Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Courier vs. Shipping

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best courier service, fastest growing. One of the a hundred fastest growing companies in British Columbia. We're going to talk about the difference between shipping and couriers. How are you doing Mark? 

Mark H: We're doing good today. How are you? 

Mark: Good. So what is the difference? 

Mark H: Well, it's a little bit of a difference. People think it's all the same. A courier, you would call them up and you could courier across Canada, but you have to pick it up at point A to get it to point B. It's just like shipping, except with shipping, there might be multiple, like stop checks along the way. For instance, we do last mile courier for a shipping company. So you might have to go to fulfillment warehouse, pick up a unit or units, and then consolidate them into one package and bring them somewhere else. And then have them taken out to a final mile. 

And with courier is basically direct Mark's house to Mark's house. It's a lot easier. But with the shipping, there's so many different steps and shipping is like multiples and large heavy items. And courier is most likely small packages and documents. 

So the other day, for instance, we're a courier company and we get a call and it's like, can you pick up 96 boxes of vitamins at a warehouse? And it's like, okay. So that's a shipping thing where we go in, we have to find the lot, you have to take the truck. It's slower. And it usually is window of like all day. So, you know, you have to make the arrangements for the pickup. You have to get a schedule and an appointment. And then on the drop-off you generally have to schedule an appointment because you need to lock off elevators, or it might be a curb side. It might take a swamper. You have to identify what kind of vehicle you'll need. Mainly like a five ton truck with a tailgate. Or is this on a pallet? It needs a forklift. 

And with courier, it's a lot easier. Just send a working vehicle to go in there, small package, pick it up and go. So with the shipping, we do a lot of it. And with the vitamin one, for instance, we had to coordinate with the security guard at the building and he had to coordinate with his supervisor. Then we had to coordinate the shipping elevator lock off. And then there was two guys in the truck, two guys in the street. Good thing it was a sunny day cause they don't have a proper loading and then it was just go.

So there's lots of hand bombing and tracking and getting it all in there and then final pre counts. Cause you know, you go in someplace and you're like, is that what we're picking up? And everybody just goes, yes. So you have to triple check it is the right thing. And then on drop off of course you have to make sure that truck was emptied and no box was left behind. Get her all in. And then, well, dropping off 96 boxes to an office in downtown Vancouver is a lot different than a warehouse, but like that was an extreme situation. It got done. It took a lot of work and you know, the guy was happy. So he's placing a bigger order with us next week I imagine. So it could be this week. 

And with the courier, it's a lot simpler. It's identifying what it is, where it is and where it's going. And then straight shot, basically get a signature and drop it off. But shipping got a lot more checkpoints. It gets to be dimensional weight, actual weight, the truck, the fuel. There's a lot more things to tick and it's not as simple. We try to make it simple, but we get the job done, but we have to educate the clients more that a shipping job is just not as easy as coming over. There's more steps. It takes a little bit longer because you know, most people are like, when will it be here? I'm like, well today, but you know, most shipping gets ordered like on a Monday delivered on a Tuesday as well, because all of the trucks are organized and routed.

So you definitely want to have that, you want your orders in so you can schedule the truck drivers the next day. So that there's not any hot shots and extra cost involved. Because trucks are more expensive than cars, even though freight generally is cheaper than courier because it's a bulk thing and they can fill a five ton truck up to work all day.

Meanwhile, courier packages are usually on a shorter timeline and they're more urgent. Period. There you go. One long sentence shipping courier. 

Mark: So if I can sum that up in a way from what I heard. You solve a lot of the little intricate details that people don't think of. Cause they haven't done a ton of it, of who to call, how to arrange it, what vehicle to use abub bubba. All that stuff is looked after by the courier on both ends of the delivery. 

Mark H: Right, for instance, the vitamin company, they call us all day for courier, but they just thought, we'll just call the courier for this. It's gotta be just as simple. Meanwhile we're just like, yeah, we'll get it done. But we have a huge systems and procedures we have to follow. And even with all those checklists, we're like, oh, you know what? We have to first find out if that building has loading dock, because that one didn't, that's why we had to go to the security. So there's things to learn and with doing it, you know, you get to mastery a little bit. 

I remember when I was couriering, I could be like, oh, black building, excellent. Go meet the person. She usually has a red pen. So you get to remember all these little things because you do it so often. And was shipping now we know this building, you need 24 hour notice to lock out the elevators. And another shipping company might not know it. The guys might be just, I can't drop it off and they'll drive away and then product doesn't get dropped off. Then there's all that admin side and it just gets backed up as the truck is being scheduled for the next day delivery. New truck has to be added. More costs. The customers a little bit disappointed, and then they're angry about the extra costs and to look for another shipper.

And then that shipper doesn't know there's a loading zone. It just wash, rinse, repeat on a bad thing. So we're here to help straighten out, iron out the kinks. And the next time that happens, it's going to be like, yeah, we'll just go talk to the guys over there. They were awesome. So you know, kudos to the guys that run 355 Burrard. The security team was awesome. So they really helped us out and there was no sweat off their back. They knew exactly what they were doing and boom, the customer got their vitamins and we were happy. 

Mark: Simple story. If you want your package delivered on time, tracked, delivered, triple checked, made sure that everything happens the way it's supposed to happen. Phantom Couriers, you can reach them at (604) 899-5447. You can also book online at If you're outside of the lower mainland in British Columbia. +1 844-899-5447. They're there to help. Thanks mark. 

Mark H: That's right. Thank you. 

Weekend Deliveries

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best courier service, multiple time fastest growing company in BC, expanding across the country, doing all kinds of amazing things, but mostly delivering your packages on time and when you need it. And today we're going to talk about weekend deliveries. How you doing Mark? 

Mark H: We're doing good today. How are you? 

Mark: Good. So weekends, I know most of your business is business to business type stuff, but weekends are for just playing around. Do people want stuff on the weekend? 

Mark H: For sure. Let's not go out and do errands when you don't have to. Use us to do them. So you can spend time with your family. And with the COVID lock down and like the more stringent rules, don't go outside and make yourself vulnerable. We have priority at most consumer pickup places. When a courier shows up, they're just like, Oh, what do you mind waiting a moment. The couriers here for this package, they called it in an hour ago. Bing bang, boom, done back to the house. 

So you don't have to go out find the parking, worry about the masks, wrangle the kids, sanitize your hands, send the courier because they prep all that stuff constantly. They're ready to rock. So it's really good for the weekends. Like even when people were moving this weekend, taking up their donations and stuff to the Value Village, we just drop it off at the back door. You didn't have to do it. 

So those kinds of things are something we should all be looking at. One courier can do like 15 things in a day. So that's 15 cars that don't have to leave their home. 15 families that don't have to go out and become, you know, susceptible to COVID. Don't have to feel guilty about traveling outside.

Let us do it for you. It's easy. You can call us all the time. You can use our online ordering system and just reach out to us. It could be a big or small job. We're here to negotiate. We're here to help. You can't do it alone. We're all in this together. So let's rock it out, use Phantom. And I think it's a good idea. I mean I do it too. I don't leave home. I'll call the courier who's out, running around. It's like, please come drop that off here or pick that up for me because I'm working from home. 

