From Idea to App: A Step-by-Step Guide to Logistics App Development

Logistics is the core component of all types of businesses. A streamlined and efficient supply chain boosts business sales, expansion, and revenue.

However, traditional supply chain systems are often laced with mismanagement and errors.

Imagine this: You have a big shipment project. You are half way through it when you realize that your trucks don’t have enough space to carry the rest of the shipment. Now you will have to get more trucks for this project. 

While some of the trucks dispatched before were half empty, to make the situation worse, you cannot track your dispatched trucks. Now you are getting calls from the client and have no idea what to say.

In such a case:

  • The client loses trust in your business
  • You might not meet the shipment deadline
  • You had to invest more resources than required in the project
  • A huge business loss is probable
  • You are failing to deliver quality services as promised
  • You might fail to retain the client
  • Your logistics business and your client’s business are suffering due to poor management

However, there is a solution – mobile app development.

Logistics mobile app development will help you:

  • Automate your processes
  • Streamline supply chain
  • Reduce paperwork
  • Manage fleet
  • Meet project deadlines
  • Increase efficiency
  • Manage warehouse

Our logistics mobile app development guide will brief you about the types of logistics apps and their benefits. We will also review the development tech stack, process, and cost involved.

Let’s get started! 

What Is A Logistics App?

Logistics app is a mobile-based application that makes the supply chain efficient, easily manageable, and faster. The app helps businesses track shipments, payments, and orders. Moreover, it also assists them in managing inventory, goods delivery, orders, and more.

A logistics app is not only beneficial for logistics businesses but also for its clients. Customers or businesses that work with logistics companies to deliver and inventory their goods can also track all the processes in one place.

Before you decide to build a logistics app, let’s understand its types.

4 Types Of Logistics Apps

1. Fleet Management App

One of the major problems in the supply chain is tracking trucks and other fleets.

A fleet management app can help you track all your fleets in one place. With this app, you can track the real-time location, routes, and other details of your trucks and buses.

Further, it helps you manage your fleets effortlessly and ensure smooth deliveries.

2. On-Demand Logistics App

On-demand logistics apps connect drivers and businesses on one platform.

This app helps you track your drivers and orders. You can build an on-demand app to track and manage cargo deliveries in nearby areas.

3. Supply Chain Management App

Supply chain app development will help you monitor and handle all supply chain processes.

It will give you better control over your inventory, shipment deliveries, merchant payments, and other operations.

4. Warehouse Management App

Keeping records of hundreds of deliveries a day is stressful.

Moreover, if you own a chain of large warehouses, the numbers escalate to a point where managing daily loads is tough.

A warehouse management app will help you manage, track, and update daily shipments. Further, it automates mundane work and reduces human error and costs. 

Why Is There A Need For Logistics Mobile App Development?

Here are a few reasons why you should consider logistics management app development.

  •  Firstly, a logistics app can help you streamline and automate your supply chain
  • Secondly, the app will save your time, resources and increase your business productivity
  • Thirdly, it will assist you in managing your fleets, deliveries, orders, inventory, drivers, and clients all in one place
  • Further, with a logistics mobile app, you can seamlessly share business documents and information within your team and with your clients
  • The app will bring more transparency to your business. Thus, reducing fraud and failures.
  • Also, with a warehouse management app, you can streamline your warehouse processes and keep track of your inventory
  • An online app gives you a competitive edge. You can manage your business smoothly and offer quality services.
  • You will see an increase in client retention rates and attract more business partnerships
  • Eventually, a logistics app will scale your revenue

What Are The Must-Have Features Of Logistics Apps?

Common features to include in your logistics app are as follows:

User Panel Features

  1. Registration & Create Profile
  2. Save Delivery Address/Location
  3. View Nearby Vehicles available for transportation
  4. Choose Vehicle Type
  5. View Fare Estimation
  6. Book A Vehicle
  7. View Estimated Time Of Arrival (ETA)
  8. Manage/Schedule Trip
  9. In-App Calling with the driver
  10. Push Notifications for the arrival & delivery of goods
  11. Rate & Review services availed
  12. Cancel Service/Booking
  13. View the History of bookings
  14. Multiple Payment Options
  15. View Invoice via Email & SMS
  16. View Driver Details
  17. Share transportation details

Driver Panel Features

  1. Login & manage profile
  2. Upload Documents for Id verification
  3. View Rate Card as per the distance & weight of goods
  4. View Revenue Breakdown & earnings report
  5. Cancel Trip
  6. Select Vehicle Type driver is operating
  7. Toggle Availability for Ride
  8. In-App Calling with customers
  9. Accept/Reject Pickup Requests
  10. View User & Consignment Details
  11. Push Notifications
  12. Set Route & Use Navigation Map
  13. Multiple Language Support

