example, via an in-app chat function. However, drivers may be offline when on the road and they should still be able to connect with admins in case of emergency.

Features for a Dispatcher

  • Sign up/Sign in: No additional introduction needed.
  • Control panel: Dispatchers need to have access to information about drivers’ status, their cargo, routes, and approximate delivery times.
  • Notifications: Dispatchers should be able to both send and receive notifications so that real-time communication never stops and all processes stay up and running.
  • Navigation: Dispatchers should have real-time access to drivers’ routes and be able to alter their key points so they can provide timely support to drivers.
  • Receiver information: In addition to the necessary drivers’ data, dispatchers should also be able to view the details for receivers so they can improve delivery management.

Features for an Admin

  • Sign up/Sign in: Once again, secure registration and login is a must.
  • Transport management system dashboard: This is basically an admin panel’s home screen. The most relevant information about drivers, dispatchers, and cargo is conveniently shown in one place. It can also include data such as shipment status, revenue and costs over a certain period of time, recent operations, and pending complaints.
  • Fleet management: This function displays a list of all the vehicles you have, including their types, rates, and availability.
  • Budget management: Adds transparency to your expenditures and revenue and facilitates the processing of bills.
  • Feedback and analytics: Users should be able to quickly handle complaints from all parties involved in all processes: dispatchers, drivers, and receivers.

Logistics app development: Steps to follow

  1. Market research: Since the logistics market is not new, you should analyze what players are already there and what they offer to their users. You can analyze the reviews people leave to understand what they like about the solutions they use and what they want to be added.
  2. Hiring experts: You should find a dedicated team that will be ready to assist you in the development and validation of your idea.
  3. Design: Creating the UI and UX for your logistics app UI and UX are very important parts of the process. Your users should feel comfortable in the app and be able to easily navigate within it. To achieve this, we recommend starting the designing process with a prototype.
  4. Development: For the initial release, a minimum viable product (MVP) is perfect. This will include only core features and help you understand if you are building a solution people really need.
  5. Release and updates: When the app is out and you receive some positive feedback, you can start adding more advanced features to your app like barcode scanning or a payment gateway.

What are the reasons for logistics apps to fail?

Choosing the wrong type of app

Poor UX

Not listening to your employees

Trends to follow

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Blockchain
  • Cloud integration

Tech stack for a transportation app

  • Frontend development: Java, Swift, Kotlin, CSS
  • Backend development: Python, JavaScript, Node.js
  • Cloud: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud
  • Payment gateway: PayPal, Stripe, Braintree
  • Database: MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL
  • Messaging: Twilio, PubNub

Logistics app development cost

  • Sign up/Sign in — 70–90
  • Profile — 40–50
  • Navigation — 70–110
  • Order management — 150–200
  • Fleet management — 50–70
  • Warehouse management — 100–150
  • Communication — 50–70
  • Dashboard — 60–100
  • Project manager
  • Backend engineers
  • Frontend engineers
  • UI/UX designer
  • QA specialist

Monetization strategies

  • Paid application: A user makes a one-time payment for the installation. Usually, there are no further charges for additional functions or in-app purchases in this case.
  • Freemium: This model is the most popular and convenient for most types of applications, including logistics apps. You provide the most necessary functions for free and then users can pay additional fees for a more advanced version.
  • Commissions: In this model, you charge independent drivers for using your application. In this case, the commission is taken out of the driver’s revenue so they can use the app.
  • Ads: Another easy way to monetize a logistics app is by showing advertisements to users. Here it’s better to opt for banners instead of video ads so you don’t distract users from important information.

Final thoughts

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A team of engineers writing about web & mobile applications, here’s how we think (https://yellow.systems/blog) and live (www.instagram.com/yellow.systems/)

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A team of engineers writing about web & mobile applications, here’s how we think (https://yellow.systems/blog) and live (www.instagram.com/yellow.systems/)