Moving into a new place is always such a headache, no matter where you are in the world. But for foreigners in Indonesia, this can prove particularly challenging and/or expensive:
There is the language barrier (although this can be remedied – Free online resources for learning Indonesian)
If you’re new to the country, you may not even know where to start
The big removal companies are quite expensive
That tropical weather perfect for the beach quickly becomes hot and sticky in the middle of moving places!
While we cannot help with the weather, we can help with almost everything else.
Have you heard of GoBox?
GoBox is a service from the company GoJek. We will focus mainly on GoBox/GoJek because at the time of writing this service is the most developed and successful. However, there are other similar services and some are even cheaper. More on this further down.
Now a bit of history about GoJek:
The name GoJek is derived from the term Ojek, which is an informal motocycle taxi service where you haggle the price before the ride. It is very popular in Indonesia. Some good souls thought that they could streamline the process and provide jobs to hundreds of thousands of Indonesians by launching the GoJek application. A la Uber, this application lets you order an “ojek” to go from A to B with the route and fare already settled in the application. No more haggling! Yay!
This service was an instant success and quickly grew into offering many other services.
From the Go-Jek app, now you can order:
- Go-Ride: the original motorcycle taxi service.
- Go-Car: same as Go Ride but with cars. Like Uber.
- Go-Food: order food from one of the participating outlets (there are many) and a Go-Jek rider will go there, order your food and bring it to you, for a delivery fee. This is just the best.
- Go-Mart: same as Go-Food but for groceries.
- Go-Send: a courier service using the Go-Jek riders.
- Go-Massage: order a masseuse to come to your home straight from your phone (this is for therapeutic massages, NOT the naughty naughty kinds)
- Go-Glam: order a stylist to cut and style your hair or get a make up at home.
- Go-Clean: order one or more cleaners to come and clean your house.
- Go-Tix: order tickets for concerts and other events
- Go-Busway: connects Go-Ride to the Transjakarta bus system to request a ride to the bus stop of your choice so that you can continue your journey by bus.
- Go-Auto: simple car servicing as well as car washing and waxing at your house.
- Go-Box: last but not least and the subject of this article. Order a truck (small or larger, open top or closed top) to carry goods from point A to B.
So how to DIY moving with a service such as Go-Box?
It is dead simple, especially since the app is in English:
- Download and install the application (Download on iOS, Download on Android)
- Launch the app and sign-up to Go-Jek
- Click on the Go-Box icon
- Select the type of truck you need
- Enter the origin address: with the help of the map, try to find the origin address by typing the street name. Reposition the location marker if required and validate.
- Add in extra info for the origin address such as residence name, apartment/house number, etc
- Add in a contact detail for the origin address
- Then do the same for the destination address
- Input the type of good to be delivered
- Add one or more extra pair(s) of hands if needed. (Although rare, sometimes the driver doesn’t always want to help loading and unloading)
- Choose whether you need insurance or not
- Choose when you want to book your Go-Box: immediately or at a later time
- Before agreeing to the terms and condition and clicking “Next”, check out the total cost in the top right corner of the screen and make sure that you are happy with that number.
- Accept the terms and condition and click “Next”
- Done! Your booking is now complete!
If there are trucks nearby you, you will get a call from the driver confirming your order. He will then make his way to your pick-up point. If there are communication problems between you and the driver, you can try to request the help of someone who speaks Indonesian in your entourage or your residence. People will be more than happy to help you.
If you have any troubles during any step, you can call Go-Jek Customer Service at this number: 021 50251110. You can chose to get the call options in English and once you speak to an operator, you can request to talk to someone who speaks English.
Are there any alternatives?
Yes, in the online smartphone app space, there are alternatives for various services such as Uber and Grab for car and motorbike rides. But for on-demand trucks like this, you can also use Deliveree (Download on iOS, Download on Android) which works similarly to Go-Box. It is slightly cheaper, especially with the promo going on for the first order at the time of writing. However, they are a fairly new player and not nearly as big as Go-Jek/Go-Box, so the service quality and ease of use may vary. They are still a decent alternative.
What about hiring a truck the good ol’ way?
Absolutely possible. They usually stand by the side of the road with a sign that says “disewa” which means “for rent/hire”. You will then need to approach the driver and negotiate a fee based on:
- How long you need the truck for
- How far the delivery is
- How many return trips
- How many people are needed to help load and unload
Whether you get a good deal or not will depend on your bargaining skills and your command of the Indonesian language. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if you got the best deal possible as long as you and the truck driver are happy with the agreed price and service. Note, however, that in this case there will be no insurance and no recourse in case the driver is dodgy. Which is why, unless you are a seasoned expat in Indonesia with good command of the local language and good connections/help around, I would recommend simply using a service such as Go-Box or Deliveree.
Some tips regardless of the method used
- Don’t simply assume that the driver will load and secure your goods properly. Be present and oversee the whole work if possible.
- It’s a good idea to provide cardboard, old newspaper and/or bubble wrap to help protect your goods from friction damage (any part that could be in contact with the truck, other items or the cords should be cushioned with teared pieces of cardboard).
- Make sure that your driver uses a tarp cover to protect your items from the elements.
- Take a picture of your loaded goods before the truck leaves as a proof in case of dispute.
- Always make sure you provide enough time to account for the driver arriving late, unexpected loading difficulties, traffic jams, weather, etc. So if you need a truck tomorrow at 10am, order for 9 or 9.30am.
- Tipping isn’t necessarily expected but if, for instance, the loading is very challenging, your driver is diligent, polite and on-time, it’s always appreciated to give an extra small tip.
- Loading and unloading a truck in the Indonesian heat is unpleasant and tiring for everyone, including the driver and his assistant(s). Some cookies and instant tea/coffee are small tokens of appreciation that will go a long way.