Admin/Dispatcher Panel Features

  1. Dashboard
  2. Manage Users/Drives/Fleet
  3. Manage User Complaints
  4. Manage Billing & Invoice
  5. Assign Sub-Admins
  6. Manage & Track Trips
  7. View/Generate Reports To Track Revenue & User Acquisition Stats
  8. Create Multi-Stop Routes
  9. Manage Rate Card
  10. Offer Discounts
  11. Offer Subscription Plan to regular users

Advanced Logistics App Features To Integrate

1. Multilingual Support

Multilingual support in your app makes it convenient for people from different regions to use it without any hassle.

2. Route Navigation

This feature helps drivers locate the exact delivery destination and find the best routes on the app.

3. In-app Chat

The in-app chat feature lets your clients contact you or your team members. This will help you resolve customer queries about pending deliveries, delays, and payment issues.

4. GPS Tracking

GPS integration in the app benefits admins, clients, and drivers.

Admins and clients can access and track the real-time location of their fleet.

While drivers can locate the accurate location of the destination and find the best routes.

5. Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD)

Your drivers can confirm the delivery of their goods and submit proof with the help of this feature. They can take photos, scan barcodes, or get the recipient’s signature as proof.

6. Revenue and Expense Management

You can view payment history, bills, invoices, and dues. Further, you can also calculate your revenue and expenses.

7. Trip Log Reports

This feature lets drivers log trip details like start and end points, time distance, etc.

8. Manage Fuel & Vehicle consumption

With this feature, you can track the fuel consumption of your vehicles in each delivery.  Moreover, you can also manage vehicles’ pollution certificates, insurance papers, and other documents.

9. Upload & Share Documents

This feature allows you, drivers, and clients to upload and share necessary documents.

10. Get A Quote

Your customers can use this feature to request a quote. This will help you manage quote requests and send customized quotes as per your client’s requirements. 

7 Steps For Logistics Mobile App Development

Our logistics mobile app development guide decodes every app development phase for easy understanding. 

1. Define your objectives

The initial phase of developing a logistics app involves precisely outlining your goals.

Define the category of mobile logistics app you intend to create, considering the unique demands of your industry, your intended audience, and your business prerequisites.

Also, contemplate the integration of functionalities associated with:

  • Packaging
  • Procurement
  • Warehousing
  • Freight forwarding
  • Managing inventory
  • Cross-border shipping
  • Last-mile delivery
  • Handling replacements and returns

You can create a mobile app that caters to your specific needs and objectives by integrating the right features.

With careful planning and execution, you can develop an app that streamlines your operations, improves efficiency, and boosts profits. 

2. Choosing the app technology and infrastructure

The cornerstone of your successful logistics app resides in its technology and infrastructure.

Just as a house requires a solid foundation to withstand the elements, your mobile application demands a robust technology stack to navigate the intricacies of a dynamic and ever-evolving industry.

As you select a technology stack for your logistics app, your journey involves exploring diverse technologies, app development frameworks, and programming languages.

Many options await, underscoring the importance of thorough research to pinpoint those that align with your app’s essence.

Alongside the technology choices, factors such as scalability, security, and data privacy necessitate your attention.

A resilient logistics app must gracefully accommodate the burgeoning demands of a flourishing business while fending off cyber threats. Moreover, adherence to pertinent data privacy regulations remains paramount.

By thoughtfully deliberating upon your logistics app’s technology and infrastructure requisites, you pave the way for a foundation that propels your app’s triumph throughout the years. 

3. Designing UX/UI

In the current competitive landscape, crafting mobile apps that are user-friendly and intuitive has gained paramount significance.

With many alternatives at their disposal, users readily abandon apps that prove challenging to navigate or use.

This is precisely where user experience design (UXD) assumes its role. UXD entails the art of conceiving products and services while keeping the user at the center.

By meticulously attending to user needs and expectations, UX designers forge apps that seamlessly combine ease of use, efficiency, and delight.

Several factors contribute to effective UX design in logistics apps, encompassing:

  •  Smooth User Flow: The user flow delineates users’ journeys within an app. A well-structured user flow is user-friendly and facile, guiding users effortlessly through their tasks.
  • Intuitive Navigation: Navigation is the conduit for users to traverse an app’s landscape. Effective navigation is transparent and user-friendly and empowers users to locate pertinent information swiftly.
  • Visually Alluring Interfaces: The user interface (UI) constitutes the visual aesthetics of an app. A robust UI is visually captivating and intuitive, employing discernible fonts, colors, and icons to elucidate the app’s functionality.
  •  Leveraging Visual Elements: Visual components, including icons, graphics, and harmonious color palettes, increase usability and augment an app’s visual allure.
  •  User Testing and Feedback: User testing entails soliciting user feedback on an app’s performance. This input serves as a compass, aiding in identifying and rectifying usability hurdles.

