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Phantom Couriers Expansion – Victoria to Toronto

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's fastest growing courier service and one of the 100 fastest growing companies in BC. How are you doing today, Mark? 

Mark: Obviously, we're very fast, so yeah, we're doing awesome. How are you? 

Mark: Good. Great. So let's talk about expansion. You guys are rapidly growing, expanding into all kinds of areas across BC, Alberta and maybe even the big smoke. What's going on? 

Mark: Wanting to do it for a long time, just started doing it. And then once we started doing it, it worked. And I was like, okay, this is good. So, you know, there's a lot of good contributing factors.

First, it's easier than it has ever been. Indeed is a very excellent platform for hiring. So when you're there, you can just hire your people. With the help of companies like yourself, we are getting Landing Pages and getting business addresses and other cities. So when we get a business like a location set up, we go to Google Business, we establish our presence, we get going, and then once, you know like they say, if you build it, they will come. Once you start telling people you're there and people know you, they're like, wait a minute, Phantom's over there. Call them. 

Because then it might be a company that's based in Vancouver doing business in the Nanaimo. Once you get over there, you're going to meet one of their partner companies. They're going to say, did Phantom drop off the package? Yes, they did. What did you think? It was great. We should switch to Phantom. Or we will say, hi, we're Phantom. 

And it's just that organic growth. So, you know, we went from Vancouver, it was weird not to go to Victoria first, but we did Nanaimo. It works. We have a location there with a friend of ours in a print shop. So it works just like Phantom used to have a print shop here when the printer needed to shack up, because printers and couriers work hand in hand. Symbiotic relationship. 

Zoom down South to Victoria where we're doing grocery store deliveries for Whole Foods. Nanaimo, we started off with a simple grocery store as well, and it just led to the B2B. And now we're doing business to business and we've got, it's really nice because we've got Gibsons and we can hit there was a sea plane. Nanaimo and Victoria sea plane or helijet, give it to our guys and gals. Presto is done. 

Then going east to Calgary, that was an easy too, because with a disruption in supply chain, we had an opportunity to get into Kamloops and Kelowna. So we started moving that direction. Our operations manager's from Alberta, and he said, I'm just going to be in Alberta before the end of summer. Made a few phone calls, lined up a few ducks. It's good. 

And you mentioned the big smoke, being Toronto. One of our biggest Ecom customers is obviously operating there, but they're operating with next day, Canada Post and Puralator. And we were on the phone and I said, Victor, we're going to Toronto. And he's like, that's our largest e-com market. We don't have any same day there. Can you get your software running? I said, it's the same software. And he was like light bulb on, sign some contracts. So Phantom Couriers will be in Toronto. 

We've got a guy there working now, solving problems for another ecom company where they shipped a bunch of stuff over there. All get lost. I found it. Well, not me personally, but our company found it. And then we've got our courier in Toronto, Matt, to pick it up, sorted out and go. And now Matt has been doing some woodworking  transfers between shops and some freight. So it's perfect. 

It's just, it was like one of those kinds of things. Did you want to talk about it? Sure. You know, do it or shut up. So we just did it. It was pretty cool. It was pretty Fast Times at Ridgemont High moment. It just, it just happened. 

Mark: So Phantom Courier is expanding right across the entire country. Well, at least from Toronto west to Vancouver to Victoria. 

Mark: There's a lot missing in the middle. But you know, we'll fill that up. I mean, if it happens, I mean, come on. I was a bike messenger. Oh Hey, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Hold the phone. Yesterday was our 24th year in business man. 

Mark: Nice. 

Mark: Yeah, I know. Like, I forgot about that. So 24 years in business. Okay. It should have happened a lot sooner. It didn't. But here we are. We are having fun. There you go. Twenty four years later.

Mark: If you want to go with a winner, if you want to go with the fastest growing company, if you want to go with a company that delivers on time, anywhere, any place, anywhere, the guys to call are Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447 or nationally +1 844-899-5447. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark: Right on it. Thank you.

Subscription Deliveries

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, one of the 100 fastest growing companies exploding right now as they expand rapidly during the Corona virus 2019. Silly season

Mark: 2020 man. 

Mark: 2020. It's 2020, and it's COVID 19. I got it.

Mark: You're not the only one.

Mark: That lasts workout, just kill me. So how's it going, Mark? 

Mark: Today's fantastic day. Totally positive day. Everybody was happy. 

Mark: So subscription-based deliveries. We were talking before we started here that you've had a real big growth in that. What's going on there? Give us some examples.

Mark: Okay. A lot of businesses, let's take for instance, an orthodontist. Like people come in, they're assessed, they're given the program that's going to make their teeth straight. So they're happy and suddenly they can't come in to pick up their Invisalign style braces, because the program is, it's automated. So they know every six weeks your teeth are moving this way. Three D printers are printing braces. They're shipping them that they're unable to be picked up. So orthodontists, and we've got one really smart one who quite possibly is going to buy every single dentist office orthodontics in the lower mainland. But this guy, super smart guy, and what he did is, he was like, look, my people need their braces.

So he fired them off to us. We had 500. 500 smiles we had to deliver. So we got them all. We picked them all up. They all came in. We had to, we had a lot of backend work to do, a lot of bad addresses. People move, so we get all that admin does. So we really cleaned up his supply chain and nailed it. And then everybody got their braces.

