Avancargo is an Argentinean company who seeks to optimize land transport in Latin America, by facilitating the process of finding and booking cargo vehicles through a platform that puts together supply and demand in one place, thus simplifying transactions. As they like to put it, they connect trucks with cargo.
Requirements & Context
Up until now, there were two major ways to hire land transportation in Argentina: either you had a cargo company you trusted and worked with on a regular basis (much like a logistics partner), or you operated through a forwarder (big multinational corporations, like FedEx or DHL). In that setting, companies had very few options for shipping their cargo and almost no way to optimize their costs or manage their time, since both variables depended on the carrier (a.k.a. the guys handling the cargo), and of course there was little to no room for independent truckers in the system.
Avancargo stepped in to try and solve this, by creating a platform that brings the carriers more commercial opportunities, and an easy way for shippers to reduce shipping costs by connecting with carriers without the regular middlemen. They reached out to Manas.tech to design and build the entire platform from scratch, all the way to the web and mobile interfaces.
Shippers can check the status of all their cargo offers in one place, and see how many offers they’ve got from carriers, expiration dates and payment information.
New Cargo Offer
Users create cargo offers by specifying the type of cargo and type of transport of the shipment, along with details concerning origin and destination, the rates per ton and per truck, and forms of payment.
Each shipment has a travel log which details all the concerning events and tracks the cargo route.
Truck drivers have their mobile interface, that displays cargo offers they can apply to. There, they can see the shipment route, distance, type of cargo, and special requirements (if there are any).
We kicked-off the project by diving into Avancargo’s everyday business, to outline their processes into a comprehensive diagram that could be easily translated into a coherent, consistent and scalable architecture.
Following agile philosophy, we started working on an MVP right away, and began designing the web and mobile interfaces in parallel. We had a functional version of the platform in less than two and a half months, and never stopped iterating until today, adding new functionalities and features to delight Avancargo’s users.
So, what did we do? Put in very simple terms, we developed a platform where shippers can post ads detailing the kind of transportation they need for their cargo, and carriers can nominate themselves to handle it. The application constantly tracks variables such as distance, availability and truck capabilities, to ensure the best offering is presented to the shipper, and the entire process gets streamlined.
Also, the platform digitizes the entire booking process, tracks all cargo, and keeps a record of the documents that travel with the cargo.
The shipper’s interface is a beautiful responsive REST application, built with Ruby on Rails, and using PostGIS to add geolocation support to the PostgreSQL object-relational database. On the carrier’s side, the mobile app was built on React Native. Both applications use Auth0 for user authentication and authorization purposes. The development process was accelerated by taking advantage of our own learned lessons from previous projects, like using Listings as a simple way to create listings and tables in Rails applications.
For carriers, this platform delivers an effective way of reducing downtime, and no longer having to drive without cargo, which makes their costs go down and their profits go up. For shippers, it represents an efficient way to get the market’s best cargo offering, both in cost and time, without depending on any middlemen, plus the ability to track the cargo at all times. For Avancargo, the MVP and its iterations meant a key tool to get investors to jump on board, and they’re currently on their seed round of funding.
Currently, the platform has 20000+ trucks operating, with 5000 companies on board and new ones signing in every day. Avancargo supports transportation for cereals, containers, general cargo, equipment and machinery, and new types of cargo and carriers are added with a monthly frequency.
“We’re delighted with the work we’ve done with Manas. Diego [Bertezzolo, Co-Founder & CEO of Avancargo] and I appreciate the added value beyond the software development itself. There was never a meeting with their team where we just told them what we wanted; instead, they kept pushing us to improve on our ideas to build a better, more solid product. Another highly remarkable aspect is the quality of the deliverables, both on a functional and technical level: there was rarely a bug and the code is very good.”