Logistics App Development: Do We Need an Uber for Trucks and Cargo?
Innovations are good where there are problematic places in business. They drive progress and open up opportunities for startups. However, they require a serious attitude and hard work, in fact, deal with the problem, which could not be handled for a long time. In our case, innovations are the optimization of some processes inextricably linked with the automation of work. The time has come when the number of tasks that fall on the shoulders of workers is rapidly increasing, while the resources for their implementation remain at the same level. This situation forces us to look for new ways of solving problems that are less expensive in terms of effort, time, and bring more profit.
So, how can a young startup find such a problem zone? We bring your attention to the “markers” indicating a possible presence of a growth zone in a business:
- Lots of routines, non-profitable tasks;
- All the types of inexpensive costs;
- The slowdown in the process performance due to certain factors;
- Excessive influence of intermediaries;
- Constant outages.
Let’s see together how these characteristics are manifested in the wild and how they can be eliminated.
App for Cargo Shipping
In this article, we will dwell in detail on the logistics and opportunities that it opens for startups.
What is the problem in this area? As you know, the delivery of goods is carried out in one direction, which means that the transport that carries the goods have to return to the warehouse in some way. Here is a problem: the return road is paid by the driver, and the transport goes empty. Now we can see here inexpediency, shutdown, and deceleration of the basic activity. The transit of the transport is not profitable, so it’s time to think about how to make a logistics app to modernize the work of transport companies in such a way as to minimize losses and maximize profits.
How to find a cargo for a truck so as not to go empty?
- Contact all possible shippers (although it is not really feasible, very time-consuming, expensive, and ineffective).
- Contact intermediaries (brokers), specialized companies that have shippers base (however, pay attention that they take quite high commissions).
As we can see, both options are not efficient and cost-effective enough. But if these options are not suitable, what do we still need? The answer is a solution that directly allows you to communicate with shippers appropriate for your exact delivery case right away and agree on all the delivery details as soon as possible.
Features for Logistics App Development
Obviously, the app for cargo shipping should consist of two different solutions: for truckers and for shippers. The division of the roles is explained by the difference in goals and needs of these two different users types, and thus one should build two app versions.
In the case with truckers, their goal is to keep the trucks filled while relocating the transport. For this, they might need to find a shipper nearby who will supply them with a cargo.
To reach their goals such features should be implemented:
- The driver’s profile (contact information, types of trucks, preferences);
- Automatic location finder (to search for a shipper nearby);
- List of shippers and their freight orders (to choose from);
- Chat with shippers and real instant notifications (for requests);
- Payment verification services, integration with different payment systems;
- Sending attachments such as legal documents (to prove the delivery is made).
As we already see, such applications are very useful not only for truckers but also for cargo providers. This application gives them the opportunity to save money on transportation because truckers, in any case, need cargo to relocate transport or otherwise they will lose money. Also, even in the case of a normal traffic, with trucking business apps suppliers do not have to pay for the return journey, during which trucks are empty. Therefore, our solution is beneficial for everyone.
Most of the functions that you need to have in an application for a shipper are similar. However, it is important to remember that the supplier has other purposes than the driver: they need to safely transport the goods at a lower cost. In this regard, it will require additional functionality to ensure confidence in the safety of cargo, as well as regulation of payment for transportation and establishing the fact that the goods were delivered. A sample list of vendor application functions can be found below:
- Ability to place a shipping request;
- List of empty trucks available for load;
- Tracking the movement of a cargo on the road using geolocation;
- Send/receive photos or documents for load/delivery verification;
- Chat with drivers and push notifications;
- The driver’s rankings and reviews;
- Legally protected payment and delivery.
So, the shipper’s app requires more security issues to be covered, but still, the freight app development is worth all the efforts required, and now you’ll see why.
More Opportunities of Uber for Trucks
According to analysts, the entire market for the delivery of goods is divided into several groups (trucking, flying, shiping, etc.), where the cargo delivery by trucks is more than 80% and brings $726 billion revenue annually (infographics). An Uber for trucks will significantly reduce the payment for the delivery of goods, and sometimes the savings will reach 50%, so it is clear that the prospects for such an application are enormous. It is easy to understand, how much revenue such an app can bring.
What to consider during a logistics app development?
How will you earn on the application? In spite of the fact that the transportation market brings big incomes, you should develop an effective monetization policy. Here you need to observe the balance of price and quality, the interests of users and your own. And do not forget about the brokers, which at the moment remain leading in the field of backward transportation. To avoid conflicts of interest, you need to think of such a solution, so that everyone benefits from it.
How to assemble the base of carriers and suppliers? To create such a startup one should consider that it requires a ready-made user database. It can be not a final one but the user must somehow start using the application, and when there are no users it becomes useless. The solution can be pre-advertisement and promotion of the project, registration of users interested in such an application, as well as encouraging them sharing bonuses or privileges. It is important not to leave such an application in secret until it is launched, but actively test it, offer it to the world.
How to make it more accessible? For now, almost everyone has a smartphone, but do not forget that the mobile application should be made for different platforms, such as both iOS and Android. You will attract more customers, increase the popularity of the product, and increase profits in this way.
Trucking Business Apps We Already Know
Each Uber for trucking has to have a unique offer to its customers. Being a classic app matching all the features and characteristics mentioned above, it provides something very simple but necessary for the customer’s nerves: fair payment system. Its outstanding transparency in calculating expenses is based on a cargo weight and a precise distance tracking. That makes it very favorable for both shippers and drivers. However, the high commission (20%) makes it not so attractive, though.
This application is an example of a trade-off between brokers and stand-alone suppliers. It is also noteworthy by the calculation of the delivery cost, which takes into account a variety of indicators, such as the price of fuel, route, etc.
This application works on the principle of a site for hiring. It works for any type of cargo, including consumer goods. The bet is made for universality: deliver anything and anywhere. It also allows you to place an order for transportation and wait until someone will help to transport it.
Summary: Is the Uber for Trucking Necessary?
Our answer is unequivocal: yes. Of course, each of us uses the services of transportation companies, often even indirectly. We buy goods that require delivery, and it is included in their cost. We ourselves often need to forward the goods. And if the delivery is so closely intertwined in our life, everyone, especially the application developers, benefits from its optimization, as they are given access to unlimited opportunities of the transportation market.