So we did same day courier, overnight courier, like two day. We covered from Whistler to Chilliwack. For everybody that this guy services from like, you know, from Lion's Bay to obviously Abbotsford and Chilliwack, and all points beyond. Got them all out there. He was happy because what had backed up over 22 days was out in three and customers were like, so what's going to happen next month, six weeks. And he's like, well, Phantom, will be back. And so now that we cleaned up that list. Going forward. He doesn't really have to staff his office anymore for all these checkups that are just, they're billed already and it's into his admin, and now he can focus on getting more clients in the door. Getting more braces on people that want to have a better smile. Do what he really does, which is fix smiles and just get that automated system going out.

So he's pretty happy and everybody's happy and all those admin people, they only had to show up once. And they're all gone. Instead of like, Mark will be here at 10 and Brian will be here 10:15 and what can you wait until 11 you know, and social distancing. You know, we were able to safe drop them all with photographs, drop them off, call the person leave them at the door. They can do what they want. If they want to wait two days or if they want to pick them up with tongs or whatever. It makes everybody comfortable and it made that business get back into functioning. It's awesome. I'm pretty happy to see that one. It was good. 

And then a same sort of thing, you know. 

January 1st I'm going to take care of myself. Oh, COVID-19. Things happen. So a lot of like diets, people were eating healthy and they were seeing counsellors and stuff. And so everybody knows the name Jenny Craig. So Jenny Craig in the US they got going with Postmates. There was nothing to fill the void up here in Western Canada. So they called me up. We've got a thing going on from. For Jenny Craig. So we're picking up frozen food and chilled food from the nutritionists and taking it out to all the people in these really cool thermal bags with ice packs and replacing it back. So we're doing that for Victoria, the lower mainland and Kelowna.

So, you know, a big footprint. We're getting a lot of work done, dropping off the bags and not returning them. So there's no fear of like maybe a contaminated bag going into the system. So that's not cheap for Jenny Craig. So they caught the ball and they're like, we can't give these bags back. Just write them off. You know, it's the cost of COVID. So that's really cool. And admirable. You got to admire somebody who's not trying to cut costs here. They're really taking care of their customers because Hey, if somebody gets a where they want to get, if they get that goal, they're going to tell a thousand people. So that subscription-based thing was pretty cool to talk to them. It was a good deal. I liked it.

And then of course, local entrepreneurs that like Ecom, like Shopify and Etsy entrepreneurs there's just billions of them. Everybody's got a great idea, you know, face masks for one thing. People are stitching them up and they're like, I'm going to sell this in Shopify websites.

 Expect all these delays for Amazon and Canada Post because they have the plugin and you're kind of a slave to the plugins for FedEx, UPS, all that stuff. So I've been calling around like, how do I get a plugin? They're like give me $30,000 and I'm like, how do I get a plugin? I'm not giving you $30,000.  Like forget it man. I'm like, I'm not going to do it. 

So I kinda did the old Phantom Courier DIY way, and we've kind of hacked up a good push system and we're going to be testing it out with a couple of stores in the neighborhood around with the Phantom office is, and we're going to get a push notification.We'll probably have to get somebody to transfer it into the digital waybill system we've got. And we might use Zapier to automate it. So we're going to have a push to Phantom to Zapier to, buh. It should work and this could put a big crack in it and make it nicer. Because if your customer is waiting four or five days for this your thing, they're going to forget about it. Then they get worried. Then they start calling you, then you gotta stop what you're doing. But if we can do it, we'll do it same day. They're going to be impressed. They're going to come back. So there's these opportunities are evolving and they're, you know, they're pushing us to, Hey, how do you solve this problems?

Be problem solvers, which is what we love to do because the day flies when you're solving problems, you know. It's like, Oh, I gotta think about this. This is cool. Try it. Works good, didn't work good. I now know what not to do. So we're having a pretty awesome week. 

Mark: Awesome. 

Mark: Everybody's stoked, it's like good work. You know, like people are happy. It's hard work and we're making it happen is what we'd like to do. 

Mark: You also mentioned you might be looking for a virtual assistant.

Mark: Oh yeah. I've got so many ideas. It's like, my staff here are, you know, project managers, operation managers, CSRs, call takers. A lot of times I'm like, can you just do this? Like, can you just develop me all this? Can you go get some data and filter it out for me? And it's like, yeah, but it never gets done. So I'm definitely looking for a really good assistant, and obviously it's going to be a virtual assistant at this point, but somebody might want to jump on a team of very fast thinking, growing company. It's fun. Thanks for asking. I am. Are you applying? 

Mark: I have a gig. 

Mark: I know you do. You've got to good gig. Yeah right on.

Mark: So there you go. If you need a package delivered any time anywhere, Phantom Couriers are the guys to call. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. You got to call and book cause they're busy, but they're working seven days a week.

They are delivering to the Sunshine Coast and Nanaimo now soon to be in Kelowna within the next week, couple of weeks maybe at the most. 

Mark: We're always there, but we're going to be full time, so it's going to be, Oh our hours on weekend are limited hours. So from 10 in the morning, kind of want to wrap it up by three, but if you call us at 2:59, need something done quick, we're there for you. So the weekends are expanding rapidly. Clearly Contacts, big client of ours, we always see their same day. We're having a talk tomorrow, so we might be rolling out their weekends and that'd be great because it will keep the couriers more active. So if you need us in later in the day, we're there for you.

Mark: Phantom Couriers. It's all happening. If you want a package delivered, give him a call. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark: You're right on, man. Thank you.

Phantom Courier Expansion

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, Phantom, Couriers, Vancouver's favourite courier service, and we're talking deliveries. How are you doing today, Mark? 

Mark: Excellent, thank you. 

Mark: So expansion, expansion plans. You guys are expanding where? 