Mark: So what kind of items are people getting delivered on the weekends?  

Mark H: Lots of things. Groceries, number one, right? Liquor, wine, go pick that up. Don't do that. Pharmaceuticals. A lot of people send us to Finlandia to pick up holistic pharmaceutical stuff because that's like a specialized item. They don't want to leave. It's in the middle of Broadway. It's not easy to get to, you know, like the Value Village thing I mentioned.

Small items, like, you know, they can't leave the home. They don't want to, they just need batteries for their mouse. We can rip that thing up super fast and we'll find the closest one to go to it. We can even like pay for it on the spot and then I'll just e-transfer the courier. So it's seamless. It's really time-saving.

 You name it, if we need it, we'll go get it. You know, all sorts of things. You know when you're at home and you're just like, Oh, I need, you know, you just have that, I forgot. So we all have our to-do lists and we're always just wandering down the hall. When we suddenly realized we forgot to do something. Go use the courier because it's outsourcing your time to us and we'll do it for you.

Saves time, saves energy, same stress, and you know, that's a big deal what's going on right now. It's totally wacky times. Flatten the curve by not going outside. Just enjoy yourself at home. Get some groovy stuff for a dinner on the deck. Who knows? I don't know. We're here to make it fun and it's fun too because it's like a courier's coming? So it's different. It's fun. It's affordable. And it's safe. 

Mark: If you're deep in that Marvel superhero marathon on the weekend or The Expanse or whatever your drug of choice is on the weekend. Give Phantom Couriers a call. They can deliver your groceries, your pharmacy items, your wine and other liquor items. They can deliver your USB cord or HTMI or whatever you need to make your life a little bit easier because you don't want to get out of your pajamas and go out there. Or you just are too darn busy. The party's happening and you need candles and you don't have candles, whatever it is. Give Phantom Couriers a call (604) 899-5447. Or check out the website, You can book right online there. Thanks Mark. 

 Mark H: We're here to help for sure.

Courier Problems Solved

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, one of BC's hundred fastest growing companies. Booming, rocking courier company. One of the best places to get your stuff delivered in the lower mainland. And we're going to talk about common problems that a lot of people have with courier companies and how they solve it. How're you doing Mark? 

Mark H: Doing excellent today? Good morning. 

Mark: So some of the list of things that we've heard from customers, some of the other companies drivers don't have phones, dispatch and drivers don't even talk to each other. How do you guys solve for these kinds of issues? 

Mark H: Well, we have a pretty robust communication system here. So our dispatch software allows for communication between drivers with notes. And then we also use a texting app, which we talk all day and communicate both ways like through photographs and texts and phone calls. We're in constant communication with the drivers. I mean, one delivery we'll probably get like six calls. There's always something needs to be resolved. Always. So our job, right? We're a communicator, that's all we do. 

Mark: What would be some of the common issues that drivers run into when they're trying to deliver a package? 

Mark H: Well, first thing would be incorrect address. Or unable to contact the receiver. Or just all sorts of weird stuff. Like it's constant. Like you can't even begin, like there's so much, it's funny. Like, I can't say, Oh, I can't think of one because it's a forest for the trees. Like it's just constant everything. So we're always in touch with the drivers, finding out addresses, confirming phone numbers, texting people. A lot of times people won't answer their buzzer.

They don't know who it is. So we'll text up. It's like, Hey, courier at the door, we have your delivery from the pharmacy, Oh yeah, it was that you. Yeah, it was us. So we need to take those extra sort of steps. Because people don't know, like, you know, if you're in an apartment and your buzzer goes and you're not expecting somebody, you just think it's somebody downstairs, buzzing all the buzzers. So we're always throwing out text messages or making phone calls. 

So there's some studies that say, if you do a phone call, you can expect a return call within 72 hours. If you text, it would be within six seconds because they'll read it. So we're constantly texting customers because we have the ability to do it. So it's just straight from the desktop to texts. The couriers with their phones is difficult. So we just copy paste, send the canned message. Get in touch with them. Solve problem. 

Address corrections are big time, or tracking down the concierge, big time. So the couriers don't have time to do it so they can go to another close by delivery. We'll text the customer and say, Hey, are you close to home, are you within five minutes? And if they don't reply within five or go somewhere else, and then we sort of tag it as like follow up and then if they get back to us, then we reroute the package to the customer. So we're always doing those kinds of proactive things constantly. 

The big thing is address corrections. You think you tell everybody when you move, you just throw it up into Canada Post, that doesn't go to a distributor, an employer, the pharmacy, everything. So a lot of people just forget, Oh, that I forgot. So we're constantly doing it for people. And then we have to update our address book. And hopefully that problem is nipped in the bud, it doesn't happen again. And people are grateful for it. 

You know, like we had a contact lens thing. We couldn't reach them on Friday. So they scheduled it for Monday, between nine and 11. It's like, yep we can do that. We just changed all the times. Manage it and off it goes to that person, now knows we're coming and they've marked their calendar and they're expecting us. And then it's seamless from that point forward. But at first time it's always a little clunky, nobody's prepared. And a lot of people don't tell people something's on its way.

 Mark: You mentioned something about you have cameras. Like what, why would you need a camera? 

Mark H: Well, you'd be surprised. So, first thing, for instance, a, I was sent over to your place to pick up computer monitor or something and you have two computer monitors going out. So we have to confirm we picked up the right one.

So we take a picture, because we ask you, hi, I'm here to pick up the computer monitor, going to 1234 Main Street to Joe Smith. And you're like, it's right there. And you just point, there's two. So we have to go over there and make sure, so we take the picture and confirm, then it's on our app.

So the customer can log in and see it. We can save it. We can text an image to it. We can email the image to the person, making sure we've got the right one. I mean, everybody makes mistakes. We do. You do. Everybody does. So if you put the wrong label on it, it's easy to track it. It's like somebody can call us up and say, do you have this item? And it's like, yes, we do. And we can look at it and see what it actually is. Just in case it's not the 8.5 by 11 manila envelope. It's 8.5 by 11 brown envelope. Just those kinds of things. And it's easier to fix with visuals. You know, it's a visual world. 

And we also do that with delivery. So you can see that we picked it up. And if, as a waybill on it, it's got the right way bill number by photograph. And then when we deliver it, we've got in front of the door as a timestamp, we had the permission, you can track it and then, you know, you can say my neighbour picked it up. Okay, fine. They found it.

Or whatever it is, it's at the concierge, and a concierge table may be full of things. We can just tell him exactly what it is because a lot of people are like, well, what did they send? Oh, it was a Microsoft keyboard and mouse set for you. And it might just have like the name Mike on it. And it just could be 20 Mike's in a building.

Then we can tell them it's a keyboard set, go downstairs and get it. And they say to the concierge, bing done. It really just streamlines things because everybody's really busy. So the pictures are really, they're a lifesaver. And it's new to us. We've only been running it probably for four months.

 Mark: But that's the value of experience of having done this for how long now? 

Mark H: 26 years. 

Mark: 26 years of making sure that packages get delivered. If you want experienced, if you want people who actually care that your package gets there, when you want it, Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. Or you can book online at If you're outside of the lower mainland +1 844-899-5447. 

