Many companies are trying to follow the example of Uber and create an equal app to gain success. However, it does not mean all of those companies are eager to deal with taxi service. They need a handy mobile tool for the transportation segment that deals with logistics, shipping and other issues of the industry.
Transportation industry has already grown into a huge global marketplace featuring latest innovations including IoT platforms and connected devices. The mobile market also experiences growth in logistics fraction. For this reason, building a great application is certainly a good idea every time you want to get value from your product. Whether you look for a handy tool that will let you hold your returning customers as well as acquire new ones, this article will reveal some key issues when developing a logistics mobile app.
First of all, we are going to figure out how a mobile app can be of great use for the transportation industry in general as well as for some businesses in particular. What services can you provide via your app? How can it be useful for the target audience? What features do you need to consider before developing an app? They may include some of the fundamental functions, which are:
- Location tracking;
- Traffic data;
- Fleet managing tools;
- Management and asset tracking.
- Let’s have a closer look at every issue for the list.
Let’s have a closer look at every issue for the list.
Location trackers are not new to the majority of mobile users. This technology lets them define the exact location of a target device. Implemented in many different services and applications, this technology can be divided into two major types:
- Satellite location tracking;
- Cellular location tracking.
The second one is the best bet for cities with a more efficient and reliable network connection. This type of tracking technology is used by major mobile applications including Uber. The network acts as an intermediary generating and transmitting the information about the vehicle location using mobile devices. If the device is not connected to the network, it will store all necessary information and transmit it to the server once the connectivity is enabled.
The satellite location is a more complex technology that additionally requires GPS tracking equipment in addition to driver’s mobile device in order to track the location of the vehicle. GPS navigation system collects the information using satellite data and delivers it to server by means of the mobile network connectivity. The data can be delivered via other channels including radio or satellite modem.
Geofencing is another important feature you need to consider whenever you need to develop an application for logistics. The technology will define a restricted zone or area around a necessary location point. Family trackers and other services to keep in touch with smartphone users’ current location use such feature. The system automatically sends notifications every time a target vehicle or user enters or exits a defined area. In other words, you can always monitor the efficiency of your fleet when delivering products and goods as well as track the entire vehicle route and movements.
Every time you decide to embed GPS tracking technology, you can count on something more than a simple location tracking. Modern technologies feature advanced updates letting the system generate necessary data and perform its in-depth analysis. Such features can be used for several purposes:
- Increased driver safety;
- Time consuming routes;
- Cost effective shipment.
As a rule, the majority of developers integrate Google or Yandex maps in order to get a full access to the information on the roads.
Google has come up with an efficient tool that provides precise and real-time traffic information right to your portable device. Starting from 2004, Google Traffic has turned into a major feature of Google Maps service. It can appear to be a handy tool in more than 50 countries across the globe.
Another great advantage about Google’s Traffic service is the availability of real-time information as well as to the data history. Drivers can easily choose a particular day of the week and time in order to check the situation on the roads and compare it with real-time data. Moreover, Google Traffic provides a full information on every accident or car crash in the given area.
How does it actually work? Google Traffic retrieves information from two major sources. They include special sensors as well as drivers themselves. Every time you enable the service, it will automatically send your current location back to the system.
The data includes various crucial issues including your driving speed, location and other necessary aspects to make an overall picture of the situation on the road as well as traffic conditions in a particular zone. If the driver does not want to share the location and other data, he or she can simply disable the sharing feature although it is 100% anonymous.
We have some great examples of logistics applications like Trucker Path. The app connects both carriers and shipping companies letting them find out the exact location of every truck as well as all other steps of the transportation process. Such approach lets customers predict possible traffic conditions and move their cargo in order to avoid any delivery problems or delays. Additional features provided by the Trucker Path include the exact location of all gas stations around the country as well as highway points to fuel the vehicle.
Fleet managing tools
Location tracking and geofencing are certainly among the fundamental features you need to implement in your future app. At the same time, you can think of some extra functions to make your product stand out from other typical applications for logistics. For example, you can think of some handy tools to manage company’s fleet. The main idea here is to increase the level of vehicles’ performance as well as track drivers’ logs in real time.
KeepTruckin is a good example of such handy app to manage vehicle fleet. It comes as a handy managing platform that uses alerts and push notifications every time a driver violates his servicing hours. The alerts are sent directly to the driver’s smartphone in real time. KeepTruckin has already hit the headlines with a selection of managing tools to handle vehicle inspections and detect any problems and malfunctions from the mechanical perspectives.
Asset management and tracking
This point is crucial for every company that deals with logistic services. Shipping companies are still in search of a handy mobile tool that will let them keep in touch with available assets. If you are able to deliver a product that will let them handle their inventory n the most efficient way, you will certainly gain success. Think of some ways for the shipping company to handle any of the following:
- Trucking equipment;
- Load units;
- Storage facilities and more.
Tracking vehicle is only 50% of success. As a shipping service, you need to be 100% sure the cargo is safe. For this reason, a trailer tracking option will be of great use. Some services prefer tracking every separate package to ensure it gets to the right location.
The radio frequency identification or RFID for short has proved to be another good method to handle the assets. They do not require any network connectivity. All you need is a set of necessary components including antenna and memory cheap to enable RFID tags. The chip will store all necessary information. The system works actually the same as a traditional ham radio and depends on the radio wave and length. Although RFID has some more advanced technologies if compared with amateur radio, the idea is the same. It provides a wide option of broadcasting length that can be up to 100 meters. That will be more than enough for a shipping company or logistics service.
Although it may seem to be a simple task, the development of logistics app can be a challenge. You need to think of all possible features you want to implement in your applications as well as the method to achieve them. At the same time, you need to make your product as efficient as possible. For s hipping company, it means lower transportation costs, better managing tools and effective vehicle tracking in addition to assets control.