Mark: Sort of locally. Sunshine Coast. We're definitely up there every day, and we've got couriers in Nanaimo now. We used to use contractors. So we would get it here, put it on a plane or a helicopter fly it over there and get somebody else to do it. And now we've got our own people, so Phantom staff in Gibsons and in Nanaimo. So it makes a big difference. I didn't notice how much of a difference it would make until we started doing it.

I was like, this is incredibly excellent. You know, I trusted the other contractors we worked with, but it was not as seamless. And now it's perfectly seamless. So might as well just be going from here to across the street it's way tight. I love it. 

Mark: So what makes it seamless now compared to how it was? 

Mark: Just simple little things like the proof of delivery we use. Like our system gives us an automated proof of delivery. And we used to have to wait for the contractor to contact us, and then somebody here, we'd have to put it in or else we'd be like, was it done?

Because maybe they were an analog courier, and we have a lot of digital back end. And so there was just like that lag. And now there's no lag. And for instance, today at 3:30, got an order from a wine shop on Davey, and we had wine in a helicopter to Nanaimo, and it's in the Nanoose Bay for dinner. So they wanted their special wine, they couldn't find it. They got it in Vancouver. We helicopter it, put it with Michelle and boom, it's done.

So that was, you know, 90 minutes later in Nanoose Bay from Davy and Burrard. Pretty cool. 

Which even just by ferry is many hours, an Epic day, long trip, basically.

And they're not serving French fries or anything on the ferries anymore. So you're like, got to sit in your car now. You stay home and couriers and helicopters do the work for you. I mean, like, that's sweet. It's way better.

Mark: And you guys are doing a lot of grocery delivery over there as well? 

Mark: Yep. We're working for a new chain that's got a few places. It's good because this is spawning from the, you know, social distancing. You know, you go, you pick your right time, you go to the grocery store, you just walk right in. But if you have to stand outside and there's 30 people and you're six feet apart and you go down the streets, it gets old fast. So, and it's safer too. They order through the grocery store, puts it online, it's ready. We show up, Hey Phantom, they're like, here you are. Take this from the table because they have like a table thing, and you just pick it up and go. And you bring it over to the house. You'd leave it on the steps and people can deal with it as they wish. You know, they can leave it outside as long as they want. They can touch it with gloves, there's no confusion. It's really easy and straightforward and they're and a lot of control. So it works out better. That's been building like crazy here.

Mark: So what about the Sunshine Coast? What kind of deliveries are you doing up there? That's ferry only access as well. 

Mark: Yep. And there's not a lot of ferries. So we're usually on the 7:15 in the morning ferry going over. So we will meet our courier David up there, and we've been, right now I'd say 99% of the stuff we're sending up, there's PPE stuff, so protective clothing and equipment. So that's what we're taking up there right now. 

But my friend Jeff  Cripwell, is a car dealer. He commutes and he's like, there is a huge need for same day courier to and from Gibson's. Because Jeff lives there. Half the time you forget something at home. Hre could have it easily picked up by our courier, put it on a ferry, picked it up. There's no unescorted cargo at this point. So you know, somebody has to go and hand it off. That's fine. Just get somebody over there. It's a short ride. We had a bike messenger go out on the weekend, just rode his bike up there, got on the ferry. $13 fee for crossing. Dropped off this big box to David, boom. He's out  riding around in the West Van.  So we're dialed in, we've got all the schedules, and it was a surprisingly wicked success. I didn't think it'd be so great. That people are appreciating it. 

Mark: So for the Sunshine Coast, are you going right from Gibson's all the way up to Nanoose Bay, or how much of the...

Mark: Nanoose is on the Nanaimo side. So that was a totally different thing. 

Mark: Sorry, sorry. Wrong place. 

Mark: Yeah. So all of the Sunshine Coast  is accessible, once you get off that ferry. We've gone up to well, I don't know where this clinic was, but I was watching the GPS thing go for fairly far up, and I was like, Oh, look at that. 

Mark: Madeira Park, or..

Mark: Yeah, if I was to look at the map, I kind of thought he was heading towards Squamish, parallel to it. I was like, what's going on? So I don't know where that address was, but David's all over the Sunshine Coast. So whenever I look at it on the map, he's sticking around the perimeter, but he covers a huge area. 

Mark: And what about Nanaimo, what kind of area are you guys focused mostly on the city of the Nanaimo or are you going up to Parksville, et cetera? 

Mark: Well, we haven't really done that yet, but you have the city of Nanaimo is basically what we've been doing our same day, inner city stuff. But Parksville is like a hit we do all the time. I've never considered, we usually just get overnights with that kind of stuff. But you know, if people want to same day, now we're capable. We always had to meet a courier. So before, if we wanted same day Nanaimo, the contractor we had was in Victoria. So they went from Victoria, which is super South all the way up, and if you missed them, you're out of the game even if it was at Harbour Air sitting there, if that guy didn't hit it at one o'clock, he only stops once, you're hooped. Now we can go over as many times as they fly. It's at our depot. People can pick it up at any time. So the scheduling and the routing is much easier.  

Mark: And you guys have access to all that, where the courier is right on your computers and you can connect with them and find out exactly what the ETA is, all that sort of stuff, if customers have questions?

Mark: Oh yeah, 100% and it's so seamless. The customer even knows where they are really because of our digital waybill app. But it's way easier. I love it. I'm surprised how I liked it. I was like, Oh, this is relaxing. You're in my world.

Mark: So there you go. The start of the beginning of world domination from Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. And if you need service in Nanaimo and area or along the Sunshine Coast. Forgive me for not recognizing which Bay it was at the top end the post. 

Mark: I can't give directions.

