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How to Develop Logistics and Transportation Software
11 min.

The market of logistics software is growing, with revenue of $17.58 billion in 2022 and estimates of up to $23.21 billion by 2027. Steady and stable, no matter the possible recession. So, if you’re thinking of developing such a program for your business or to sell to other companies – you’re on the right track.

But before the actual logistics software development process, there are a lot of discussions and decisions. What kinds of programs are there? Which one will bring the most use to your business? When is it time to create transportation software in your case? What business benefits will it bring?

And finally, how to build logistics software to save time and money and avoid losing quality?

All this and more – in the article below!

Supply chain and logistics software market is growing steadily.

Key takeaways:

  • Logistics and transportation software development involves the creation of WMS and TMS (management systems for warehouses and transportation), logistics tracking, freight software, ERP, and more.
  • A company needs a TMS and/or a WMS when it experiences issues with warehouse monitoring and could use efficiency and cost optimization.
  • The benefits of using such software include fewer human errors, cost optimization, process automation, and supply chain transparency.
  • The technologies ProCoders used to build logistics applications include React.js for frontend, PHP and Node.js for back end, Swift and Kotlin for mobile development, and .NET for cloud-based software.
  • To create such an application, you have to plan your budget and timing, hire the right developers, build a prototype and then an MVP, analyze it, develop the final version of the app, test it, and then launch.
  • The cost of logistics software can range, but if you need a full app built by professionals, tested and prepared for launch, $60-80K is the realistic amount. We can discuss the cost-saving options through the ProCoders Discovery Phase.

What Is a Transportation and Logistics Management System?

A TMS is a group of logistics software that helps companies plan, monitor, and optimize the physical movement of their goods, including documentation control. Such a service is usually a part of a larger supply chain management system (SCM).

Key Types of Logistics Software

To be able to plan your own future software, it’s nice to know the most in-demand types.

TMS (transportation management system)

The system is responsible for helping you plan, execute, and improve the shipping of physical goods in and out. The software also helps with documentation, ensuring all the needed docs are available.

WMS (warehouse management system)

This system is responsible for your inventory and distribution. By using this one, you make it easier to see whether a product is available or not, where there are gaps in warehouses, and when the next delivery or shipment is due.

Logistics ERP

What is ERP supply chain management? Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP takes care of routine tasks such as accounting, compliance, risk management, purchase, etc. The system helps you calculate and estimate, which is often half the success if done properly.

Logistics tracking software

Logistics tracking is useful for task allocation, day-to-day plans on shipment and delivery, route choice and optimization, etc. Its brilliance is in the ability to automate all those processes for you.

Freight software

Freight management is needed to make goods movement smooth as it goes from the shipper to the carrier and, finally, to the recipient. Such software should assist you in optimizing this process so that it’s effort- and cost-effective.

Logistics staff management systems

Staff management systems will aid human resources and managers in optimizing employee responsibilities, allocating tasks, monitoring, accessing results, shifting working hours, and more.

All of these sound very useful. And it’s good news that you can combine these in one piece if needed. But when does a company need to create its own TMS or WMS?

When Does Your Company Need to Create TMS or WMS Software?

Whenever you see that your business could use:

  • More productivity due to process automation
  • Better cost-efficiency
  • Human error rate reduction
  • Improved data collection
  • Better customer experience
  • A higher customer service level
  • Better management of your capacities
  • Less paperwork

When you’re scaling up or feedback and analytics state that the company may need an upgrade, a TMS and a WMS can become that upgrade. We understand it’s a hefty investment, but the business benefits of using logistic management software are worth it.

Business Benefits of Logistic Management Software Development

Logistics and transportation software development brings numerous business benefits

Before building transportation software, many entrepreneurs have doubts. After all, they will have to invest money into creating a program that may not be used for monetization. Isn’t this just wasting finances?

In fact, there are many business benefits logistic management software can bring you.

Process automation

In Industry 4.0, it’s all about automation. If you don’t use technological advances to take the load off your employees, you’re going to stay behind. This is not only because they are going to get tired and quit but because the speed of machinery is faster and the processing capabilities are better.

Plus, you can engage employees in more important tasks, increasing productivity levels. Meanwhile, the program will make it easier to travel through the supply chain, track goods in real time, optimize routes, and much more in a couple of clicks.