Problems Solved, Package Not Delivered

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, and we're continuing our series or we're starting a series on problems that couriers will solve for you today. And how are you doing Mark? 

Mark H: Doing good, thank you. 

Mark: So this is a pet peeve of mine because it's happened a lot. Certain delivery service of ours in this country will show up at the door, hang a thing on the sign saying, Hey, we tried. We work from home. We're here all day. They never rang nothing. And now suddenly we got to go somewhere else to find our package. So how do you solve that? The driver not actually delivering the package, but leaving a note. 

Mark H: Yeah, well, it's all part of the onboarding and then on the job training. When our drivers show up, for instance, say they came to your office and you live in a tower and you have a concierge and an intercom and a phone number and email and all this stuff.

We have enough contact information, and you know, the guys who are proactive and looking like, Oh, no phone number. We need that these days. You really need it. So say for instance, the courier showed up. And the door's locked and you don't answer your phone. Of course, you're not gonna answer your phone. Nobody ever does, but they'll, you know, there's studies that show it'll take up to like six days for somebody to return a phone call. But like 30 seconds they'll return a text because the text pops on their phone and they're like, Oh, courier downstairs. Oh, I thought it was not for me. 

So the guys from the office here will get in touch with all the parties, right? They're in touch with the driver, they're in charge of the sender and they try to make contact with the receiver because really we don't want that package. Because that driver perhaps is not going to be back in that area tomorrow. You could be in an other area for sure, a hundred percent or they might call back and he's 60 kilometres away and they really want it.

So of course, that's the objective, they pay us to deliver. So we need to deliver. So we're proactive and making sure that our drivers actually did have an attempt. So we're like get us a picture. Give us some documentation. We'll put it into the notes on our trip. This is first attempt at 12 o'clock.

They talked to Mark at Phantom. Mark texted the customer, waiting for a reply. Then we can just copy that and text it over to the customer. If they're ever like, Oh, what's the deal. And we get her going. 

You know, I was up for a meeting last Monday. And that's exactly why we just got a new account. Is courier showed up one day. Concierge saw the courier. Courier didn't get entry, walked away. The same courier came back the next day, concierge walks to the door and the courier turns back and walked away because he's getting those second attempt. Third attempt deliveries. And we're working on that. So we just want to make sure we're nipping it in the bud, making it happen for our customers.

They get the delivery and the customers aren't upset because when they're working from home, who knows what's going on, they could be on the phone. They don't have a switchboard, they don't have reception. They don't have everything. Their phone could be on silent. It's a million things. So we're just trying to make those connections go because customers ultimately become more happy.

And it's bad with all these, like you hear in the news, all these packages being returned to depots, and then they get lost in the muck. Like there's just packages going out, packages coming in, secondary packages coming in. And then there's this big pile that doesn't get addressed. And, you know, we felt it here. 

It's hard to catch up once you pass a certain amount of time on like non-deliverable packages. You're waiting and the follow-up is crucial. It's really difficult. And so people got to do it and it's no fun, but you must do it. It's the customer's package. 

Mark: So, if you want your package delivered or you want to receive the package, the guys to use in Vancouver and in BC are Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. Or call their 800 number 1 844-899-5447. Serving Vancouver Island, outer reaches of BC, even into Alberta. Phantom Couriers. Any package anywhere. 

Mark H: Phantom Couriers gets it there, Mark. 

Stopping Porch Piracy

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Mark Huggan, the Phantom himself, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's favourite courier company. We're going to talk about some of the problems over the next few broadcasts that couriers solve for you. And one of the big ones is porch pirates or package theft. Mark, how do you guys solve this for people? 

Mark H: Well, we're highly aware of it. There's, like we mentioned before, the broadcast started, there's people out there, that's their job to cruise around in suburban neighbourhoods and look for unattended packages and they will be there, like that and steal it. 

And whatever they're stealing, it could be something valuable or it's a nothing. But it's always an inconvenience and it's illegal. And it's really disappointing to a person who's had a notification that your package arrived and then it's not there. And then that is the first domino that falls into a huge administrative like search for the package.

So we've got a proactive step to prevent this kind of thing, because we do get permission to leave with unattended packages, with no signature required and no contact delivery. And that's the opportunity that we have to thwart for the thieves. So we usually make good contact with the receiver and we're like, so we have your package, the courier's there, there's nobody answering the door. What would you like us to do? And so we'll like, you know, we'll come back. It's an extra cost. If the people want us to come back. It's a second attempt to delivery. It's no big deal. We can just route it out. 

Or we'll ask them, is there a safe place to leave it? And if people say, Oh, by the front porch and we confirm with the courier, can you see it from the street? It's like yes or no. And if they can see it from the street, well, hold on a second. We confer with the receiver. Look, you could see this package from the street. Are you sure you want it to be left in plain view? And then they might say, Oh, you know what? There is a blue box in the backyard that we keep our lawn tools and go put that there. Bingo done. 

You know, so we always try to go that little bit extra. It's really easy just to run up and say, okay, it's on your porch, goodbye. But it only takes a second for somebody in a car to spot a courier uniform, walking to the door and take that package. And it's a big problem. We get permission to go into backyards. In fact, one of our drivers was, the police arrived quickly because it's such a thing. The neighbours are on the watch for this. So even though our courier was wearing a uniform, thieves dress like couriers too. 

So we're, you know, it's a constant battle. We've been very successful at not having things stolen because it's in the news all the time. It's on YouTube all the time, and it's very disappointing and you don't want to be part of that. 

Well, the insurance process, you have to go with them on their insurance. It could be anything. And as a receiver of a package, you get pretty disappointed if it's been stolen. And then of course, first thing you do is doubt that it was over there. So we want to make everybody comfortable. It's a big deal. 

Mark: It's a big deal. And it's something that I noticed that the other delivery, perhaps larger ones, I won't name names, they just dump them off and leave. 

Mark H: Yeah well, their volume is very high. The volume is high. They couldn't possibly you know, wait, larger companies can do 12 million deliveries a day. So imagine like the technological side of contacting and back and forth, it's almost impossible. So we're lucky we're a little bit more nimble and we're more bespoke, niche market that we can do it. We've got a team here that will listen and we're able to follow up, we have really good tracking and we also take a picture when we pick it up to make sure we have the right item. And then when we deliver it, we have a picture too. 

So say there was just a slight miscommunication. Oh, go to the backyard, take the stairs door on the left. Oh, I meant the right. Ahh, you know, it could be 20 feet, it's dark, they come home, it's gone. And then there's a picture, it's like, Oh, that's Mike's floor mat I understand. Bingo. Done. 

So, you know, it's always trying to smooth out those little wrinkles and that's something we do all the time, because really we just communicate with customers constantly. That's our job. Couriers are communicators. Our office is a dispatch. And the whole thing is just communication. So we keep that pretty crystal clear, keeping it simple, right? It makes people more confident and happy in the end. And most of the time the package is right there anyways. But when it's not, let's find it. 

Mark: So what's some advice perhaps that you could give people who don't have access to Phantom Couriers, maybe they're in the States, maybe they're in another country who happened to watch this, how can they protect themselves in a little bit better way from this kind of fairly rampant thing of people stealing stuff off your porch?