Mark: Call Phantom Couriers (604) 899-5447 to book your appointment. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark: Right on. Thank you.

Covid-19 Precautions and Deliveries

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver in a time of great uncertainty. We're in the midst of the Corona virus in mid March, 2020 and we're talking about couriering. Delivery of packages has become a vital service. How are you doing today, Mark?

Mark: Excellent. Super busy. Like you said. 

Mark: So yeah, you guys are hopping and bopping and thank you honestly from the heart. Thank you so much for what you guys are doing. You're a critical piece of what needs to happen in the world as we kind of go into lockdown and people are staying at home. So thank you for what you guys are doing.

Mark:   Sure, no problem. It's what we do. We always have, but now it's becoming more of an essential kind of service. We've seen a lot of that, our customers are like, we've got a call from a guy, and he's like, are you guys still operating? But yeah, of course we are. I'm just taking precautions, you know, because people are working from home and that's great. And our guys are working from their car. So they're distancing. There's a lot of just leaving things on porches and stuff, but it's still, it's not contributing to the problem. It's alleviating, you know, people all go into one place to pick up all their laptops and stuff. We just have a courier, pick that up and decentralize the chaos and then centralized the efficiency.  So it's in our wheelhouse where we like to work. So it's pretty good. 

Mark: So what kind of precautions are you guys taking?

Mark: Standard ones. We work with the, like, whatever comes out, Dion's been looking at all the regulations and what needs to be done, but just what you see on the news, they change it daily. So we keep our, you know, six foot distance and you know, everybody's wearing gloves and not touching doors and carrying styluses. Nobody's handing phones back and forth anymore. Nothing like that. So we've upgraded like a proof of delivery. Hey, here's your thing, click take a picture, attach the pictures of the way bill goes to customer.

They're like, Oh that's Mark. Things like that just makes it easier texting ahead of times and telling people, because we are doing a lot of residential delivery. So we're like, we're two minutes away. We'll be right there. Just putting on the porch were taken off, and people like, yeah, do that. Every time people come into the office, we make sure that they're gloved up, that they're everything they know is going on.

And then the government, or one of the regulations that Dion says that everybody has to have like Phantom, I have this vest now. So because we're recognized as working. And not just out and about. So everybody's got this stuff. So when we're in a place, people they know, okay, this guy's on a mission. They know what they're doing. Security is, come on in, because there's lineups and everything. I was just at a store on Arbutus and it was a 30 minute wait to get in because one person at a time. But the courier guy just comes blasting in because he's been pre-checked out as he's not coughing, no fever, no temperature. You know, nothing like that. So no symptoms, obviously. 

Mark: Sure. International shipping is still happening? 

Mark: Our air freight's been going out with documents. We haven't had any trucking stuff happen. Like no new calls. I can't think of anything else. No. But all the air freight, it's business as usual. You know, customs of course is going to be taking a longer look at things to make sure there's nothing going on that's not supposed to cross, like probably personal items and weird stuff that probably would be more scrutiny. But with documents and electronics and stuff, they're still boogieing pretty quick. 

Mark: And what about the eCommerce business that you guys usually are doing day to day? So that's still...

Mark: Kaboom Holy man. Oh yeah. You know, like here's a solid, interesting thing. So drop shipping is, you know, everybody's into drop shipping and there's this standup desk company, Effie desk. So the guy usually like pops out a couple of week. It's like whoosh it's just full of the standup desks all being ordered. Right? Because suddenly his orders are going crazy.

Contact lenses. Of course they've gone right up cause people are panicking that they won't be able to get them. So eCommerce websites like Clearly helping out the contact lenses. Lots of deliveries today for them all successful too. Cause everybody's home. Lot of times you go someplace, they're not home, but now they're home. We're just like pow pow pow, nailing it. 

The wine has been incredible. Just tons of it actually like, literally tons of wine because it's wine club season and everybody's home, so they're just, we're going up there. Nobody's picking up their wine. So that's big. Their websites are ticking out super efficient too, and you can see the wine stores like, Oh this is great. Because if they had four pallets of wine and Mark came in at one o'clock to get it, and Mark came in at two o'clock to get it well that's two boxes of a pallet left. But if Phantom comes, 40 boxes gone, one hour. Wine store cleared. Everybody's delivered super efficient, and I think they were like, Hey, this is like, look at this. It's way better for the store. You know, less people in and out, not waiting for somebody when they want to leave. You can see these sort of evolutions of efficiency happening. 

Mark: So what about bike couriers? Are you still doing any of that kind of action? 

Mark: Oh yeah. Solid all day. Like those guys are busy. The roads are empty too. Lots of security courier interaction. So we'll go to lobby, security guards there. He's the only one going up and down. He's been checked out. We're outside. We're inside. We give it to them. So there's a good symbiotic relationship going there. All the couriers know the security anyways. They're always, they talk all the time. So concierge and security, couriers, it's a lot more efficient. I see maybe mailrooms becoming more of a thing, which is a plan I've always wanted to bring it to Vancouver. I want to have a centralized mailrooms that are a hub that could just, everybody comes in and it goes out and I think we'll see that developing. For many reasons, just efficiency and security and health. You know, if this thing is with more people, more problems, this could solve problems. We're living and learning right now. A big deal. 

Mark: And what about employment? Are you looking for more couriers?