IoT, ML, AI in logistics systems

The Internet of Things, machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence got their way into all industries. We consult with AI now and have ML find out and remember our preferences. Using these advances for logistics will save you effort, time, and money while guiding your company into the new age.

Visibility of the supply chain

Tracking software will help both the company and clients see that all the processes are transparent and all the goals are met. This plays a huge role in trust-building and can actually help business owners clean up logistics.

Cost optimization

No human factor, top-notch resource optimization, proper route choice, fewer delays, and minimal paperwork will all contribute to the cost efficiency of your company, as well as increases in revenue.

Reduction of the human errors

No matter how good an employee is, they may make mistakes. With technology, this isn’t always the case. Reduce the human factor with the use of wisely built software for logistics.

Improve customer experience

Clicking a couple of buttons is much easier than calling a bunch of people. Besides, when you offer a tool for, say, tracking one’s order, it shows that you’re transparent and honest with your customers, which improves their experience.

It seems such software is necessary for all logistics companies. Given developers use the right technology, the program will cover all your needs.

What Technologies to Use to Develop Logistics Software?

Here are the technologies ProCoders specialists use in transportation projects:

  • Frontend (the client’s side: user interface, request processing, etc.) – React.js, Angular.js, Vue.js, jQuery.
  • Backend (the server side customers don’t see) – PHP, Node.js, Python, Java.
  • Mobile (a mobile app for more convenience) – React Native, Swift, Kotlin.
  • Cloud (for cloud-based software, which is often faster) – .NET and Node.js.

The right tech used at the right time equals a successful program for your logistics needs. Let’s see how exactly you can make an idea turn into life.

Steps to Build Logistics and Transportation Software

Knowing the tech necessary to develop transportation software doesn’t mean you know how to implement supply chain management system successfully. We’ve prepared a step-by-step to help you evaluate the scope of work.

Step 1. Analyze Your Requirements

Business analysis helps you understand what kind of software you need. Hire a team of analysts to overview your company, its scale, the main pain points, etc., and come up with a report showing gaps in logistics tracking, management, and communication.

All you have to do is to create software for transportation that fills in those gaps.

Of course, instead of hiring an analytics team, you can apply to ProCoders’ Discovery Phase. We already have people whose main specialization is pinpointing potential issues and finding solutions for them.

Start your Discovery Phase with ProCoders Today!
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Step 2. Plan the budget, time, and other numbers

Along with business analysis, it’s important to have a clear plan of budget, time, the number of people you have, the number you need, etc. That requires extensive market research and an understanding of the internal development processes.

ProCoders can help with this as well. Within the Discovery Phase we have mentioned, our experts provide you with the approximate time, investment scope, and the number of developers and testers you may need.

Based on this information, we can discuss:

  • Narrowing the timeframe
  • Cutting on costs
  • Filling your team

Step 3. Hire the right people

This is an optional step as you may already have a full team working on the project. However, if not, you won’t create your logistics software for years (duh). We mean that finding people who not only have the right skills but can work as a team can take over a year.

That’s hours of resume reading, interview conducting, and technical testing.

But you should know that a team or additional staff for an existing crew can come to the rescue in just a few weeks. ProCoders’ staff augmentation strategies can help here. We already have developers and testers on board, so you can forget about all those CVs and calls.

Even if all our specialists are engaged in other projects, we can find talent for you using our verified channels. We take the search, interviews, and practical tests on our recruiters and tech team leads.

 

Let’s Check which Developer Fits You!

Step 4. Develop a prototype and an MVP

After you hire pros that know how to craft logistics software, they will have to work on a prototype and later on an MVP – a minimum viable product. The latter is a very useful approach that makes it easier for you to see if the application is turning out the way you wanted.

Besides, you can launch it as a beta version and gather feedback right away, making the final product better. And if you need investment for the program, an MVP will help you get it as you can show it to potential sponsors.

Step 5. Approve and execute final development

Make changes, add and remove functions, alter the product according to feedback and execute the main development. Frontend, back end, APIs, etc. have to be handled by professionals.

Step 6. Test the application and debug it

Without testing, you can launch a program. There may be bugs developers can’t predict as they compile the product together. This is where pro testers should come in and use various methodologies, as well as both manual and automatic testing.

After it’s done and you’ve made all the changes to the software, it’s time for launch.

Step 7. Launch and gather feedback

The initial feedback is crucial. Gather and analyze every message, and encourage honest reviews. If everything is alright, congratulations! But you can’t guess the right functionality for everyone, so perceive feedback as ideas for a potential next version of the program.

