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Speed up your business with Uber for trucking app

17 Mar 2017
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Eight hundred billion dollars is the annual income from the Transport industry according to Business Insider. The niche is truly promising and opens ample opportunities for startups and businesses of any size. Perfect examples are Uber and Lyft. They are the apps that revolutionised our idea about the best and cheapest way to get around.

A significant portion of the profit in this sphere created by the cargo and goods shipping part of the companies. And if you see a chance for your application, or if you want to develop your application - an Uber for truckers then you definitely should read this article to the end. Find out about the current problems on the market, how to choose your niche, and the minimal functionality set of your app and monetization strategy.  

Current problems in the trucking industry

Imagine you are a truck driver. You have a nice car and as a hardworking stout fellow, you want to earn as much as possible. However, when you get an order you will be paid only for half of your distance, only for one way because you drive empty to the customer one way. This is the first issue - YOU WILL ALWAYS GET HALF OF YOUR PAY.

The other obstacle is brokers. The intermediaries who control the industry. As a transportation business owner, YOU CAN GO BROKE paying for all documentation and for the phone calls. To organise a delivery from a warehouse to a client they can charge you up to 45 percent.

In the case of Uber, they killed two birds with one stone. As a passenger when you open the app you see the nearest car so you don't have to wait. And as a driver - your distance to the passenger is minimal, so you never waste time sitting around. Moreover, if you are a cab driver you don't need to share your earnings with operators.

Uber for trucks may become a panacea for the same problems in the cargo transportation industry. You have to design an app, which offers real-time prices and directs the vehicles. An app which will take specifications into account, such as recommendations about the route, places to make stops, and where to pick up extra consignment so your drivers are never empty. The software should also track the transport, automatically validate how load the vehicle is, show geoposition, and suggest various methods of payment.

Who will use Uber for trucks?

If your Uber will manage trucks and not taxis, then you need to find people who will be interested in your app. National or even multinational companies require key investment and the preparation stage will take plenty of time. So starting with local, middle size companies you have more of a chance to remain on the market. You should set your sight on local delivery services, like moving companies that ship less than a truckload. Why? Your clients should be the people who need delivery services all the time. I mean people who need to transport furniture, stuff or even pets, or it's a firm that wants to transport massive equipment. In your app, they can order a truck, indicate the sizes or weight of items and see the cost of a delivery using an instant pricing algorithm. The price depends on the distance, sizes and weight and fuel prices in the area.

As an option, if you are an owner of a goods delivery company but you don't have your own trucks, or don't have enough of them, the app will display your real time requests while truck drivers can apply for the job or deny it. However in the such a case your priority is the driver's certification, because this kind of job may be connected with hazardous materials transportation as well as with transfers of large sums of money, so the security should be taken into account.

To make your service successful, you should include such factors as high-quality equipment, experienced staff, low rate of claims, and secure on-time delivery.

Best examples of Uber for pickup trucks

Before launching your project take a look at an existing solution which can be a great example or a competitor at the same time. To start with, let's consider

Cargomatic

Cargomatic app like Uber for trucks

Cargomatic screens of the app

The app was created to link a shipper with a truck driver. It allows you to plan a delivery with a competitive price which is formed according to the distance, and weight and size of the cargo. The driver is chosen on the basis of financial security, reputation, equipment and rate.

Actually, the project includes two apps - Cargomatic Driver app and Cargomatic Shipper app. Cargomatic Driver app is an app for drivers, where they can check available supplies in real time, apply for the job, see the route, take a photo of consignment and send all needed documentation via email. Cargomatic Shipper has another set of features which are necessary for the Shipper. They can call their driver via the app, see the history of his or her shipments and rate the driver.

Here the Shipper sets the parameters of the delivery and chooses the nearest driver. As the load is being picked up the Shipper gets a notification. The Shipper can track the location of their cargo. After the delivery, the driver takes a photo of the consignment, sends it via the email to the Shipper and pays for the service.

Convoy driver app

Convoy app like uber for trucks

Convoy screens of the app

The app exists only for drivers, and the shippers have to sign up via the web site. Only professional tracking companies with Motor Carrier Authority or a DOT number and insurance can join Convoy.

uShip

uShip app like Uber for trucks

uShip screens of the app

Is an online international shipping platform, where trucking companies compete for different job offers. With this service, you can deliver everything everywhere. From your pet to tractors.

If you are an owner of an already established business with an available truck fleet, then you can develop an app or create a website specifically for your needs, which will allow you to automate the whole process and make all calculations easier. If you want to begin as a startup - then an MVP for any platform you choose will be the best way to go.