Mark: For drivers? Yeah, we are definitely are. We've had a few couriers, obviously parents being hit hard with schools closing and then spring break and there's a lot of things, you know, some couriers were like, their daughter was immune deficient, so she can't go to daycare, so she had to stay home. Even though in the normal day, she would just go be normal, but everybody's a little bit cautious. So with that, and then bringing on four new clients today, busier and growing all the time busier.  We've had a lot of calls from people that used to work here that went off to go do other things and have suddenly coming back. They want their jobs back because those other jobs aren't panning out. So yeah, we're definitely looking to get more staff. We just on boarded an excellent courier today. Trained her. Everything went smooth and it just got a feedback. She had a really fun, exciting day. 

Lots of, you know, just, good time to start a job, right? Like we're all pandemic. Would you like to be a messenger? Yes. So that was pretty fun. Did that. And with the bikes, I see we are going to need more bikes anyways cause we're doing longer hours. We're going to be doing a lot more deliveries to residences and a lot more hours. So we're down four till 8:00 PM, so definitely need more manpower.

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for a solution, if the you've been laid off or you're temporarily whatever, you need something, you need something to fill in the gap, the guys to call are Phantom Couriers. If you're looking for a job, but also if you need home delivery, if you need office delivery, if you're working from home. These are the guys who are going to get it done for you. Phantom Couriers, 604-899-5447 check them out. They're the highest rated courier company in Vancouver for a very good reason. Any package anywhere..

Mark: Phantom Courier gets it there. Almost 155 star reviews. 

Mark: Thanks man. 


FAQ’s About Working As A Courier In Vancouver

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best couriers delivering and making people happy all over Vancouver. We're going to talk about working as a courier, frequently asked questions, maybe some answers about that. How are you doing today, Mark?

Mark: Doing great. 

Mark: So what skills does a courier need? 

Mark: They need to be a self starter. They need to be motivated. The couriers work in a contractor, owner, operator like arena. So the more you pay attention and do what's asked of you on time, the way we do it, the better off you'll be. So we really like to utilize people that are like, motivated self-starters, because it's up to them to make as much as they want. And it's like, earlier before this video, our discussion was, “How much do you make?”. You know, we have, we have a minimum minimal expectation of you and it's a pretty good living to, for an entry level starter job, and you can make more. So we always say, this is what the, you know, the bottom guy makes. And this is what we expect as our bare minimum for you to be here.

And it's livable thing. We want everybody to do about 15 deliveries per day. We want them to be on line at 8:00. Out the door, 8:30 starting to drop by 9:00, so they can shut off at 5:00. You get those 15 deliveries done. And our average average call is 24 bucks to a customer. So you might do nine deliveries that day but have some $93 trips in it. So the average works out and it's a good living, and it's a fun job too, because time flies. 

All you have to do is have good attention to detail, be motivated, self-starter, and like adventure and nice people. Cause we deal with a lot of nice people every day. 

Mark: Are there any other kind of like where do, where do people, that sounds pretty simple really.

I mean if you can pay attention and do the job, what else? Where can people screw it up? 

Mark: Well, we always like consistency. So we always try to get our drivers to, hey, you know, get up, get you gas at the same time, same place every day, consistently, record your mileage. So at the end of the day and you phone us up, like what did I do today? We'll tell you. And you'll be like, Oh, divide the kilometres. You're like, Oh, that's pretty decent per kilometre. Know your costs. 

You know, we always get the, what?  It’s like, did you write any of this down? No, I was going to, so if you do follow like the 24 years of trial and error that we've had with drivers and careers, then you might be surprised to find out that your ROI is pretty high. You know, you're rolling around making 40 bucks an hour sometimes you're like, yeah, that was pretty sweet day. One of the, how did that happen? You know, I was telling somebody earlier that our top driver became a top driver on her first day. And she just crushed everybody else because she came in and said, just like you just said, what do you do? Do this. Okay. And then she stopped doing that mission creep where it's like, well I'll do it this, but I'm going to do it a little bit with my flavour. She just followed the Phantom way, do this, this, this, and this. Wash, rinse, repeat, boom. Top driver. She has not been knocked off for thing. In fact, she's our spirit animal.

She got super sick. She told us that she was sick all night. It felt better. I'm good to go. I was like, okay, if I hear that's so, we're looking for that every time. That's who we need to walk through the door next. This is the next spirit animal. Just a, yeah. She has, and she has fun. She has always come in with a big smile on her face because she has a groovy job. She doesn't take it home and she has weekends off long weekends. She's like partying. She's having a good life. 

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for information or details about Phantom Couriers, we're going to get a lovely webpage built out that talks all about the skills that you need to have to be a courier. More detail about these items. If you're looking for a job, give them a call, 604-899-5447. Pay attention to what we said. The skills are required, but there's a great place to work the best career company in Vancouver and any package anywhere…

Mark:  Phantom Couriers gets it there. That's right. 

Mark: Thanks Mark. 

Mark: You betcha. Thanks, Mark.

New US Mail Delivery Service in Vancouver

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best couriers, and we're talking deliveries. How you doing, Mark?

Mark: Good. Busiest courier today. It feels like, doing a great job today. 

Mark: So you just opening a new service. US mail for eCommerce companies in, all across Canada or just Vancouver?

Mark: Starting in Vancouver. Like we have lots of cool artisan clients, everybody who makes everything from jewelry to rings to beard oil, Etsy people, all sorts of stuff. And we've been taking out to these fulfillment centres way out in Delta and Annacis Island and East Van is like, Hey, we're right downtown, so we're getting US mail with a good discount and we're going to start expediting that stuff. So anybody with an eCommerce service that sells out to the clients throughout the United States and Canada. We can now do what Chit Chat Express is doing, or Wiz Moe and those guys, and we're just going to crush it. So we're here. We're already doing it for our clients, for another carrier, and it's like, why are you putting an extra middleman in the middle? Let's just take it over and get the same old tracking and good service that Phantom likes give them. 