Mark H: Yeah. Well, traditionally in the past, if you weren't home, say for a large carrier, you'd have to leave a note that said you may leave it, but now that COVID laws are in and no contact, it's just assumed that you're saying leave it. So just print up a little note for the delivery people, put it down at the right-hand corner of your door, where it's noticeable and not from the street where you'd have to see when you walk up, be like what's that. And it could have specific instructions like, Hey, I know you're dropping off a package today, why don't you just walk it around the backyard and put it by the swing set. 

Or if it's an apartment well, it's a lot more trouble, like maybe make arrangements with your neighbours, be more community minded and just say, I have deliveries come in today. Just poke your head out the door. If it's there, just grab it for me I'll be home at five. Because people will steal prepared meals. And how would you like it if you're sending prepared meals to your grandmother and somebody steals them? How frustrating and like, you know, just make those communication notes. We're all in this together. And you know, we're here, you're there, let's team up.

And because it's a delivery economy. I think it's great, which know your neighbour. Well, you don't have to know them, but you know, teamwork, just those little notes, little communication, and it'll solve it a lot faster because once the person gets into a building, they'll just elevator down from the top to the bottom and they will leave with a shopping cart of your stuff. And we've seen them on the streets, you know, it's bad news. 

Mark: So if you're in Vancouver or BC, because they deliver right across British Columbia, into Alberta, into Ontario, Phantom Couriers. You can reach them to get your packages delivered securely (604) 899-5447. Or if you're outside of the lower mainland one eight four four eight nine nine five four, four, seven. Any package, anywhere Phantom Couriers 

Mark H: Gets it, or keeps it safe or brings it back or we'll bring it back another time. 

Mark: Thanks, Mark. 

Mark H: Right on.

Why Use A Courier

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Mark Huggan, owner of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, Vancouver's best courier service, one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. And of course, the main reason why you want to have your life be a little bit easier because they solve a ton of really hard problems. We're going to talk about that today. The core reasons why you would use a courier. Hey Mark, how you doing?

Mark H: Doing good. Thanks. How are you? 

Mark: Good. So I know you guys do a lot of different stuff. Like the hard things, like address changes, customs. Why would somebody want to use a courier? What's the kind of core reasons that you see?

Mark H: Well, first outsourcing it to, if one person from a company is calling a courier to say, go down to Seattle. If there's a problem, there's three people here that can work on it instead of just that one. And we have a better direct line and a better understanding of the problem. Like a lot of times people see, you know, exception, and it's in bright red font on tracking.

And they're like, Oh oh, where do you even start? So since everybody here is well versed in where to start and how to get it done efficiently, they just take the bull by the horns and usually get it done a lot faster. It's an easier way to do it because we understand what the problem really is. And then we can cut to the chase and get her done fast. So it's usually a simple thing, but it doesn't seem simple if you've never done it before. 

Mark: So basically, shipping stuff from one place to another seems like an easy process, but there's a million ways to do it. There's a million ways for it to go wrong. And then there's a million ways to try and solve it basically. And you guys, that's all you do all day. 

Mark H: Yeah, just a major problem solving company. That's what we do is solve problems for people. I mean, they call us because they want to get something done. They couldn't do themselves. So that's a problem. Can't get it done. How do you do it? They outsource it to us.

And then a lot of things are just regular things we've done a million times. So we have a procedure for it. And other things are, you get the phone call, do you do this? And when that happens, we know there's not enough information. So we have to gather more information, you know, check all the boxes and then move forward.

A lot of times there's just a framework of information to get the job done. And then we got to dig deeper and get it all so it will happen. Because there's all sorts of things. There's a million things. It's incredible. You can't even begin to think of them. 

Mark: Yeah. So let's take an example. Like I have a company I've got 50 employees. They're all distributed all over the place now because everybody's working from home and I need to get something, a specific package to them and they're right across the country, or even in separate countries, how would you help with doing that? What's the kind of steps of all the pieces that would make my life a little bit easier so that I know that those packages are being delivered and that they're arriving to the right person at the right time. 

Mark H: Yeah, well, first we consolidate them all in what we call a bulk, say that would be a bulk order. And then we make sure all the information is there as much information as possible.

Say there were some missing critical information, like no phone number. So the first batch would be sent and prepped and ready to go. Well, we're starting to follow up and like, well, we can't deliver without a phone number during COVID. Especially to a residential tower. So we have to start putting all those pieces in and then as things get delivered, we find out, Oh, this is a January, 2021 list.

And Sam moved in with Sally or Sally moved in with Sam or Sam moved in with Mike and, you know, phone numbers changed. So we're like, Oh, we have to constantly update the global address book for the customers and get it there. And then once we find out the right number, we're going to contact them with it's like, Hey, this was missed. You've moved. Here's the new information we've got, confirm it. What's a good time to meet. Because it's important that if, if it was a, like a staff incentive thing or a project or working on it, they need to be on the same page on the same time. So usually we've got a day to figure that stuff out before, you know, you're sitting there with no package in front of you on a big zoom meeting and you're behind schedule.

So we don't like that for our employees or our sorry, their employees. It's a lot of work. It happens constantly.

Mark: So that's consolidating invoicing, that simplifying the accounting, rather than them having to ship 50 or me having to ship 50 packages and track every one of them, you guys are proactively tracking all of them.

You're handling all the address changes and corrections and follow ups that need to happen. You're dealing with all the customs and duty charges, all that import exports stuff. 

Mark H: Yep, totally. We take care of duty, export duty from here before we ship. So say you were sending down like a pair of running shoes, for instance. So we know the value, when it goes to cross the border, we put the value in, you know, what it is exactly and get it right. Otherwise it goes to customs, it'll stop. And then they start contacting us and then they only contact us with exception. So we need to know what we're doing first and documents don't need it, but any commodity items do, even if it's a gift.

So there's like related parties. If there's a related party and it's on a return, say it was a piece of equipment going from you to another person in your company. If it was related the duties and taxes get waived. There's gifts, there's permanent export, unrelated parties. There's all sorts of little reasons to pay attention to that. 

Mark: Anything else? Like, I know you have a million stories about, of the kind of things that you've done. Is there something recently where you've done all this and had to like, give us another example of, of doing this. 

Mark H: Well, we just did a big bulk shipment and everything across Canada and then there's Prince Edward Island, right. So the expected thing is like, well, it's just Canada, but Prince Edward Island, like the Sunshine Coast here, it doesn't get regular shipping. So you gotta be on top of that. So when the customer calls in the orders, you got to take an overview of them all and let them know, Oh, you've got some Prince Edward Island and say, Newfoundland. They're totally different places to get to. So the ferries go over like Monday, Wednesday, Friday. There's no, like they don't fly a lot of stuff into it. Cause it would fly into like somewhere on the mainland and then be put onto a like a transport truck and then it gets into that cycle. So you've got to let them know in advance because there might be some proactive step the person can take in the forefront to make sure they've got enough going on.

