Bike Couriers

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, the phantom from Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's favourite and best courier service. How're you doing today Mark?

Mark: Totally excellent, how are you?

Mark: I'm good man. So bike couriers, we're going to talk about today. Do bike couriers still exist?

Mark: My favourite topic. Of course they do. Like of course, they're everywhere. They're... well I see them everyday because I'm a courier company, but there's just hundreds of them world wide and it's a growing industry.

Mark: What does a bike courier do?

Mark: Every single thing. Everything, like in the day to day business world, we're delivering documents and rolls, and cheques, and standing in line and doing banking, returning cell phones, delivering medicine. And in the evenings, they're delivering food. Tons of Amazon, contact lenses, engagement rings. Getting things done back and forth all day high speed. You know, just rocking it out hard. Lots of deliveries.

Just our regular service, you know, regular call ups, last week there was 500 regular, just get a bike messenger, downtown. And hundreds of different ones like directs and returns and economy's and one hours, but just the 2 hour regular envelope, we had almost 500, 487. Just envelopes. Then everything else.

Mark: And that's just in little old Vancouver.

Mark: I know, and it's a small downtown. But that's downtown. But our bikers go super far, so those numbers I gave you don't present the true number because they take car trips too. That was just bike work, just strict bike envelope.

Mark: So any difference between a bike messenger and a bike courier?

Mark: No, it's just the word. United States is messenger even though the french for courier is messenger. It's just we adopted the word courier. But couriers are better, take it from me, a Canadian.

Mark: How much do bike couriers make?

Mark: Millions of dollars, it's the best job ever. Like our top guys make about 200 bucks a day and it goes down from there. A guy who starts is going to make 15 bucks an hour, is our minimum. It's a you'll make this. It's an entry level job and then if you want to rock it out, you can go hard and make more. And they certainly do, they impress me everyday.

Mark: So why do bike messengers or bike couriers, why do they ride a fixie? What is a fixie?

Mark: So a fixie is like a direct drive, single speed bike. You peddle and you go. Don't ever think you're going to coast or you'll just get hucked over the front of the bike. They're low maintenance, they're fun to ride, they go wicked fast and it's like skiing or skateboarding, you skid around corners. It just gives you more control and they're just super fun. They come from like the velodrome. They're not exactly built for couriering but people rock them out hard and they're super fun to ride.

Mark: So how is this job evolving?

Mark: Well, as I sort of talked about food delivery at night, you see Foodora and Door Dash and Uber Eats and in any downtown core environment, the traffic's a mess. Things got to happen. It's not just the business community that uses bike messengers, it's everybody, because they're a quick on demand solution to I got to be in two places at once. What the hell am I going to do?

We'll come and meet you in a cafe, pick up your stuff and get it somewhere else or bring something to you that you forgot in minutes. And we're more on demand than ever. It's awesome. I remember when they said the fax machine will kill the business. Well that cargo bike delivered a fax machine, so ha-ha, it didn't happen.

Mark: So is that part of what's evolving is the actual bikes themselves are changing, evolving?

Mark: Yeah, well you know, you've got your fast guy downtown just dropping off documents with that fixed gear and then you've got cargo bikes like that one behind us taking up to 400lbs of whatever you're throwing at us. Every bike has got a rack on the front. So they're all putting boxes on them because it's just such a congested environment, we need to roll out. Whatever arrives by Amazon might not be staying in one spot. We've got to go move it around. We go to Microsoft all the time to pick up stuff, take it out to other places. Doing last mile on a bike is you just show up, you never know what you're going to pick up. So freight is a big thing for those guys. Big bags. big.

Mark: So you're saying that it's not only limited to the downtown core, what kind of stuff is going out a little bit further?

Mark: Oh everything. So our guys go from, in Vancouver, from the PNE to UBC, up to 41st by bike, on the rig, all the time. Like today, one guy delivered contact lenses from Clearly Contacts. He picked them up at the Renfrew skytrain station and went all the way out to UBC. He dropped off like 30 of them. So small boxes and he did a big run to residents like that. Otherwise we're up on the south side, Broadway corridor, from all the architect firms picking up rolls, dropping stuff off. Manufacturing, Granville Island. It's pretty unlimited what we'll pick up. Nothing's too crazy. We'll pick it up.

Mark: And what kind of mileage do they do in a day?

Mark: Yeah, 50k for us is like a slow day. Like they all have Garmin on their phones and "I only did 50kilometres today". Some guys ride in super far, other guys just go really far. We go over the bridges, we'll sea bus to North Van, drop off packages because the price is right.

Mark: So there you go. Bike couriers. If you're looking for fast delivery for all kinds of stuff as you heard. Everything from picking up cheques to standing in line at the bank and waiting at the Immigration office. These guys do it all. Phantom Couriers 604-899-5447 to book your courier and they'll look after you. Thanks a lot Mark.

Mark: Like you said, Any Package Anywhere, Phantom Couriers Gets It There man.