How to Make a Transportation App: Guidance Based on Our Case Study
14 min.

Transportation Apps: Market Overview

Ever since Uber revolutionized ride-hailing, stakeholders have refocused their lenses on the transportation industry. But before Uber, transportation apps existed in many other forms, both in transportation and logistics mobile apps development.

There is every indication that transportation apps usage would continue to soar. Last year, the Federal Highway Administration of the US Department of Transportation published a document explaining all the various ways in which smartphone applications will begin to influence travel choices. This includes transport pricing, cognitive impacts, information availability, consumer trust.

Stakeholders continue to look towards solutions that enable easier commutes for riders and better transit for logistics drivers. All these form the foundation of a truly innovative society. Therefore, this is an important guide for making a transportation app for a company that wants to record success in the transportation business by building a competitive mobile solution. You can also read about ERP software for supply chain management in our blog.

Main Reasons to Build a Transportation App

Transportation companies need to develop a transportation app. Any company with an elaborate supply chain can benefit from creating a transportation app. You can’t separate transportation and logistics mobile app development. It is helpful for managing their warehousing, trucking, and logistics management needs to ensure a smoother flow across the supply network and ultimately enhance service delivery.

Building a transportation app for logistics management would facilitate seamless movement by optimizing supply routes, fleet administration, freight dispatching, and delivery schedules. Therefore, making a transportation app begins with establishing the main reasons you might need one. Examples of transportation apps, by the way, include Uber, Moovit, Citymapper, Google Maps, etc.

Eliminate redundant paperwork: mobile solutions are useful for collecting, managing, and consolidating data from various sources. Such data can then be used to generate instant reports by analyzing relevant metrics from driving time.

There is no how to make a transportation app that won’t help you to optimize your office processes unless the solution is inefficient. Many of these processes can be automated, thereby eliminating redundant paperwork. In so doing, the transportation management system and productivity receive a boost.

  • Monitor performance and maintain visibility: The logistics business is a complex, intricate process. There are several layers of management just to ensure that operations run smoothly. However, very often, there are still performance gaps and blind spots that escape the watchful eyes of line managers. In this case, tracking logistics operations via a mobile platform can help eliminate many of these blind spots, enabling managers to maintain consistent visibility over products, goods, assets, and the employees involved in handling these items.
  • Driver efficiency: Transportation apps are useful not only for managers but also for vehicle drivers themselves. Using a mobile platform, drivers can track payments and orders to ensure that they adequately fulfill their KPIs. With direct access to their work history, drivers can be more efficient and reliable in discharging their duties and also by providing regular reports to their managers even without face-to-face contact or filing paperwork.
  • Customer Experience: Customers are another category of people who can benefit when transportation or logistics companies create a mobile app. Today’s customers want fast deliveries and regular updates on the status of their orders. By building a transportation app for customers, they can access real-time information about their orders. Also, a logistics company can deliver orders faster by providing a mobile solution for such a purpose. This ultimately leads to greater customer retention and brand loyalty.
  • Create a marketing channel: transportation apps for customers are a great way to market to the customers. All the information that you want customers to access is present on their phones within the app. Therefore, creating a transportation app brings opportunities in terms of upselling, cross-selling, push notifications, and other marketing efforts, crossing the bounds of traditional marketing channels, including social media.
  • Reduced cost and improved management: overall, using a mobile app can help a transportation company save on costs that would have been expended on traditional, inefficient methods. Mobile apps optimise several processes that in turn reduce costs. In addition, with a mobile platform that provides accurate real-time updates on supply chain operations, managers, drivers, customers, and every other person involved in the process can make decisions faster.
Transportation App

Key Features for a Transportation apps

Another important aspect of how to create a transportation app is to determine the key features of the app. This section lists some of the most popular features of a transportation app for the customer panel, driver panel, and admin panel. You can find that transportation and logistics mobile app development share similar features in many ways.

