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Logistics App Development: the Guide on How to Create an App for Your Business
19 OCT 2022

If you are a logistics business owner, you are probably familiar with such situations. The truck has traveled many miles empty or got stuck somewhere, or the warehouse has delayed loading and you have wasted your time and the time of the client. The fact is that it is very difficult to control business segments over long distances. Some companies solve this problem with constant phone calls between the driver, the warehouse, and the office, but participants are not always able to get in touch on time.

A mobile application will help simplify control over the logistics business. With the mobile app, your trucks will no longer go empty, and there will also be a clear timing for each iteration of the trip. So you will stop losing revenue due to communication problems and will always fulfill customer orders on time. However, if your business has been operating for a long time, be prepared for changes in work processes.

The development of a logistics application at first glance seems to be a difficult task, but in this case, it is important to study the market, choose effective work tools and find experienced contractors. This article will show you how to complete these tasks. And we will also give a couple of unsuccessful examples of logistics applications in order to learn from others, and not your own mistakes.

How does the logistics app work?

If you are just on the verge of launching a logistics business, it will be useful for you to find out how everything works there. Logistics is only a part of a large business process, but it also includes several stages. Logisticians are responsible for the transportation and storage of goods. Their work consists of planning, storage, packaging, inventory, transportation, and control. Each stage in the logistics process is important, so it is difficult to control such a business without a digital vision tool.

The mobile app will help you. Each employee will have access to it, and you, as a business owner, will be able to manage all work remotely and without unnecessary intermediaries.

Logistics come to the digital market

In 2020, the global logistics market was valued at nearly $9 trillion. The world’s largest logistics market is the Asia-Pacific region. Its volumes reach almost 4 trillion dollars. This region has the most post offices. The leading role of APR is explained by the fact that most of the world’s supplies pass through this region, and large western companies sell their goods here.

The second largest logistics market is North America. The total annual income of the logistics business in this region is almost two trillion dollars. In North America, so-called third-party logistics are thriving. 3PL is such a model of interaction between companies when a business hires contractors for transportation. The third party logistics market is expected to exceed $300 billion by 2023.

Along with the growth of the logistics market, the digitalization of this industry is also growing. Managing deliveries over vast distances is simply impossible without digital tools. The global digital logistics market size was estimated at USD 27.31 billion in 2020, is expected to reach USD 30.95 billion in 2021, and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13.66% reaching USD 58.90 billion by 2026.

In the field of logistics, various digital solutions are used. The surge in attention to mobile applications for logistics has grown during the pandemic, and now businesses continue to use these tools. The role of the influence of AI and the Internet of Things on the logistics business is growing. By 2035, artificial intelligence is expected to improve the productivity of logistics by 40%. And IoT-enabled processes increase task efficiency and reduce accidents.

If you want to be part of a fast-growing industry, check out the building of a logistics mobile app. For all questions related to software development, please contact us.

Logistics app development: main functionality and tech stack 

You start developing a logistics application by choosing the problem you want to solve. There are several types of logistics applications, each of which is aimed at a specific purpose.

Popular types of logistics digital solutions

Fleet management The fleet management application will facilitate the coordination of vehicles and help drivers to monitor the condition of the vehicles. Such applications typically store information about each truck, including data on technical conditions, recent trips, and availability status. Warehouse management Warehouse management apps help you store and locate items in storage locations more efficiently. Such applications contain information about where certain goods are located, data on expiration dates, and storage features. Such a service will be especially convenient for large premises with numerous employees. With its help, workers will not spoil the goods during storage and will always find them in the warehouse. Logistics on request Such an application is useful for small businesses. If your trucks sometimes go empty, you can make an application through which customers will track this and load your vehicles with their goods. This is a win-win solution. You get additional profit and audience loyalty, and customers transport their goods when needed.  

Starring roles in logistics app  

Despite the different types of applications, they usually have the same functionality. There are three roles in logistics applications: driver, dispatcher, and administrator. Here are a few features that every role should have in the app. Driver The driver in the logistics application may have several options. For example, route management and navigation, so that they avoid traffic jams or places where the truck will not pass. You can also add a log for the driver, where they will record all the data about the trip. Finally, it is very important to have a chat with support from the administrator so that drivers can resolve urgent issues. Dispatcher The main function for the dispatcher is the control panel. With it, they control drivers or warehouse workers. The dispatcher should also be able to send notifications so that communication between employees does not stop. In order for dispatchers to assist drivers, they must also be able to navigate in the app. Administrator The administrator in the logistics application has the most authority. They have access to driver routes, product information, and the company’s budget. The administrator can be the owner of the business or a trusted person among top managers. In the application, the administrator should be able to communicate with all participants in order to control the work process.

Technical stack for logistic software development 

There are two options for logistics app development: native software development and cross-platform mobile app development. In the table, we have shown the differences between these approaches. Choose the path that suits your budget and goals.

Native logistic app development  Cross-platform logistic app development 
Programming language Swift for iOS, Kotlin/Java for Android  React Native framework for both platforms
Time Development will take longer, as two separate applications need to be made for each platform. Still, it may take as much time as cross-platform development if two teams will work at the same time. You will get the finished product faster, because in fact one application is written, and then it adapts to the desired OS.
Money Spend more money, because two teams will work simultaneously, and you also pay for expertise in native development. The project will be cheaper than a native application, but the final cost may be even higher due to bugs fixing and improvements. 
Result Get two complete applications that are easy to scale and add new options for users. Get two applications, but if you want to scale, there will be problems with the integration of native elements and application performance
Target audience This solution is suitable for those who are ready to release two full-fledged applications and want to improve their work in the future. This solution is suitable for those who want to attract investors, test the market or get feedback from users. But for long-time working, business cross-platform development is not the best way. 

3 reasons for logistics app to fail and how to avoid them 

Forewarned is forearmed. If you know in advance what mistakes you can make building a logistics mobile app, you will be able to avoid them.

Poor quality

Any application of low quality causes rejection by the user. We are talking about an inconvenient user interface, overloaded screens and complex user flows. And also about the fact that the application does not work well and may freeze at a crucial moment. If you want to create a logistics app in a way that won’t let your co-workers down, don’t save time and money on development.

Too complicated functionality

An application with a huge number of extra options is also unlikely to please the user. If we are talking about a warehouse control application, there is no need to add complex communication tools to it, such as a video call or voice messages. It is enough to make an internal chat or make a call directly from the app.

Not listening to employees 

If you are engaged in custom software systems development, be sure to take into account the opinion of your employees. If the application becomes inconvenient to use, your employees will simply continue to work the old way, and you will continue to lose money. To avoid this, gather a focus group of drivers, dispatchers, administrators and warehouse workers. Let them test the application and give feedback on what can be improved.  

Why is it worth creating a logistics app?

By building a logistics mobile app, you become part of a large digital community and help employees do their jobs efficiently. In addition, mobile app development will save your business costs. To make a quality application, it is important to choose the type and prescribe user roles. And also hire reliable contractors.

Brivian will help your logistics business go digital. Leave a request for our experts to contact you. We will discuss what kind of logistics application you want to make, conduct an accurate cost estimate and answer all questions about custom software systems development.

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