Mark: And there you go. It's going to make it a lot simpler, of course, for people who are delivering from Canada to go across that magic invisible line into the United States. 

Mark: Yeah. And in bulk. So we'll have that buying power and we know what we're doing and we'll get her done. It'll be awesome. I'm looking forward to it. 

Mark: If you want the convenience of a one stop shopping and getting your eCommerce of any kind, essentially, because they deliver everything up to bridges. 

Mark: That's right. We're not mailing a bridge. 

Mark: Call Phantom Couriers at (604) 899-5447. And they'll look after you. Except now. Right now they're really busy because it's Christmas. But that will change in just a few days. 

Mark: Christmas is coming. Yeah, for sure. We've got you covered. Phantom Couriers any package anywhere, Phantom Couriers gets it there. You got it. 

Mark: Thanks

Phantom Courier Service Stories

Mark: Hi it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, live and in charge, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver and we're talking about couriering. How're you doing today Mark?

Mark: Doing good. How're you?

Mark: I'm good. So you guys do a lot of pretty outside of the box kind of delivery stuff. You get all kinds of calls I know. So what kind of services that people wouldn't necessarily, automatically think about, have you guys done? To provide people with a complete service of probably outside the realm of just picking up a parcel and delivering it somewhere else. What kind of services do you add?

Mark: Let's just start with the first phone call today. Phone call, somebody's partner is locked outside on the balcony. They call our office to find out, yes we can deliver, we can get the keys from the guys that at work. Send a courier to the apartment building. Go in the building up to the apartment. Into the apartment. Let them in off the balcony. So they're not in trouble anymore. So right off the hop today. That's trip number one. Not a word of a lie. True story.

So we're there. We're an extension of like you know, red alert. If we have a problem, we need to solve it. That's what Phantom is good, that's what we're known for. Crazy problem solvers.

Mark: So what about things like bank pick ups or cheque pick ups. Tell us some stories around that.

Mark: Not as exciting, you know but yeah, definitely. We do a lot of cheque certifications between lawyers, real estate, all that kind of stuff. So we might go to one company, pick up a cheque, go to the bank certify it there and then take it to the other law firm, have them ok it and then go do a deposit. So a lot of hurry up and wait. Sometimes there's a lot of distance you've got to cover. You might start with a law firm downtown. Go to Delta. From Delta the bank is in Langley. From Langley to Richmond to be checked out by somebody else, get it witnessed. And then back downtown to be okayed and then deposit it. A lot of mileage, a lot of rigamarole a lot of waiting. We are good at standing in line. We do it a lot. We charge for it. We charge waiting time, standing in line time but you don't want to have your staff running around doing that kind of stuff. We're more efficient. We can maybe get two parts done by two different people super fast. So a lot of that. It's condensing time.

Mark: So what about animal delivery? You guys do much of that?

Mark: Yeah, I think we might of spoken about it before but probably because I think about it all the time. We delivered this tortoise from Vancouver Island to the tortoise doctor in Pitt Meadows or Maple Ridge. Like three times. We'd pick it up from the airport, well Harbour Air, take it out to the doctor. Drop off this tortoise for this guy who love tortoises and couldn't do it himself. And eventually the tortoise was healed and he took off and he was alive. We do small animal delivery where we might pick them up at the airport, hold them overnight and then drop them off to all the malls, you know all the pet shops, like fish, birds, small little animals, they're in boxes. They're just like a sleep, I hope. And then you know, kids get them for Christmas.

Do you want to hear about the crazy fish delivery to a bar?

Mark: Absolutely

Mark: I knew you would. So some guy calls us up and says, "I need you to go down to Aquariums West and buy me a goldfish." Sure. So we send the courier down with the debit card, he goes and buys a fish and he takes it to this bar on Granville Street. Johnnie Fox's Snug. Because this guy made a bet that he could drink a goldfish without leaving the bar. We had no idea that this was going to happen. So the courier shows up, here's your goldfish. The guy poured it in a glass and drank it and people are giving him money. And the courier is like, "what just happened? I can't believe this just happened." So from the good, the bad and the ugly. Yeah we've delivered animals. Basically we love them when they're alive and still alive and not eaten by humans, alive. Yeah that was a pretty crazy day. I mean that was a legendary trip.

Mark: So what about bike deliveries. What kind of, what's some of the crazy things that you guys have delivered on bicycles?

Mark: Oh man. Like lots of boxes. Lots of just weird stuff. People call you up and they're like..."It's just an over the shoulder bag" and you end up with a bike messenger with like 12 banner stands. And they'll, all over their body and go. Huge, just huge loads. Whatever will fit in gets strapped on and then they have their own devices and they'll just keep strapping it on to themselves and go. With the cargo bike, my favourite one was, "Oh with the fax machine, couriers are going to be out of business". Well we loaded up a fax machine on a bike and delivered it. And I was like, yeah, take than man. Like we're not going out of business. We just delivered the death nail to the fax machine. Get out of here. Bike couriers are here. Those guys can kill it, they can take anything,

Mark: Well you started out as a bike courier, right?

Mark: Yeah, for sure. I loved it. I just couldn't believe how cool the job was. Non stop fun.

Mark: And what about, what's the farthest away delivery that you guys have actually facilitated?

Mark: Well we go around the world. But I mean, you must be talking like local bike messenger or something?

Mark: No, just like what countries, like Burkina Faso or I don't even know.

