Indonesia e-marketplace Tokopedia launches new warehousing service for merchants

Homegrown e-marketplace Tokopedia launched on Wednesday a new warehousing service for its merchants to help them scale up distribution.Tokopedia fulfillment head Erwin Dwi Saputra said in a statement that the company currently operated warehouses in Jakarta and the provincial capitals Bandung and Surabaya. He said that Tokopedia planned to operate warehouses all over the country.

Called TokoCabang, the warehouses provide wrapping, packing and delivery services for Tokopedia merchants. The service is offered for free during a 30-day trial, after which it charges a fee of Rp 3,000 (21 US cents) per sold item.

Most of the merchants are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and they also benefit by storing their stock near high-demand neighborhoods – and at a much lower cost compared to renting a warehouse or building new outlets.

The merchants were allowed to determine their own storage volume and their preferred warehouse, said Erwin, but added that Tokopedia was working on a big data analytics system that would help them better allocate particular products for storing at specific warehouses.

He said the system would be particularly useful for peak consumption periods such as Ramadan and Idul Fitri. “TokoCabang also enables buyers in more isolated regions around Indonesia to acquire a wider variety of products at lower delivery costs, yet faster delivery times,” Erwin said.

Tokopedia founder William Tanuwijaya hinted at the potential warehousing service during an interview with The Jakarta Post in December 2018. He described the service as using technology to bring efficiency to Indonesia’s sprawling MSME scene. (bbn) (Norman Harsono/The Jakarta Post)