Like maybe, I don't know what they're going to have to do something with digital technology, but if they had to have any hard asset parts, they have to know that in advance. So once they're educated on that, the next rollout they've got, it goes more seamlessly. So it's like anything you do, you know, you take apart your kitchen sink, you put it back together it's difficult. The next time you do it a little bit easier, you get faster. 

And so from our side and our customer side, we work together, meet in the middle and then the next big bulk thing that goes out, they're prepared a little earlier for those outlying areas, which they weren't aware of before. You know, we never know what we don't know until we find out about it. So like to work like that, because if you don't, you're just ending up with the same hot potato two weeks from now and the same problems, and that's kind of ridiculous. 

Mark: And you guys, you deal with everything from in-town, bicycle courier fleet, essentially, which could be picking up checks at the bank or making a deposit at the bank, all kinds of things like that, to a package delivery across Vancouver itself but also then major international shipping. So it's a massive amount of territory that you cover as far as delivering stuff to other places. 

Mark H: Yeah. And it all started out so simple. It's the same thing. The same thing as the very first package, when that person jumped in front of me, I said, can you do this?

People need to get things done. They don't know how to get it done. They need it done yesterday. And so it's just the process of understanding the problem and getting it, like step one through 10, make sure it gets done. 

You know, even like a simple check certification gets complicated because you know, the customer calls us like what's taking so long, we're at the bank. Well, how long are you going to be? It's like, you know, call the bank, you know, we gotta figure that stuff out. So once we let customers know, like what's going on and what stage of the delivery it's in, it's easier to explain than just like the clock is ticking and the process is happening, right?

It's like, if you're in better touch with them, everybody can calm down because they understand the mechanics of it. So it's a good parts, just all communicate. That's what people do all day. Me and you communicate, people communicate through courier. That's just our basic human thing. We're just a tool for communicating between one party to another.

And so if it gets lost in the translation, if the courier, doesn't do it properly. Then the end result is not understood properly. So we've got to just stay tight and make sure we know what we're doing when we're communicating for customers, because we're just an extension of their office to whoever they're needing to communicate with because everything's built communication.

Mark: So how long has the company been operating? 

Mark H: Since 1996. 

Mark: So 24 years. I got that right. 25 years. Yeah, basically. Yeah. Twenty five years of constant improvement, making your processes and systems better and better and better because you've had to deal with, as you expand and expand all these different issues and you want it smooth, you want it solvable, basically. 

Mark H: Yeah, well there's going to be an issue today that we've never heard of believing it'll pop up. Like that's sort of like the other day, but it's completely different. So every day is the same yet very different, which makes it exciting. It's not ever what you think. 

Mark: Look, if you want to get your packages delivered, you got a problem that you need to solve. That has something to do with getting something from one place to another. The guys to call in Vancouver are Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447 or anywhere in BC. Alberta, Ontario, +1 844-899-5447. They'll get you looked after and they'll get that package delivered or your freight or whatever it is you need. That's right. Give them a call, they'll solve it for you. Up the bridges. They've delivered bridges. 

Mark H: That's right. A hundred percent. 

Mark: Thanks Mark.

Mark H: Right on dude

Why a Retail Centre

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. One of the fastest growing companies in Vancouver, in BC, in Canada, expanding all over the place. Shipping and delivering packages, courier services right across the entire lower mainland and across BC. Expanding into Alberta and Toronto. Mark, how are you doing today? 

Mark H: We're doing good. Happy Monday. 

Mark: Yeah. So you guys have a retail centre that you recently opened up on Howe Street have I got that, right?  329 Howe Street. So what's the retail centre for? 

Mark H: It's set up just to be focused on overnight shipping for like US Express, Canada overnight, next day, Toronto and the rest the world. And then we're also focused on ground shipping to Canada and the United States. So any large packages that need to be there in five business days, we can facilitate that for them. It's a great place to just get all the international shipping focused and just have a person with an attention to detail on top of it all. For proactive tracking, address changes, any problems that come up because problems come up regularly and it takes the burden off the regular same day dispatch team.

Mark: So why would I come to the retail centre to look after that rather than getting you guys to pick it up or just using Canada Post or UPS or any of the competitors, that there might be in the world? 

Mark H: Yeah. Well, we will pick it up from you. That's not a problem. We have always done that. So any businesses doing regular shipping overnight we'll just come pick it up and consolidate and bring it into the centre for fulfillment.

A lot of people walk in off the street. In Google My Business it shows us up on the map. So a lot of people just come walk in with like, random stuff and we can just help them there. It's calm. They're not on the telephone. They can actually see what's going on and get a good understanding when it will be there.

And there's a nice attendant upstairs named James who works with people personally. So it's a good thing. So it has two points. So you can walk in. It's all COVID friendly. And then we can have it picked up by courier and brought to the shop. No problem. And the competitive aspect is that we have competitive pricing. We can work on pricing and we're trying to get a bigger market share just by making it easier for our customers. 

They only have to go to Phantom Couriers online portal to just put in the address. They don't have to print out waybills and wait, they just like, it's going to Joe Smith and Toronto. Here's the address? Boom. Done. We'll get it. We'll package it, manifest it, proactively track it and keep it on one invoice for the customer. So it makes it a lot easier. And then when problems arise such as address corrections, because we all know databases are only as good as, like on my list is like clean up your database, always. You know, Joe might might've moved last week. It's just like an oversight. And then we're able to like, Whoa, we've got some information. Let's change that now. Well, it's in the flow. Otherwise, sometimes it takes up to 48 hours to get an address correction. And we're more on point because that's what we do all day is tracking and tracing.

Mark: So you guys actually package stuff. Like if I bring in my widget, I'm an Etsy seller or Shopify, and I have some product that I need to ship to the United States because somebody purchased it. You actually have packaging and all the appropriate stuff there to get the package delivered. Peanuts and all rest of it.

Mark H: Yeah. So it is a shipping centre. So we've got lots of boxes there. We've got this great box that just can go from big to small. It's like, you just cut it out and it works perfectly. Then they've got all the craft paper upstairs for wrapping the packing stuff for insulating it, and then they pack it up, dim it out. We have a nice electronic scale. Everything's super accurate. And it goes.

 Like for instance, this Christmas, these people came in and they brought in all these tote boxes of like charcuterie boards, jams, chocolates, cards, and they were all loose and they just gave us a manifest and we just got the boxes ready. Did what we needed to do, loaded them up, cut them down, packed them tight, labeled them, shipped them. Boom done. We've had lots of other things like gift bags come in and you can't ship a gift bag. It will be totally destroyed. So we just do the exact same thing. Just line them up, pack them up, tighten them down because a gift bag, the dimensional weight of the gift bag, it's an odd shape. So when we consolidate it down and get it into a better dim size, the pricing goes down. 

Mark: So when you're talking about dimensional weight or dim size, maybe let's just quickly give us the short version of how that actually works. 

Mark H: So we all know like a cell phone weighs a couple of ounces, but if you put it in a shoe box, say you just thought, Oh, I'll just wrap it up and put it in the shoe box. Well, the dimensional weight increases because it's broken down by the square foot. So all international shippers, when you put something on an airplane, you're buying square footage. 

Mark: Or cubic footage. 