By adhering steadfastly to these principles, you can craft logistics apps that exude user-friendliness, efficiency, and delight.

This approach helps attract and retain users and provides a competitive edge within the market landscape. 

4. App Development

After settling on the app design, your subsequent move involves the execution of code within the logistics app development process.

This entails implementing all features and screen transitions using a suitable tech stack and third-party applications. 

5. App Testing & Quality Assurance

Testing and quality assurance (QA) are imperative pillars in guaranteeing the triumph of any logistics app.

By conducting exhaustive testing, you proactively unearth and rectify bugs or glitches before they potentially disrupt user experiences, thereby elevating overall user satisfaction and averting costly downtimes.

Various testing methodologies cater to the multifaceted nature of logistics apps, including:

  • Functional Testing: This assessment verifies the app’s alignment with stipulated requirements and capacity to function as intended.
  • Performance Testing: Rigorous performance tests ascertain the app’s competence in accommodating anticipated loads and delivering optimal performance even under strenuous conditions.
  • Usability Testing: This evaluation ensures the app boasts user-friendly attributes, facilitating intuitive navigation and usage.
  • Security Testing: Scrutinizing the app’s robustness, security testing safeguards user data and bolsters the app’s overall safety.

Beyond these distinct testing paradigms, the continuous accumulation of user feedback throughout the developmental trajectory remains pivotal. User insights serve as a compass, guiding refinements and ensuring the app caters to user needs seamlessly. 

6. Deployment

Once you have completed your app’s development and thorough testing, it’s time to deploy it onto your chosen platforms.

This process can vary depending on the platform but typically involves uploading the app to the app store or your website. 

7. Maintenance

After your app has been successfully deployed, you must keep it up-to-date and properly maintained.

This entails monitoring your app’s performance, collecting feedback from users like yourself, and promptly addressing any issues that may arise.

Regularly updating your app with new features and improvements should also be a consistent part of your maintenance routine. 

What Is The Cost Of Logistics App Development?

There is no fixed cost when it comes to mobile app development. It is because the mobile app development cost depends on the several app components and development complexities.

Still, building a logistics app usually costs around $20,000 to $70,000.

The logistics app development cost depends on the following:

  • App features
  • App functions
  • Platform choice
  • Tech stack used
  • API integrations
  • App size
  • UX/UI design cost
  • App maintenance needs
  • Development time
  •  App customizations

Other than these factors, the cost also depends on your logistics app development company choice.

That is why discussing your budget and requirements is crucial before hiring a mobile app development company.

Get on a call with us to share your app requirements and get a free quote. 

Technology Stack For Logistics Mobile App Development

Your development team must select the right tech stack for logistics app development.

The latest tech stack employed to build the app will ensure maximum app performance and efficiency. Further, using the right tech stack will make your app more responsive and user-friendly.

Most importantly, you must power up your app with advanced technologies for seamless functioning and enhanced user interface.

Based on the above features that are important for a logistics app, the tech stack you will require is:

For push notifications: Twilio or Push.io

For Frontend Development: Swift, Java, CSS, BootStrap

For Credentials authentication login: Nexmo or Twilio

For BackEnd Development: JavaScript, Ruby, Angular, Python

For Payment Gateways: PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, or other Ewallets

For Application and Data: jQuery, Bootstrap, Angular, Amazon Elasticache, Groovy, Amazon RDS

For Database requirements: MongoDB, Cassandra, Postgress, Hbase

For Utilities: Amazon SNS, Heap

For Cloud platform solutions: Google, Azure, or AWS

For DevOps: Chef

For Real-time analytics: BigData, Apache, Flink, IBM, Cisco, Loggly, Spark 

How Can NetWeb Technologies Help You With Logistics App Development?

The logistics business market is rapidly advancing. You must supercharge your business with technology to stay relevant in this competitive space.

Building an advanced logistics app is one of them. However, logistics app development requires high levels of technical expertise.

Mobile app development companies like NetWeb Tech have the technical skills and experience required to build a feature-packed and robust logistics app.

We understand the intricacies of logistics app development and work on all fronts, like user interface, data security, cloud storage, and more.

Our team works closely with you to understand your business requirements and goals. We help you develop an app and support you with in-app ideation, market research, and app viability.

We are here to accelerate your logistics business with a scalable app.

Contact us today to get started on your logistics app development.

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