There are roughly 2,500 new apps added to the google play store daily. Of that figure there is really no telling what percentage of those are Farmville spin-offs, but the answer is definitely not low. Steep competition for many app categories is due to app designs aim for “low hanging fruit,” targeting already techie industries that have obvious needs for which to provide solutions.
Pioneering app companies able to think outside the box and offer app solutions for less targeted and traditionally less transparent industries have an uphill battle, but they also have a unique opportunity to add serious value to a new market.
The trucking industry for instance, is ripe for innovation, and apps aimed at the market are able to avoid competing among the sea of inbox organizers, chat, and photo editing apps.
For an app to penetrate the old-school and resistant market of trucking it has to first understand the challenges in order to innovate a solution, like the six top trucking apps below have done.
These apps are increasing fuel efficiency, optimizing navigation routes, and streamlining shipping and trucker matching.
The on-demand instant freight and truck matching application improves the lives of truckers and shippers with peer-to-peer service, and by cutting out the middlemen (freight brokers) while dramatically saving time. Matching a trucker with a shipper takes about five minutes on the app, and shippers only needing to fill in the freight info and post the load before getting paired with a professional truck driver. Doft’s increased efficiency not only reduces costs, but has the potential to reduce the number of trucks running on the road with empty loads.
The Uber for shipping also announced its formal partnership with historical US trucking company, VHI Transport, this month. Said Doft CEO Dmitri Fedorchenko, “For us it’s very important to have such a professional partner in the trucking space. VHI Transport has been working with motor carriers and shippers for years now and they are now sharing their valuable experience with Doft.”
When burning hundreds or even thousands of gallons of diesel each week, even the smallest savings can add up. The free GasBuddy app relies on a community of users working together to give drivers up-to-date diesel prices for thousands of stations across the US and Canada. With this app, drivers can find the cheapest fuel, locate nearby fueling stations and sort them by fuel prices, view gas stations, and see gas station features.
This truck-specific, voice-guided GPS navigation system was made to ensure truckers can always access safe and reliable directions, using only truck legal routes that correspond with the trucks weight, size, and clearance requirements. Maps can be downloaded to the phone to be used even if the route takes drivers through zones with no connection.
There are apps for the best of times and the worst of times. This free app is for the latter, as it lists thousands of heavy-duty service locations across the US. It lists providers by category: repair shops, road service, tow companies, OEM Dealers, and many others.
Though the concept of this app might make some people uncomfortable, this GPS guided app helps new truck drivers shift gears smoothly as they get the hang of a new rig. The app displays the correct gear and rev point on the screen, based on your speed and the road incline to avoid grinding gears and wasting fuel.
The all-in-one creature comforts app. This free app offers truck stop specific coupons for 5,000 stops all over the US. It provides directions to each stop near you, and helps you find low gas prices.
The trucking industry is ripe for innovation. It is slow with shippers and truckers taking up to 3-5 hours to match via fax or telephone. It is also inefficient, with US truckers spending 15-25% of their miles running empty without loads.
This not only has negative financial consequences for truckers, it also has a serious knock-on effect for the environment as trucks are the largest source of freight emissions globally (accounting for 57 percent). The industry also lacks transparency thanks to hidden broker commission chargers.
The Doft-VHI partnership mentioned above should help resolve some of these various issues by helping Doft penetrate the old-school and resistant market of trucking.
With thousands of new apps made daily, app designers window of opportunity to take advantage of less targeted industries is shrinking. As developers become increasingly adept at spotting and filling holes across industries, will benefit from industry specific tech innovations.