Mark H: Yeah. Cubic footage. Yeah. So there's a formula like length times, width, times height divided by, everybody's got a different number, and that gives them the cubic, like the actual weight of a pound and maybe the cubic weight or the square rate might be five pounds. So you want to make sure your packaging gets as small as you can. And you save a ton of money. 

So a lot of people get us to pick up a box with like, Oh, this is a big box and it doesn't weigh anything. So it was called the customer like, Hey, this box is going to cost you this. Maybe we should make it cost that. So it's good savings, because you know, we're shipping experts. Something, we look at all the time. There's not a lot of boxes in offices and when you're at home, you know, you're just going to grab the closest box. It might be a box of wine and you're putting something light weight in it, might as well get it in the right packaging.

A lot of times they can go into like, everybody's seen those like plastic bags, because they have a QR code on them. And so to envelopes, when they go through the sorting facility, they're registered at a certain rate. So it's up to like a pound in an envelope and it's up to like five pounds and sometimes 10 pounds in those bags. So if we can get something that's lighter in one of those bags, we're going to do it and save your money. And it's more efficient too. 

Mark: I went through a bit of a horror story with address changing with some products that I ordered, and I know that happens all the time. So how do you guys actually take care of address changes, corrections, making sure the product ends up where it's supposed to go? 

Mark H: Yeah. Well, we have a pretty big account, so we don't have to go to the call centre. Any of the people in the call centres are just busy, like crazy. So usually the chat is where customers would go usually. And they're like, Oh, I have an address correction, like hours typing in, but we can just go into our account and get that address corrected. There's never a same day address corrections anyways, because we all know that those root trucks are, they're not like, Oh, I'm just going back. But we can get the information to the centre when the truck returns, when it gets offloaded, because of the QR code, it's separated. Boom. And new address label goes on it. And then a lot of times we can contact people. They might have just moved and the package just maybe signed for by the person moved to the house because they're like, Oh, I'll sign for that. And so we can make arrangements to go pick it up. 

We've even had our own staff go into Toronto, a big company in Vancouver, big tech company sent out a bunch of stuff and their CSV file shifted by one cell. So Mark Bossert was getting Mark Huggans package, Mark Huggan was getting like Joe Smith's package. And it was just one of those things. Right. And it was an important delivery. So we had Matt and Toronto just like, okay, look at the list. And he basically went out there and played the memory game by driving around and starting at the first person to tell him he'll be back at the end of the day with the last person on the packages package. But you know, that's hard work that needs to be done. So we did it we did it same day. It was difficult. Otherwise you'd have to wait two or three days because everything would have to be, if it was signed for it, we'd have to make arrangements to go pick it up, get it figured out and then redo it. But Matt was able to be proactive. It was a pretty good success. So that's the kind of thing we can do.

Address corrections all day. 

Mark: Yeah. Yeah. And you guys are, you're dealing with it all the time. A lot of times we'll order things and you get the little notice saying, track your package. Which seems really weird to me because now I'm on the hook for tracking whether they screwed up. Is that how that works? You guys do that for people though? 

Mark H: A hundred percent. Yeah. So if somebody is not home and they get that little track the package thing, we get it first, before you even get back home. So we would track the person who was supposed to receive the package down and make arrangements for them for like a specific time to get it. And the time is pretty big. So we have to, you know, you have to be considerate of everybody's sides. When we tried to narrow the focus down and get it to them on their schedule as best we can, but that happens all the time. 

But luckily we get the notice first. Before you even arrived home and yeah, you're right. If you have to track it yourself, you're just like, well, where is it now? And then you're making phone calls. And then they say to you, are you the shipper? No, I'm the receiver. Well, you can't call us. But since we're the shipper and we consolidate hundreds of customers a day as their shipper, we can reach out to all those different ones and get the job done super fast. Nothing more confusing than address corrections when it seems so straightforward. But yeah. It's just one of those things needs to be done. 

Mark: Absolutely. Another thing you mentioned, kind of whipped through there was the ground shipping versus overnight, and there's quite a difference in terms of what it costs to ship packages. 

Mark H: Yeah, it's huge. It's like a 40% discount. Well, I wouldn't say discount price difference. And on ground, you know, it starts off at a heavier weight. So right off the hop, you're getting a better thing. If you were to do an express shipment of say a  a 10 pound box street rate to Los Angeles express is $92. And then we could get that box like that's a 10 pound box is 92 bucks. So if you want it to go ground on that, you're probably looking at around $55. So it's a huge difference. So if you don't have to ship it overnight, you might as well ship it in five business days and get the better price.

Because a lot of people don't know what they're doing and they ship it out express and they're like, Holy 92 bucks. So we manage that. We always ask questions like, are you sure you need that there tomorrow?

Mark: So if you need shipping simplified to the United States, across Canada, overnight, ground shipping, anywhere in the world, actually, the guys to call are Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. Go to You can book online right there. They'll come and pick it up. They'll make sure it gets where it's supposed to go. No matter what craziness might be going on in the world or you, if you're outside of Vancouver, +1 844-899-5447. They'll look after you. Thanks Mark.

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

Overnight To The USA

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best courier experience. And we're going to talk about overnight to the United States, shipping stuff to the States. How does that work, Mark? 

Mark H: Well, it's quite simple. We'll come get it from you and deliver it to the United States. But it breaks it down into different things. Like we have overnight shipping for documents which is quite straightforward. We bring it into the office, manifest it, track it, trace it for you. Usually gets overnight delivery to any city. It's easy peasy. 

For any commodities say you were sending this headset down to the States. We would have to fill out the customs paperwork for you. It may have like a one day delay as they check it out at the US Border Services. And then it would be put through one of the hubs. The closest one is in Ontario, California. And so it goes there, it gets inspected by US Customs. Then we pick it back up after it's been cleared and off she goes to the last mile. So we get things delivered all the time. 

We're very busy doing that for everybody. We've shipped everything. You know, documents galore, but there's a lot of personal items and gifts. Gifts are different because if it's a related party, the duties and taxes are slightly different. Sometimes there's nothing to pay. But people who shipped down like the headset, for instance, they don't want to be taking away money from the US company that could sell it on Main Street in California. So they would just charge the applicable taxes that the California government would have received if they had bought them in the state. So people up here do that. 

I think we've all seen it when we order a package say from the US and people are like, Oh, the taxes were more than the courier. Well, that's just because, you know, governments government and taxes are how we pay for our streets and everything else, all of our infrastructure. So we get it going down. 

We've also got ground shipping to the US, which is five business days. So it's a pretty affordable way to do it. And a lot of times it's a different tax structure for ground shipping. If you do ground shipping, I don't know why the taxes are different, but they're less. But the time is five business days. So say you sent it today, the time wouldn't start until Tuesday, so it would be delivered five business days. So it might be delivered next Monday. So people are thinking, Oh, but today it was five days. Five business days after the pickup, because it does have to go through the customs sort. And so it's pretty good. 

And we fly stuff down and you know, there's a same-day to Seattle too. So we just put it on a little plane, boom down in Seattle. Partners can pick it up down there so we can get same day to Seattle, which is pretty good. Document's super easy. If it was a commodity, it would stay in Seattle and be inspected at the airport. Just like your luggage would be inspected if you brought back something that was like, you know, highly taxed. So it's a busy little place for us. We love doing it and we're good at it. 