Essential features of an Uber truck service

When you think of an Uber for truck drivers development, you should remember that the original Uber includes two apps (for a driver and for a passenger). In our case, we need to adjust the functionality according to our chosen niche. The first - Uber truck driver app should contain useful features to make the delivery process as comfortable as possible not only for the shipper or customer but for a chauffeur as well. Below we listed the most important options:

  • Ability to create a profile with all contacts and credentials. 
  • List of current supplies Ability to apply/reject request. A tired driver can reject a request if he needs some rest. 
  • Cargo details (weight, size, level of hazard).
  • Map with recommended routes.
  • Delivery price calculator.
  • Ability to take photos of consignment and to send documentation via email.
  • Push notifications (for example, notifications about payments).

Then, if you want to work with shipping companies, or you own a shipping company, your Uber in trucking industry application should combine such features:

GPS system

This function will display the position of the truck in real time. Actually, any system can be applied for this purpose, whether it is GPS, GLONASS, e-map or any other software.  

Routeing

When you see the differences in fuel prices you understand that Routeing is vital not only for the app but for the whole business itself. This feature can significantly influence on the efficiency of your business and cut costs at the same time. Along with satellite GPS monitoring, the customer (or you) can easily get the up-to-date information about the speed, fuel level, fuel consumption and chosen route. This data helps you to see how much fuel each driver uses, who is the most economical, which route requires minimal fuel and what transport is unprofitable. It will also help you to choose the easiest and the cheapest route. As well as this, you can use QR codes, RFID/NFC, BLE and SMS for proper trucks tracking. Another option is Geofencing, which allows you to see when the driver left a specific zone.

Shipping

It is required for efficient the coordination of drivers, expediters and call centers to optimise all operations and improve customer experience. 

List of available cars

The customer has to see where the nearest car is and what equipment it carries. 

Chat

Real-time chat is needed to keep in touch with the driver at all times. Especially in case of emergency.

Push notifications

Push notifications are necessary to inform you about the assignment’s fulfilment or about successful payment transaction.

Timetable adjustments

Ability to set the timetable, form queue of trucks, see the graphic of already planned deliveries. 

Cargo insurance

According to CargoNet, in North America alone, stolen goods reached 175 million dollars in 2016. Make sure your customers can rely on you.

Rate drivers

It is very important to select only reliable efficient drivers with all needed documents to guarantee the qualification of a person.

Of course, if you don't have your own company and you see your business as an Uber truck delivery start-up, which will be used by Individual customers, then include following features into main functionality list:

  • Simple registration via social media, phone number or email
  • Truck order 
  • Chat or call with the driver 
  • Delivery price calculator 
  • Various payment opportunities

Thinking about the functionality of your project, take into consideration one main rule - the purpose of your app is to make the work of the drivers, shippers and usual customers comfortable and easy.

Best way to monetize Uber for trucking companies

There is no point in using a usual ads monetization system in such apps. With all these advertising banners your Uber type delivery service won't look trustworthy. So a common way to monetize an app of this type is to charge a commission for the money transfers, thus a payment gateway is a must in your app. To be competitive, price formation in the app should cover the commission to remove the chance of the parties agreeing without you. For example, the so-called Uber for commercial trucking Transmission app charges 3 per cent of the cargo value as payment for the delivery. Cargomatic - B2B service usually charges about 20 percent of the deal value, while uShip takes 10-20 percent of the value of all goods.

When you’re choosing the payment solution for your project you need to think through the security issues through, to assure your clients that it is absolutely safe to use your Uber pickup truck service and to pay via your system. The best way out is to integrate reliable existing solutions, which proved their robustness, like PayPal, Stripe or Merchant Accounts.

Something else you need to consider is that the majority of all transport companies aren't big and the development of a pickup truck Uber app should minimise the maintenance costs, fuel usage and provide an increase in earning. Here you need to cover the problem of less than truckload deliveries (LTL) when your drivers go half empty and customers pay only for occupied space. In such cases you definitely need to add a pick up feature to maximise the profit from one trip.

Estimation of an Uber for trucking

Estimating your project you should always bear in mind that you need not one but two applications, which of course, will influence on the timeline and the cost. Lower you can see the estimation which includes basic features for IOS and for Android platforms:

Uber for trucking cost

Infographic - how much does it cost to develop an Uber for trucks

Make sure that the app is absolutely transparent for all stakeholders. It should be secure, reliable and very easy to use. If you face difficulties with any step along the way, contact us and we'll provide you with comprehensive answers to all your queries.  

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