Mark: Well you know Europe is just another day in the office. Asia is kind of new because a lot of, China is hard. You know because it doesn't have the traditional infrastructure. We've gone to Cuba which other couriers won't do. We've gone to Iraq, we've gone to Iran. We've delivered in like war areas, that's pretty crazy. Lots of the Caribbean is fun. Basically we've gone everywhere. Africa takes a long time, trust no one in Africa. It's like we don't know, like hello, total time zone is hard. So you don't know where it goes. Africa is tough. A lot of the infrastructure there is different to ours, so what we expect just doesn't happen. It's like, yeah they got it, oh how'd that happen. Oh and little tiny islands like off the coast of France. I can't remember the name of it. But it went to a friend's like uncle's brother's house. It was like down at the end of this road, it had no real address. Things like that. We've gone everywhere except Antartica. But I think there's only 209 countries now. There used to be more. We used to have like a check list but we are too busy to keep track of it anymore.

Mark: So what about food, groceries, alcohol delivery. Do you do any of that kind of stuff?

Mark: All day, everyday, all the time. So food, we don't like to do like an order of a burger and fries and deliver it. We don't do that. But we'll pick up from commissary. So say Tractor Foods. They've got a place downtown Vancouver and we'll take it up to businesses like Lulu Lemon or Hoot Suite or Aritzia. We'll deliver the lunches where they actually have to take it out of the bin and put it in the fridge. There you go, staff can eat. We deliver wine all the time. Marquis Wine on Davie Street, like Vancouver's oldest winery. We're in there all day picking up cases of wine, bottles of wine. That is one busy wine place, it's the best. And they've used us for years. Everybody is super happy too. Here's your wine. Just no problem. And groceries, Whole Foods. We delivery groceries all along West Van because they pay for the seniors delivery of food. We'll pick up like for grocery store provisioning of yachts. So they'll put in a big huge food order and we'll take it down to the boat, we'll put it on the boat, well give it to the stewards and the bosuns who load up the boat and away that might go. People need stuff. Phantom delivers. It's pretty cool.

Mark: So there you go. If you need delivery in Vancouver, the guys to call, Phantom Couriers 604-899-5447. They're always busy, you've got to call but they'll get it done.

Mark: Busier than ever man. It's non stop.

Mark: 604-899-5447 give them a call. They'll get it done for you. And of course, Mark..

Mark: Any package anywhere, Phantom Couriers gets it there!

What Is The Last Mile eCommerce?

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert from Top Local. Here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. One of BC's 100 fastest growing companies and of course the best, the best courier company in Vancouver period. And we're going to talk about last mile eCommerce today. How're you doing Mark?

Mark: Doing good. Had a busy day today so just putting everything back in its right place.

Mark: So what's meant by last mile delivery?

Mark: Ok so last mile is after all, you create something, say you had a beard oil company and you created all your product and you have it pick and and is taken to a distribution, like a fulfillment centre and that's maybe were your Shopify starts off for the orders are placed. And we want this beard oil to go to these hundred people next day. So we would go pick it up from the shelving and then have it all, we would just go and pick up all he way bills and boom products all delivered. And we do that both directions. So we'll go from manufacturers to fulfillment and from fulfillment to customers. So B to C and C to B.

That C to B didn't sound right. That's not right. But we'll take it from the manufacturer to fulfillment, fulfillment to the customer.

Mark: CBD is a whole other thing.

Mark: Yeah we do that too. Shhh. We don't talk about that.

Mark: So how does last mile delivery work?

Mark: Well basically it's an online order from the customer through the website and it has to be fulfilled. So you just want your thing ordered. Like Amazon, they've got all their fleet of minions out there delivering. That's last mile. And we do the exact same thing. But we might be doing it for like a local company or an international company that has a distribution centre in the lower mainland that needs their customer taken care of. And they don't want to use Amazon. They want to use us as part of their company. So we integrate with them. So we might want to do some cross branding or might just be representing the brand when we drop off. And just getting it to the customers, so they're satisfied. And it keeps it really tight.

Like say contact lenses for Clearly Contacts. They have their same day and their overnight. So their overnight stuff is to last mile per se. It's put in the post and it's delivered regular way. But their same day last mile, it's like it been manufactured elsewhere or it's put together in their warehouse. Like the glasses are manufactured different places and put together and brought forward. Or contact lenses are pick and packs and we just go and get them and drop them off with people same day on demand last mile eCom because it comes from their website.

Mark: So that's really what's meant by this whole eCommerce delivery. If you're not, anything outside of Amazon, its got to be fulfilled somehow and you guys are just part of that chain basically.

Mark: 100%. Like you know, it works all over the place. Cannabis is our biggest new eCom. You know, order it online. We will do the last mile. Last 200 feet if they want it to be that way, that short of a distance. We're there. Whatever's placed in order on the internet, it has to be done. That's where the courier comes into play. And it's a super new, exciting, awesome world to be playing in. Considering the internet's 20 years old, I mean come on, 25 years old for us. It's finally kicking butt and we're part of it. The courier's part of it.

Mark: So is this a fairly important part of your business now?

Mark: Oh yeah. It's grown by leaps and bounds. We get a lot of calls for big quotes, like bigger quotes than we've ever seen before and a lot of work to get done. It's going to employ a lot of people. So it's really building and building everyday. Everyday this is a new concern like, oh how are we going to manage this. This is an awful lot to get going. So our scalability is put to the test and it seems like every day, oh scale plus 10 again. So let's keep going. And that's the way it's going to be. That's where, that's keeping us pretty sharp.

Mark: So I have an eCommerce store. How can I improve my last mile delivery? I'm not using Amazon, I'm going to end up with you guys. How do I improve that?