Mark: So documents, do they need customs brokerage? Do they go through any of that? 

Mark H: Nope. If it's a document it's straightforward, just a business, usually correspondence and it just flies. So it would ship today. Be there tomorrow. And usually the same thing applies to Canada. Most businesses get their stuff before noon, and then the couriers are doing the pickups in the afternoon. And if it's a residence, it can be delivered up to like seven o'clock at night. So to businesses, usually by noon, one o'clock, but to get their trucks cleared out and then afterwards it goes to residences. It's pretty fast. It's pretty efficient. It's not bad with COVID because you know, you can't cross the line and go down to the us postal service and pop something in the mail like you used to. 

And in the news this weekend, I saw one of those 24/7 places in Blaine, one customer that she was mentioning, had 200 packages and unable to cross the border because they couldn't go and pick them up and sign for them themselves. So it's becoming more difficult to do little things. You know, all the e-com entrepreneurs are having a bit more stress on that. So we're here to help definitely push things through the border. Costs is a little bit higher, but I mean, not getting paid is one thing, being paid a little less is another thing. So you might as well get paid and use the courier. 

Mark: So how does your business, we never really talked about this, how does your business compare to something like US Postal Service in terms of cost, or like FedEx or UPS or Purolator? 

Mark H: Yeah, we've got a little bit of wiggle room. We can, you know, because we're a volume shipper, so our rates are a little bit, I'd say they're much better, but that's where we make our margins on it.

And the US Postal Service, of course like Canada Post is funded by tax dollars. So you really can't compete. So if the US Postal Service was charging like ridiculously cheap amounts, you could never do that yourself because you're not funded by the government taxpayer dollar. So that makes it difficult to compete.

It's actually against the law to have prices as low as the postal service they're protected for good reasons. But you know, when it comes to like FedEx, UPS, Purolator, those are all different. And every time I look at their rates, I was just looking at some rates the other day, and one was $38 to San Francisco and the other one was $47 to San Francisco. And the other one was I can't remember exactly what it was, but inside those margins we're able to have wiggle room because we can choose and pick our carriers who we're going down with. So we always take a look for the best bang for the buck. For both sides, for the customer and for us. We're here to make a profit and we're here to make our customers successful.

So we're always looking for the best one. And it's, it's strangely different for everywhere. So, I guess it just depends on how big their fleet is in that area. If it's a smaller fleet with higher costs, the price is higher, you know, but it's always good to research it. And we do that constantly for customers trying to get the best rates.

Mark: So when somebody is shipping something, is it based on size? Is it based on weight? Is it based on both of those things? How does it work the actual costs to ship something to the States? 

Mark H: Yeah, well I mean, everybody's seen, like, for instance, the Purolator envelope, FedEx envelope, UPS envelopes, those things all have a QR code. So when they're zipping down the belt, they're just, boom, they're just documents. So there's a set price for documents all the time. When it comes to anything larger, it's going to go on dimensional weight. So length by width, by height, divided by whatever number they've got this time. It gives you the cubic weight, because when you're filling up a container, it's cubic weight, it might be like, this box weighs one pound, but it's 36 inches, you know, it takes up the cubic weight. So that is something to think about. 

If you can put it in a smaller box, do that because your costs will go down tremendously. And a lot of people just grab a box off the shelf and put something in it's like it's in a box. Meanwhile they're paying for air. That air is expensive. You know, you've seen those Amazon boxes showing up with like a razor blade inside and all the bubble packing and three boxes. Well, that's killing Amazon because they still have to pay dimensional weight when they were contracting to freight. And even if they have their own planes, they still have that cost.

So it's always good to put something in the smallest package as possible. Get it done up nice and tight because dimensional weight and cubic weight is a big deal. That's how carriers make their money. You know, I'd much rather fly a 747 full of air to San Francisco. It would go faster, cheaper gas, than one full of lead, because it would take more fuel. So that's where the dimensional weight comes in. We should do a video on dimensional weight. I've got a super funny idea.

Mark: So there you go. If you want to ship overnight. Or fast or on time to the United States for the most efficient way possible use Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. Or if you're outside the lower mainland +1 844-899-5447. They'll get it there. They'll get it on time, anywhere in the world.

Mark H: Yeah. Anywhere in the world. You betcha. Thanks.

Staff Incentives

Mark:  Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with my good friend, Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best courier service. One of BC's fastest growing companies expanding right across the country. Today we're going to talk about staff incentives. What the heck does that? What are we talking about staff incentives for Mark? 

Mark H: Well, you know, just like you and I have a scheduled meeting, it's part of my week. That brings a little bit of like joy. You're like, Oh, I get to talk to a team member. I get a lot of feedback from everybody, especially like couriers when they're dropping packages off and with all the offices decentralizing, for instance, let's just use gaming artists because there's a lot in Vancouver, it's a huge industry. And they all used to come to work and they'd be working in a gigantic studio and it'd be the hustle and bustle and a great energy.

And everybody be like, we're working on the projects and have time to chit chat and be collaborative and get that exciting creative ball going. Well, you know, they're all safely at home for COVID and COVID is taking a long time and it's wearing people down. 

And we found some of our customers will go to the door and people be like, what is it? Like what have you got for me? And it can be anything, you know, it might be just like, Oh, here's a thing you need. But a lot of people are worried for their careers. And a lot of our customers, they must be noticing it because they have staff meetings and such. So they've been sending out like team incentives, things to bring them back together, things to rebuild the decentralized culture.

And people are basically, you could see them like, Oh, like they have a sigh of relief. You know when it's something good. So there's been all sorts of things. Like pre-packaged nice boxes full of like snacks and chips and coffee cups and just like little things that when they open them up, it's not work. You know, it's not a threat. It's just something that they're like, Oh, somebody cares about me. 

So these things are really good. And a lot of people are creating new, like swag material, like maybe a hoodie from the gaming company. That's like, you know, it's got their logo on it of course it's all branded up, but it's something that brings the team together and it may be on a project they're working on. We've seen a lot. 

One was a hoodie that was used as the packaging and inside was a pancake mix and syrup. So, you know, people are all having a, like the whole team on, you know, October 22nd, don't open until October 22nd. They all opened it up and they're like, okay, everybody. 20 minutes, come back with pancake breakfast. So everybody got shut down for a break. They all came back with their pancake breakfast and had a giant team, like team building, zoom meeting, where they just laughed about the pancakes because still people knew pancake shape so that people put fruit in it. And everybody had a great discussion. So it got like that human aspect back into businesses and the couriers all dropped it off.

And when they had that, don't open till October 22nd thing, there was mixed reviews. Like, I don't know what this is, but you know, there was a very bright, colorful, happy hoodie. So there wasn't a lot of threat involved with it, but it brought up that I think, what is it? It's Christmas. So, you know what it's like for a kid who can't open this present at Christmas, it brings excitement and wonderment, and I think that really good companies that we work for an hour doing that. 

And it's a huge opportunity to make your staff good or happy. And it's a good opportunity for us to keep continue working and be part of that mechanism. So if there's any companies out there looking to do staff incentives, we're down with it.