Customer Panel Features

  • Push Notifications: Push notifications have a lot of uses. First, they can alert users to unexpected failures and interruptions, such as a traffic jam, an emergency, or any other such incident that may cause a delay. This puts the customer’s mind at rest. In addition, push notifications can be used to update customers on the live status of their orders, including schedules, in the case of logistics service.
  • Messaging: customers should have access to an app chat feature that allows them to communicate with drivers and admins as necessary. The messaging feature doesn’t have to have heavy functionalities like a full-fledged messenger app. However, users should be able to share text messages and also, possibly pictures and documents, as required per the unique situation.
  • Vehicle booking: for creating a transportation app that doesn’t deal with logistics, such as a ride-hailing service, customers surely need to be able to book vehicles and schedule trips. So this is an essential feature. The booking feature should also provide fare estimation. Other essential customer panel features include user authentication (for sign-ups), profile management, driver rating, billings and payments, contact driver, etc.
Customer Panel Features

Driver Panel Features

  • Map and Navigation Guidance: with a map integrated into the app, drivers can follow the correct navigation via guided routes so that drivers don’t get lost while on duty. The app can also provide live information on the traffic situation so that drivers can optimise their routes ahead. There should also be an offline map functionality, especially for places without adequate connectivity.
  • Log feature: this feature allows drivers to record their daily and hourly activities, including mileage travelled, deliveries picked up, orders successfully delivered, number of work hours, etc. This feature is also useful for the admins, as they are responsible for protecting company assets and the driver’s log, which admins must also have access to, is a great way to ensure that nothing is lost and everything goes according to plan.

Admin Panel Features

  • GPS location tracking is useful for everyone, including customers and drivers, but mostly for the admin. By monitoring the real-time location of drivers and packages, admins and managers can be kept abreast of the live situation. They can also be alerted immediately in the case of an emergency or other unexpected interruption.
  • Offline support: even by building a transportation app, you can’t be sure drivers and other users won’t find themselves without adequate internet connectivity. Therefore, as the admin, you should be able to provide offline mobile support so that drivers and customers can reach you in time, particularly for emergency complaints.
  • Admin dashboard and trip reporting: With an admin dashboard, managers can access trip reports and make adequate decisions. The dashboard typically summarizes each driver’s activities, shipments and orders completed, and so on. The trip report provides more details about each activity. Admins can also manage their vehicle fleet from the dashboard.
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Tech Stack for Building a Transportation App

How to make mobile application for transportation is not really different from mobile solutions for other industries. You can only decide on the tech stack with which to build a transportation app after you have determined which features the app would have.

This section summarises the options for different parts while you develop a transportation app. You should be careful when selecting each option because the tech stack used to build an app has a lot to do with its resulting performance and functionality. Remember that in how to create a transportation app, the app tech stack is everything.

Messaging and support

  • Twilio: provides 3rd party API integration that allows you to connect with customers via different channels, including intelligent chatbots and videos.
  • Bandwidth: a Twilio alternative that has cheaper pricing and a decent array of communication API features.


  • Auth0: a very popular API platform for identity authentication and designing custom login boxes including Single Sign-On (SSO) and Multi-Factor Authentication
  • OneLogin: OneLogin promises 9x faster onboarding and over 6,000 app integrations

Payments gateway

  • Stripe: Stripe describes itself as the ‘payments infrastructure for the internet,’ used by several companies, including Fortune 500s.
  • PayPal: Paypal’s Payflow payment gateway provides high checkout conversion, supporting all major debit and credit cards.

Database management

  • MongoDB: MongoDB boasts useful features in database management, such as horizontal scaling, automatic failing, unified API, and the like.
  • MySQL: MySQL is designed for cloud-native applications

Cloud functionality

  • Amazon Web Services: AWS is the leader in cloud hosting of the three top platforms (with Azure and Google Cloud)
  • Microsoft Azure: Azure provides very fast, scalable cloud hosting services.

Frontend development

  • JavaScript: One of the most popular programming languages in the world. Mainly used for building web applications. It also features frameworks such as Node.js, Angular, Vue.js, etc.
  • HTML: this is the markup language that determines the structure of a website’s content.
  • CSS: it is an assistive technology used with JavaScript and HTML for styling web pages.

Backend development

  • Node.js: described as a JavaScript runtime environment, Node.js is open-source and popular for its single-threading, event-driven approach to application development.
  • Ruby: Ruby has been around for a long time, and developers still love its object-oriented programming (OOP).
  • Python: Python is object-oriented, like Ruby, but not as elegant as the latter. However, it prioritises stability, which is a huge advantage in the debugging process.
  • Laravel: a PHP web framework prides itself on expressive and elegant syntax.
Backend development

Mobile app development

  • React Native: an open-source framework by Facebook for building cross-platform mobile apps.
  • Ionic: software development kit for building cross-platform native apps
  • Flutter: a software development kit by Google for building cross-platform apps

How Much Does It Cost To Make a Transportation Application

So, what should the transportation app cost be? It’s important to note that different transportation apps would require different features. More so, the more complex the feature, the more hours required, and the more expenses would rise. Just like when you want to create an app like Uber for trucks or build an inventory management system it requires a custom solution for each project. To build a transportation app with basic features can cost as little as $30,000. But keep in mind that such an app would be really stripped down.