Mark: Well we just have to get in touch and to make sure we're speaking the same language, that whatever you tell your customers is actually really happening and that's where a lot of people fall short. The customer expectation from, say your company, is this and then they're just like, oh whatever, just get it there, and it's like it didn't work. So as long as we're on the same page and we just act exactly the same way every time, all the time, it's perfect. You know there's a lot of missed things. Like people are not home and just mandatory fields need to be filled out. We iron out all the wrinkles before we pull the trigger and our success rate's really high. And we're able to find people and we keep in touch with the end user through technology, simply. Like the driver goes there, and nobody phones anymore. It's just a quick text and then it's logged and the time call, it's like, come back in two hours, fine. It's easy to bill that way and the customers aren't shocked when they get their second charge or something, they know what's going on. It keeps a happy customer.

Mark: And so is that what you would consider logistics? Like how does that figure in to that efficiency of last mile eCommerce?

Mark: I don't think it's traditional logistics as much as acting as a customer service personnel for the creator of the product, whatever is being sold. It might be as simple as, like there's unique people like Etsy. There's a lot of Etsy people in Vancouver that need eCom. So they're just taking orders, and we'll go to a house and pick it up or we go to a fulfillment centre and pick it up or we'll pick it up at one place, take it to another place, wait a few hours, go back and pick it up again and deliver it. And it's just keeping your eye on it, tracking it and making sure that it's delivered to the right place at the right time to the right person. It gets a little tricky but it's straight up, making sure it happens. Making sure the people, and the more you deliver, the more they make and it just keeps building too. So more happy customers equals more orders. It's fun stuff. I dig it.

Mark: So there you go. If your eCommerce company is looking for delivery in Vancouver, the guys to talk to are Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at 604-899-5447. They'll get it done. They'll get it done right. They'll get it done fast. Thanks Mark

Mark: Right on. Yeah it's been a good chat. Makes me think about it.

Phantom Courier Trucking Services

Hey I'm Mark from Phantom Couriers. Let's talk about local trucking today. Phantom Couriers can offer you 3 ton, 5 ton, flat deck, power tail gate. We have rates for the entire Lower Mainland. So you want to do some shipping with Phantom, just get in touch with us. Mark from Phantom Couriers. Thanks

International Shipping tips

Best International Shipping Services for Small Business

international shipping tip

 

A lot of small and medium businesses need to ship internationally. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, run an e-commerce shop, or a drop shipper, international shipping allows you to expand your business beyond just your back door. By offering competitive international shipping, you will be able to serve customers throughout the world.

Obviously, when you offer shipping services, you’ll need to work with a courier company to ensure that your package gets you to its destination on time. It can be daunting to put such an essential business service in someone else’s hands; after all, they are responsible for actually getting the product to your customer. There are many international shipping companies that offer services to small or medium-size businesses at reasonable prices so how do you choose? It is vital to choose a reliable company with good reviews, similar values, and you can trust. To help you get started with your international shipping, we need to give you some of the most important things to think about.

Shipment Size

As one might expect, the size of the package or container is one of the most important aspects of how much it will cost to get your package to its destination.  When you offer shipping options for your products, you need to know the precise measurement of the weight of all your products to ensure you give an accurate cost assessment.  

Delivery Time

Depending on when your customers want to receive your products will determine how expensive the shipping will cost. You’ll also have to decide whether you want to pass on shipping costs to your customers. A lot of companies offer free shipping over a certain dollar amount. As a business owner, you need to decide what is best for your business.

Shipping Method

Most products are shipped via ground, air, or sea. Most customers don’t care on now they get the package to its destination, however, the shipment method will have a direct impact on the time of delivery.

Distance Being Shipped

Another factor that will have an obvious impact on price is the distance you are shipping the product. Most shipment services will offer an estimate of how much it will cost to ship to a specific destination depending on where you are shipping from.

Insurance

Nobody likes to think about insurance but it’s important to plan in case a shipment gets lost or broken during transportation  – accidents do happen. The type of insurance you purchase depends on the value of the items, destination, and the shipping method of transportation. The most frequently purchased type of shipping insurance is carrier liability insurance, which usually covers the goods being shipped and the cost of shipping up to $100 in the event the shipment is damaged or lost. For international shipments, you may also want to purchase additional insurance, especially if the item is of higher value. Shop around for different prices and if you ship frequently, use it as leverage to get discounted rates.

Shipping Volume

As a small business, every cent counts which is why shipping volume is important. If you are shipping products daily, you can get a better rate than if you only ship once a month. As an e-commerce store, shipping rates can make or break your company. It’s important to shop around for the best rates. Often times the bigger international shipping companies won’t negotiate with you; however independent couriers will give you a much better deal.

international shipping tip

Points System or Loyalty Program

Only international companies used to use loyalty programs; however, even smaller businesses have used some kind of points system or loyalty program to engage their customers. This can include offering free, discounted, and faster shipping to any member. This type of program can create lifelong customers who buy more frequently from you.

Cargo

The type of product you are shipping will also determine the price you pay. For example, most shipping companies will charge you an additional fee to ship hazardous materials. Products that need to be kept refrigerated or can expire, such as food items, need to be insulated while shipped, which also costs more.

Conclusion

No matter how often or where you ship, it’s important that you make your shipping policies clear to your customers by listing them on your company website and in email communication. Your policies should include the cost to the customer (taxes, duties, customs etc), estimated shipping time, and return policies.  With a good shipping strategy in place, your business will be able to service your customers more effectively while bringing your products to new corners of the world. If you have any questions about international shipping, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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