Stark Research: analytical web and mobile applications for logistics industry
Stark Research is an analytical tool for shipping industry. It collects a lot of data about international voyages and helps to analyze activity of specific player or a whole market. The basis of the application is the unique data of cargo flows of bulk and liquid cargo through the ports and terminals of the Black and Azov Seas.
The client approached with the following problem: being engaged in shipping agenting, they were using large data flows on cargoes, particularly vegetable oil, grain, in turnover of which Ukraine holds the leading positions in the world. Most of the data was on paper, in emails or Excel spreadsheets, or on local media, which is not convenient to use. They wanted to create a system that would help to structure information, quickly find the necessary data and make forecasts.
On a same time owners of Stark Shipping had ideas how to improve customer experience and decided to build a new for maritime industry product which will help become more competitive.
Goal and Solution
Stark Research’s goal is to present large amounts of data related to vessel calls of dry bulk carriers, bulk carriers, tankers, and other types of vessels in an analytics-friendly form. The platform analyzes data in different ways to show results of the industry. You can check profiles and shares of a company (including affiliated child companies), who is working in which areas, what cargo is moving, and what ports, terminals are working. Stark Research shows a vessels on a map on a realtime basis and update a status of its voyages automatically using 6 pairs of coordinates.
Technologies: Laravel + MySQL + VueJs + Git + MongoDB + ElasticSearch
Tools: Jira Cloud + Confluence + Figma + Centry. io + Docker + geo API
We defined what data should be placed on each page and how the pages should relate to each other and created the information architecture of the web application.
We created a design system that includes many elements, the main ones: colours, fonts, shapes of objects, icons, images, UI components. Interface of product is complex. It contains a huge number of different fields, parameters of search. UI components had been unified and simplified. It helps to save a time during front-end development process.
Stark Research uses Fleetmon API to update data on ships and their movements and provides its API for third-party companies to retrieve voyage data. Stark Research is also integrated with the company’s other products, enabling better and more timely data sharing.
To develop the product we build a separate dedicated team, which used Agile principles and Agile methodologies such as SCRUM in the initial stages of product release and Kanban during product development and enhancement. Also we set up CI/CD process. This allowed us to adapt quickly to changes, deliver a working product periodically with a gradual build-up of functionality, and significantly reduce time to final deliverables, which is particularly important for businesses. This approach has enabled us to receive regular product updates, totalling more than 50 per year.
We introduced many new features to the product, improved the user experience and standardised the design of the solution, created a light and dark theme for the app, and developed common design solutions for other Stark products (one of which is the iOS mobile app).
Solar Digital help us a lot to understand exactly what we want. We often give them unclear tasks which they have to translate to digital language and provide us with possible solutions for. They provide multiple solutions and we get to choose. And they always come with additional ideas on top of what we requested. What's outcome? Our work and our financial returns have increased 3 times. We provide reports of the data that we collect and analyze free of charge to our clients. They’re increasing their requests and we have new clients coming onboard because the system works so well.
years of partnership
voyages in database
version of product
steps of security
They have approached the work in a really personal way. They're not shipping guys but they’re trying to understand the problem. They go quite deep in order to understand how our industry is working and to create a product that we really need. They have a very good designer for graphics and a developer who makes changes very quickly.