To add additional functionalities without making the logistics app feature-heavy, you will most probably need to spend more than $50,000. Very complex apps often cost over $100,000 and even as much as $150,000. Keep in mind that these figures only cover transportation app development costs.

You may also need to include possible expenses on recruitment, onboarding, etc. However, by using an offshore goods transport app development, you can eliminate some of the recruitment and onboarding costs for a more cost-effective process.

Also, the estimates above are typical estimates for developing a full-fledged transportation app. An MVP (minimum viable product) definitely costs less since deployment expenses are usually not yet considered. An MVP is important because it allows you to collect important feedback before developing the app.

MVP transportation app design and development, since it’s the bare-bones version of the app, can be concluded within a couple of months and cost as little as $10,000 to $15,000. Building an MVP first helps you save costs when proceeding with the full-fledged goods transport app development process because you would have gathered more useful information on how users can interact with the app.

To get an idea of how much it costs to hire transportation app software development talents to build your app, see the table below, which gives details of each type of professional needed, as well as their average hourly rates.

RoleAverage Hourly Rate
Android developer$54
iOS developer$55
Backend developer$40
Frontend developer$45
Web developer$36
QA Tester$36
UI/UX Designer$44
Project Manager$38

The table represents the national average hourly rates in the United States according to ZipRecruiter. Definitely, you can come across cheaper rates for the same quality in countries such as Ukraine, India, Mexico, etc.

Particularly, Ukraine is the best choice because of its low rates; Ukrainian developer hourly rate is lower because of the low cost of living. So you are still getting the same quality service. In how to create a transportation app, you are most likely better off hiring a company from any of these countries to handle the process.

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Transportation App Tutorial in 6 Steps

As mentioned in a previous section, there is no much difference between the overall process of how to make mobile application for transportation or building one for another industry. However, there might be differences in the finer details.

Step 1. Why do you need a transportation app?

Determine the type of app it is going to be. There are different types of transportation apps for different reasons: fleet management, ride-hailing, logistics management, warehousing, and so on. This is the stage when you define your main objectives for the app. You should determine how the app would work and whether it would be monetized or not, among other details.

Step 2. Who is the app for?

Determine your audience. A transportation platform app may be for either or all of three categories of people: the customers, the drivers, and the admin. Uber, for instance, has two publicly available apps, Uber for the riders and Uber Driver app, for the drivers. You need to understand the target audience and their needs. That would inform the next step.

Step 3. What transportation app features should you add?

Another step in creating a transport application is to outline the necessary features once you have determined your objectives and target audience. This article has a section that you may use as a guide. Be sure to capture as many features as possible. Moreover, categorize these features according to priority so that your developers know which to put their best efforts into.

Step 4. What transportation app tech stack to choose? What are the best programming languages for transportation app?

The next step is to determine the tech stack and integrations that would be enabled on the app. At this stage, you already know which operating system your app will run on (Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, etc.) Also, would the app be a native app, a hybrid app, or a web app? Would the app require cloud storage? All these questions are pointers to form the tech stack.

If you are not knowledgeable in transportation app development process, you can defer this to the next stage, that is, by hiring a software development partner and going through counseling sessions to determine the tech stack. The tech stack simply refers to the set of tools to be used in building the app according to the set requirements.

So, there is the server-side stack, comprising backend programming languages and frameworks, servers, databases, etc. The client-side stack comprises HTML, CSS, and other tools, including JavaScript and relevant libraries and frameworks. Some popular tech stacks include MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, and NodeJS), LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), MEVN (a variation of MEAN that uses Vue.js instead of Angular).

There is no hard and fast rule to this; your tech stack must be customized to your desired solution.

Step 5. Who builds the app?

Some companies have an in-house development team. However, for projects like this, you may want to outsource the actual transportation mobile app development to a software development company; it reduces the load on your in-house team so that they have free time to focus on other business tasks.