When you know how to build logistics software, upgrading it won’t be a problem.

Now you know how to build logistics software that matches your business needs and requirements. But how much will it cost? And are there ways to save money without jeopardizing the quality of the whole project? Let’s find out!

Cost of Custom Logistics Software Development

We’d say $60-100K, and let us justify this amount. To develop an app from scratch, you may need about 4 developers. One middle developer will cost you around $6K a month, and the full engineering may take around 4+ months. Plus, you need a designer, a project manager, a quality assurance specialist, and other staff.

Sounds very investment-intensive. But there’s a way to save finances without losing the quality of the transportation software you want to create. Have you ever heard of staff augmentation?

It’s an approach that allows you to hire additional staff without having to deal with the actual hiring process. You find a company that already has developers hired or can find some for you in verified talent pools. They find, filter, interview, and test candidates according to your requirements. Your job here is to conduct a final interview to see if the person or people will be a good fit for the project.

In such a case, you save on paid vacations, insurance, office space, and precious time. Looking for the right candidate may take about a year for you, and there’s no guarantee the finalists will be worth it. Why not trust this to people who specialize in hiring skilled technical experts?

If you’re interested in finding a partner that will add skillful staff to your team to save money and maintain the high quality of your product, you’re in good company.

How ProCoders Can Contribute to Your Business with Logistics Software Development?

ProCoders can develop transportation software to your standard.

ProCoders can contribute in two ways:

Discovery Phase Services and Business Analytics

By applying to the Phase, you choose a deep analysis of your business needs and the market. It’s done to come up with a perfect plan for creating logistics software that will suit your unique requirements. Our analysts provide you with time and cost numbers, as well as a clear step-by-step on what to do next.

Staff Augmentation

ProCoders can provide a full dedicated team, a hybrid team, or some additional staff for an existing team, depending on what you need at the moment. We can find one person for you so that the project gets a fresh look, or we can hire a full-on band of 25 people to develop logistics software from scratch.

You can use either way or combine them for the best results. We have extensive experience with building logistics software and are ready to use our knowledge to empower your company.

Maybe we already have the people you need on the team and they are free and ready to collaborate! And if not, ProCoders will find you an expert who knows how to build transportation software of top-notch quality at an adequate rate.

FAQ. Here are more answers to the most popular questions about transportation software development.
What is the best software for freight forwarding services?

Many users refer to GoFreight, Transcount, World-Trak, Scope, and SBT Logistics & Supply Chain Platform as some of the best freight forwarding software.

How much does it cost to develop tracking management software?

We’d day $60K, more or less, depending on what you need. You can create logistics software for $5K, but will it be good enough for your business requirements? Doubtful.

ProCoders bases the pricing on:

  • The needs of your company
  • Its scale
  • The main functionality
  • Your wishes
  • Your priorities (time, money, quality)
  • Necessary integrations, etc.

So, if you want a program with a large capacity that would store a whole enterprise’s worth of data and you want it as soon as possible, prepare to optimize your budget for it. And in case you need a smaller app for a startup in logistics with a couple of integration and you have time, money-saving is an option.

In any way, ProCoders always looks for the most cost-efficient solutions. Besides, you can tell us honestly how much money you’re willing to spend, and we’ll come up with a plan to build a high-quality product without spending a fortune on it.

Which SAP software is the best for logistics?

SAP Transportation Management allows you to manage logistics throughout your network, making it easier to handle transportation complexity.

What are the main types of WMS systems?
  • Standalone WMS – everyday tasks
  • Cloud-based systems – a cheaper, easier-to-use version
  • Supply chain modules – warehouse tasks and supply chain management
  • ERP-integrated – a larger scale of supply chain tasks
How to choose the right technology stack for logistics software?

The final choice depends on the type of app you need, its scale, and the needed capacity. Only after analyzing your idea and requirements, ProCoders’ developers can choose the best tech stack for it.

Conclusion

Logistics and transportation software will help your eCommerce or another company that needs inventory and shipment/delivery tracking jump to the next level. The benefits are plenty, including process automation, cost-efficiency, faster shipment and delivery, and more.

Development is no easy task, but if you choose the right provider, plan your budget and time properly, and pay attention to feedback, the investment will pay off.

ProCoders is always ready to consult you on the time and money questions, as well as to discuss the functionality and modules needed for the perfect software for your company.

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