We've got an excellent system to get them delivered and follow up because a lot of people aren't. They might be home, but they're not home because of zoom. They've got headphones on, they don't see the doorbell. 

And then if there's any companies out there looking for a great opportunity right now, I would consider getting a snack box company built up with nice branding. Get on it. Because I think that's a market that's going to keep going on for a long time, because, you know, once they've been decentralized to bring them back, it's more of that effort.

They put all this effort into getting the ball, rolling the hard stuff. And I think that people are going to be working from home as it's in the news. And we're going to have to make sure everybody's happy. I have staff working at home today. First thing I do is I always touch base with them. And I think that that goes so far, but eventually you're going to have to take it in like, and your lunches arrived today, special surprise. And they'll be very happy. I think it's a good thing. 

You know, it's just a human thing and couriers play a big part of it. And I'm pretty impressed by our clients. That it's a lot. Like one company had almost 300 packages. Can you come pick up this load? Sure. What is it? 300, 300. Whoa know, like that's a big effort by some company to put extra expenses out there because they know the value of their employees. And I think that's awesome. 

Mark: So we were talking just as we got started about how you're in the downtown core of Vancouver, your main office. Yeah. That it's pretty dead there. There's a lot of business that's distributed their employees back home. So this is going to continue for a long time because COVID is not over.

Mark H: Nope. It's eerily quiet in the business district. Like, you know, you see traffic and foot traffic, but those people are outside the towers and there always have been, but the towers are empty. Restaurants are empty. Parking is very available. You can feel it like, it just looks like a sunny Sunday when you're downtown instead of a busy Wednesday, you know, it's like maybe a few people milling about.

More stores are closing to like ING Direct just closed on Howe Street. There's two Starbucks that just closed some Howe Street because the foot traffic is gone. So everybody loves a latte, right. And those people just aren't coming anymore. So they have to get that stuff delivered. You know, it's just like all those places we used to commune together, like hang out. Even if you were just briefly walking into a Starbucks, that's a break from work. 

And if you're at home all day, maybe your break is doing dishes, but it doesn't give you that good feeling. Yeah. The core is dead. So couriers are being used more than ever to get things out and about because the interoffice delivery is, is not as robust as it used to be.

Like our percentages now is like over 66% to residences. So, you know, instead of B2B now, we're really doing it's B2B, but it's actually B2B to C because you're doing the business to the, well, I always call them consumers, but residences has generally have  that metrics, but now we're going to people's houses and they live everywhere.

So people live as a pretty, it's crazy when you're going up to Mission for people that used to come downtown. So I see the benefit for them working from home, but imagine commuting from Mission. I mean, people will not want to do that anymore. If it's good for people to work at home and be supported by their companies with courier delivery and stuff like that, I think it's better for them because that's a huge commute. 

Mark: Absolutely. And it's the way of the future basically. So if you want to build your team using staff incentives, a company that's expert on getting your vast, hopefully distributed network of people all over, hey it could be even all over the world, getting that stuff delivered and tracked and on time, Phantom Couriers are the people to call. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. Or if you're outside of Vancouver, +1 844-899-5447. They'll get it looked after. Thanks Mark. 

Mark H: Excellent. Thank you very much.

Tile Delivery

Mark:  Hi, I'm Mark Bossert from Top Local. I'm here with my good friend, Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, BC. Vancouvers favourite couriers, and one of the fastest growing companies in BC and across the country. We're going to talk about flooring and tile delivery during a pandemic, but also there's some challenges with this. What's going on, Mark?

Mark H: Well, yeah, you know, flooring obviously gets trucked around every single day. And then laminate flooring, hardwood flooring, all sort of substrate flooring. It's so easy delivery, but nobody wants to tackle tile delivery. All the big trucking companies, they don't want to do it because, well, the tiles are broken, they get broken and nobody has set up, you know, a process to establish that, yeah tiles get broken in shipping, in the container. What's going on?  

So acceptable loss has to be realized and established. And so I'm hoping to start cornering that market because if we find out, okay, you can pick up a pallet of tile and there's a bunch of crumbled stuff underneath of it. If the operator sees it, that's a little  indicator that there's some damaged tiles. So if there's an  inspection by the driver on pickup, it may take a little bit of extra time but in the long run, it's going to save time because you're not going to have a job that's cut short by a couple of tiles are broken on a pallet. And nobody wants to get down and do that hard work. They just want to zip in, throw a forklift at it, pick it up, throw it on a truck and take it out there and then just get yelled at later.

So I find a lot of people are shying away from the tile business and I was like, well, it's an excellent opportunity to go in there and do it right. Set up a system and procedure and start just cornering the market. And I'd like to do that. I'd like to be like to be that guy. I've already talked to my operators and they understand exactly why people hate tile delivery. But they were surprised that I said, well, if we just established some protocols at the beginning, we could probably be very successful. And being that they drive trucks and they have bills to pay, they're down with doing extra work. So that's something we're looking at now. A lot of times with the builds, you need to take, say flooring out of a manufacturer or a wholesaler or distributor, and it's not ready to be like, they want it out with the door supply chain demands that it needs to move. So no stock can come in. And if the construction crews are laid up by a couple of days, well storage charges and all that starts to add up and it puts a huge cost on the trucking side. 

So in east Van, we've got a cross dock where we can easily store stuff for 48 hours before it fills up and has to move. So it gives an extra two days, and it's not a huge cost and we can start helping people, so when they say there's a three hour window of opportunity to get it to the site. So the guys can unload it and bring it into the house by the end of the day, to start working on it tomorrow, we can facilitate that stuff and working with the builders. Because their timelines are tight and one thing goes wrong  like an air compressor blows, boom. They're not there now for two hours, two hours is eight, eight hours a day. Bing boom bam and you know, if it all comes down to the truck waiting on the curb, takes off and has to come back the next day for a full pop delivery charge.

So the flooring thing is a good niche market. I'd like to explore it. It's great for trucks because it's heavy. It fills up trucks nicely. They would keep us busy. And there's a lot of it, you know with restoration going on through the winter, there's lots of flooding. Laminate has to be done. Those guys, the restoration guys, they're drawing out the house one day. They're ready to lay the next. They need that on-time delivery. We're down to do that. 

So restoration companies, construction companies, new or old, it doesn't matter if you're doing renovations or new builds, Phantom's down to do the work. And with the tile, anybody's had a problem with the tile delivery, let's talk. Because if we can set up an established parameters for like acceptable loss and there'll be no surprise, and then everything should start smoothing out along the way. And then one job will lead to the next, the next, the next, and then that builder's successful and so where are we. 

Mark: So if you're a builder or renovator in Vancouver or even a tile place that wants a reliable delivery service, that's accountable, that will make sure who made the damage has to fix it, not just blame the last guys who touched it because maybe it was broken before that. Give Phantom Couriers a call. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. Or if you're anywhere else in Canada one eight, four, four eight nine nine five four four seven. I was going to say North America, but you're not there yet.

Mark H:  Just Canada today, today. Yeah. 

Mark: Thanks Mark. 

Mark H: Right on man. Thank you.

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