There was once a time when apps were unheard of. Now, those days are long gone. Today, most people cannot imagine their lives without apps.
As per statistics collected by App Annie, 204 billion apps were downloaded in 2019 alone. And the number of downloads is likely to increase to approximately 258.2 billion by 2022!
While many tend to think that apps are only beneficial within the B2C sector like Entertainment, Healthcare, IT, Travel, or Ecommerce, it turns out apps are highly used and in demand for the B2B industry as well. This includes the logistics sector.
The industry itself is an essential part of the world economy since it forms the backbone of international trade. For starters, according to Statista, the global export volume of trade goods currently stands at 19.5 trillion USD. Additionally, the worldwide air freight traffic currently amounts to 54.2 million metric tons.
With such significance of the industry, boosting its efficiency and productivity via logistics apps is a great idea.
Why Develop a Logistics App?
There are various facets in which a company may benefit from developing a logistics app. This includes:
- Monitoring the location of the vehicle via GPS feature.
- Fleet management by keeping track of all the routes of your fleet.
- Parcel or Cargo Booking for customers, via solutions similar to those used by FedEx.
- Cargo tracing via NFC and RFDI technologies.
- Warehouse management, including inventory management, dispatch information, and data tracking.
Therefore, to streamline the various processes within a logistics company as well as to ensure transparency with customers, businesses are moving towards using apps that cater to their various needs.
The Key Features for Logistics App
To develop a logistics app that is highly demanded and beneficial for the different players in the industry, here are the important features the app developers must include:
- Driver and Vehicle Tracking
Vehicle Tracking is now a niche within the logistics app industry. And every solution is incomplete without it.
vehicle tracking device market
Take the example of the success of vehicle tracking devices. As of 2018, its market size is approximately 19000 units, with a value of USD 600 million. 30% of such devices are used in apps for the transportation and logistics sector.
So what do the driver and vehicle tracking feature entails? Well, it allows businesses to keep tabs on their cars and driver performance. Since such features use real-time GPS location, it helps in effectively evaluating drivers.
For instance, it is easier to monitor whether a given vehicle is operating as per the schedule and if a driver is running late or is on time. It can also help streamline delivery assignments. Since the manager can know when the driver has arrived, they can be assigned deliveries promptly to save time.
- Offline Support
People assume that because we are living in 2020, internet non-connectivity won’t be a real threat. It turns out this is a misconception.
According to research, over 1.7 billion USD is lost in revenue from apps because of poor internet speed and connection. Over 70 percent of app users abandon the app if it fails to load. Offline apps help mitigate this issue.
In the logistics industry, having offline support in your app is even more imperative.
Why? Well, this is because the logistics business primarily takes place on roads, around countries. This means that they are bound to come across areas with poor internet connectivity. In the US alone, some states are famous for their poor internet coverage and speed.
Therefore, logistics apps must be prepared for a loss of internet connection through offline support. For instance, drivers should be allowed to enter their data, regardless of their location and connectivity. This should be specifically included in supply chain management apps to ensure optimum reporting of tasks.
For example, if a driver delivers a delivery in an area with low connectivity, the app should allow them to mark the assignment as being completed and note the time and GPS location of the entry for later evaluations.
- Pre-planned Routes
This feature is usually incorporated in ride-hailing services like Uber. When a ride begins, the driver is showcased the best and shortest route to take to reach their destination.
Just like consumers don’t like spending too much time on route, they don’t prefer their goods being late either.
If you don’t standardize the routes the drivers ought to take; you cannot control the output. For instance, a driver might, through his own discretion, decide to take longer routes.
By including a pre-planned route feature in the logistics app, businesses and managers are able to develop and assign routes to drivers beforehand. This helps in ensuring that the delivery time targets are met. This feature must be integrated with online maps for clear directions.
When you combine this with the first tracking feature, it means that your app will be able to monitor drivers to see if they are following the pre-planned route or not.
- Notifications About Nearest Mechanical Support and Fuel Stations
Sometimes, drivers have legitimate reasons for delaying deliveries and assignments. It is imperative for companies to have a solid help plan for their drivers in case their trucks break down or they face a fuel shortage midway.
Keeping in mind this need of drivers and businesses, an app can provide the optimum solution for it all. The app should be able to identify and notify the driver of the nearest repair shops and gas stations. Additionally, they should reflect all possible contact information of these places to prompt towing when needed.
Additionally, the app should maintain a fuel log, which will help it in notifying the driver of fuel shortage before it becomes a problem. Such features can help the logistics app in ensuring that the fleet runs smoothly on its route and reaches its destination despite hiccups.
For example, Drivvo is a car management app that solely delivers this function. Developers can learn from this dedicated app and combine it with other features for the one-stop logistics app.
- Multilingual Support
According to Intercom, 70 percent of customers prefer interacting with companies that offer native language support. The same is true for apps as well, especially logistics apps.
Multilingual support helps the app in being usable by all, irrespective of their native language. This feature must be included in logistics apps to make sure that users belonging to different backgrounds are able to navigate the app without any issues.
Considering that logistics apps tend to have various elements and are much more complicated than an entertainment app, offering multilingual support can help boost the performance of the logistics team.
Develop the Perfect Logistics App
There are a plethora of features you can include in a logistics app. However, it all boils down to providing five basics yet essential solutions.
Include these features in your logistics app. By doing so, you will create a solution that can become a staple in many logistics companies. Always delegate the task to professional on-demand app development company. This is because logistics apps are much more complex than apps in other sectors.
Here, experts from MindInventory might be of help. Our dedicated app developers are well versed in new technologies as well as the recent trends of different markets.
Regardless of whom you outsource the task to, just make sure to create a flawless logistics app to gain a market share within the niche!