Moreover, companies like ProCoders provide custom transportation app software development solutions and hire app developers for you. That is, we listen to the needs and requirements of our clients and find developers for startup, then assemble a team of expert developers from our ready pool.

This has helped our clients save many expenses that would have otherwise gone toward recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and the like. The most important point is to let your transportation mobile app development be handled by experts, even when you outsource app development.

Step 6. Who maintains the app?

This is an important step if you know you are building an app for the future. If you decide to hire a transportation app software development team via a platform like ProCoders, you need to clarify details of maintenance.

Will the offshore team be responsible for maintaining the app? Or will they have to hand over the codebase to your in-house team for maintenance? How will you ensure an effective transition if the latter is the case? These questions are important if you want your app to survive for as long as possible in the market.

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Our Case Study in Transportation App Development

ProCoders had experience building a transportation app for Same Day Courier Network, a transport trading exchange solution that serves companies as well as couriers, haulers, shippers, etc. Therefore, the app was to be a full-fledged transport logistics solution. SDCN contacted ProCoders to build a mobile app to handle reservations.

The goods transport apps development project took us 1 year and 4 months, a highly efficient turnaround period that beat the estimated time, considering the demands of the app. It was built on a tech stack comprising AngularJS for the frontend, Laravel PHP for the Transportation app backend, and MySQL for database management.

SDCN logistic platform development already had a functioning mobile app but its functionalities needed to be upgraded to an updated Laravel framework as well as new features. ProCoders developed the complete app with half the price that Western developers would have cost, thereby helping SDCN save costs.

The app required a live availability feature for space reservations, an upgraded billing system, and other tasks. ProCoders also needed to handle sundry maintenance needs and technical migrations.

After reviewing this app’s needs, ProCoders assembled a team of expert developers to work offshore and ensure the app was delivered on time. As the project was approaching its end, Richard Mole, the Managing Director of SDCN, said, “The first 12 months have been very productive, and communication has been excellent.” This testifies to the impressive job that ProCoders had delivered.

How do you make a transport app?

To make a transport app, start with market research, define the app’s features, design the UI/UX, choose a technology stack, develop the app, and then test and deploy it.

How is AI used for transportation?

AI is used in transportation to optimize routes, predict traffic, manage fleet operations, enhance safety through autonomous driving features, and provide personalized user experiences.

What features should be included in an online transportation app?

Key features include user registration, GPS navigation, ride booking, payment integration, real-time tracking, notifications, and customer support.

How do I choose the right technology stack for a transportation app?

Security considerations include data encryption, secure payment processing, user authentication, protecting user data, and ensuring compliance with relevant data protection regulations.

What are the security considerations for a transportation app?

Security considerations include data encryption, secure payment processing, user authentication, protecting user data, and ensuring compliance with relevant data protection regulations.

What are the steps to deploy a transportation app?

Steps include finalizing the app, performing thorough testing, setting up a deployment pipeline, choosing a hosting provider, submitting the app to app stores, and monitoring the app post-deployment.

How do I conduct beta testing for a transportation app?

Conduct beta testing by recruiting a group of users, providing them access to the app, collecting feedback on their experience, identifying and fixing bugs, and making necessary improvements before the official launch.

What are the legal and regulatory considerations for a transportation app?

Considerations include complying with local transportation laws and data protection regulations, obtaining necessary licenses, ensuring passenger safety, and adhering to privacy policies.

How do I gather user feedback and iterate on app features?

Gather user feedback through in-app surveys, reviews, direct user feedback channels, and analytics. Use this feedback to prioritize feature updates and improvements in future app iterations.

What are the marketing strategies to promote a new transportation app?

Marketing strategies include leveraging social media, running targeted ads, offering promotions and discounts, partnering with local businesses, optimizing for app stores, and encouraging user referrals.


Certainly, you have learned a lot from this transportation app development guide. Smartphones and mobile apps have made our lives easier in many ways, transport not being the least of these. Given the number of applications where an app would be required, a company is poised to make headway in the industry by building a functional app.That’s where ProCoders comes in to hire remote developers, assembling teams of transportation mobile app development talents to build highly functional apps, including transportation apps for fleet management, logistics management, ride-hailing, and so on. Contact ProCoders today for your custom transportation app development solution.

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