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Fulfillment and eCommerce Delivery Services

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best, fastest growing courier service. And we're going to talk today about fulfillment, the last mile delivery stuff. That's been exploding with all this e-commerce stuff going on because of the pandemic. How are you doing Mark? 

Mark H: We're doing excellent. Thank you very much. How are you? 

Mark: Good. So fulfillment centres, fulfillment warehousing, delivering the last mile. How does all that work? 

Mark H: Well, it's called 3PLs, third party logistics. And so for instance, say you have a product and you had to import it from Asia and it comes in by container. And then, you know, it sits on the dock. It gets put on the truck, he gets take it to a fulfillment warehouse where they cross docket. So unstuff the container and say inside of it is like dishwashers, PPE equipment and I dunno, headphones. So obviously it's to get distributed into the warehouse and then as the eCom businesses that sell them, or so like a brick and mortar company that maybe is providing like safety equipment for hospitals and stuff.

 The order, then it needs to go out. The last mile. So what we do is we go down to the fulfillment warehouses, pick up a large order of stuff and start distributing it. So it might be going down to like the Portland Hotel Society and then a women's shelter and men's shelters on the downtown Eastside, or it might be going all out to elderly care centres and homes and things like that.

So we'll pick it up and we'll just run it all out in a route. And everybody gets their order pretty quick because they're waiting for it. It's a on time kind of crisis, right? We're waiting for containers to get destuffed. You know, customs brokerage is great. The EDI document is great. Everything's being imported quickly, but still, those hours that people are waiting for it. They're usually running out of supplies as we deliver. 

And then with any eCom companies, there's a lot of drop shipping that goes on. So say like the headphones I mentioned, like say maybe somebody who's got a drop shipping company and they've got a hundred clients that are waiting for their headphones, the waiting and waiting and waiting. And you really want to get them there soon so that they'll go back to your website and order something else that you're providing. So drop ship entrepreneurs are really good. And then on the reverse side, what works extremely well. So there's a lot of eCom entrepreneurs and drop ship guys that do other things as well, like say Shopify and Etsy kind of people.

They do a lot of shipping that gets out mail. So we'll do a run and pick it up from all these entrepreneurs. Take it down there, have it consolidated and onto a pallet and take it down to the United States underneath like one document import and then put it into the US postal service. So fulfillment works both ways and cross-docking is great because the warehouse is empty at night and needs to be filled up.

So we'll fill it up with things going export and then empty it out with things coming import. And it's huge. We, you really never think about it. Like all the Amazon stuff. It's exactly the same thing. It's all fulfillment of orders. It's decentralized, then it's centralized and then it's exported to the final mile.

And final mile shipping is what courier is all about. You know, it has to go from second to last place to the very last place. And that's where we come in. We take it to the very last place people get to enjoy their products. And so any fulfillment warehouse guys that are out there looking for more bodies, because so much is imported.

As you know, we don't manufacture a ton and on the West Coast here, we're an import community. So things that are coming in, we can get them exported pretty quick out to the customer. And it's the third party that's going to be happy because the fulfillment warehouse is not the customer. The customer is the person doing the importing and you know, they're biting their nails. They have to perform. 

So when they have a high performing courier company like Phantom and an excellent fulfillment warehouse, like any of them, like Evolution Fulfillment, for instance, or Shanker,  it's great. Just to go in there, pick it up and we have excellent EDI import to our website. So all you have to do is really download a spreadsheet. Boom. It's all there. No typing, no messing around. Once we set them up with the forum, all they have to do is export, import, drivers show up, packages get delivered. Proof of delivery is sent and it's sent to the importer, as well as CC to the fulfillment warehouse, if that's necessary. So it's completely transparent.

People are very satisfied. And it's a vertical we love and since we are Phantom, it's Phantom Couriers, but really we're Phantom Global Management. And 20 years ago when I incorporated, my vision was global management, not just doing local P and D. So this is really good for our import and export because that's how we're scaling is on the backs of our clients and the good work we provide. So it's a really fun, fun, vertical, and it's where we're going to scale the most. 

Mark: So this year, this might be a difficult question because I haven't kind of pre-prepared you, but how much do you think the growth has been in this area since the pandemic has hit? 

Mark H: Well, I can answer that. When I was just looking at a company snapshot of our biggest clients, traditionally, our biggest clients were law firms and engineering firms. And they were big, I mean, big enough to be proud of that. We were almost like super stoked. Like this is a massive client. We do a lot of deliveries for, and then suddenly the fulfillment just took off. And today Trey in our office was showing me some of the graphs and I was like, that's incredible. It's flipped the script.

The number one thing is like we talked about before is like wine for same day. And then the next one because of the volume is different. It comes in as containers come in, it is fulfillment warehouses. So since, you know, the wine store might do a hundred sales in a day and a fulfillment place might at 25.

So we measure them by the deliveries, but it could be a lot more, many more pieces than just twenty-five their cases in cases of it. And then our next vertical that's exploded. Is, there's no barrier to customers that don't have an account that just want to get something done. The eCom. So the, like the one time cash call credit card, you just call in or go on our website and just order that's the third largest vertical now.

And then after that, it goes straight up eCom, like manufacturers have contact lenses and glasses. So more commercial, like manufacturing and import like the Evolution Fulfillment. Those are really growing sectors. They will totally catch up and push away, like the retailers that are using us locally.

And it's a good one. I want to get more clients obviously. We do a really good job and nobody's ever had an issue. So if you've had an issue and you wonder why maybe we can come down and have a talk and we can show you the problem or talk about it and get you what you want. And then you're going to get what you need.

And that's where Phantom steps in. And that's where we're successful, is listening to the clients and finding out what the problem is. There are people don't have to waste valuable time doing the same thing over and over, like checking in with courier because they could be doing something else.

They can be, do something that's more productive for the company or they could just be taking it easy and being creative. And at that point, the companies will grow because you know, a relaxed, creative staff is the kind of stuff that will identify problems. But if you're under pressure, it sucks. So it helps out all over the place to just to have somebody you can depend on. That's where we come in. 

Mark: If you want a trusted button down, tight operation, doing all your deliveries for you, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, (604) 899-5447. Or if you're outside of the greater Vancouver area, +1 844-899-5447. They deliver pretty much across BC into Alberta, into Ontario. So they'll look after you. Phantom Couriers, any package anywhere? 

Mark H: Phantom Couriers gets it there. 

Mark: Thanks Mark. 

Mark H: Thank you.

New Downtown Location

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, BC. One of Vancouver's best courier companies one of BC's fastest growing companies. And frankly, one of Canada's fastest growing companies as they're expanding right across the country. How are you doing today, Mark?

Mark H: We're doing excellent. Thank you. 

Mark: So you're opening a new retail location? Right in downtown Vancouver, 329 Howe Street. What's going on there? 

Mark H: Yeah, we were lucky. A jeweller that had his jewelry store there for 25 years, moved over to Granville to be closer to the jewelry district. And they had this excellent space available and I quickly snapped it up instantly.

I was like taking it. And we took it. So it's 700 square feet. It's on Howe Street. It'll be open seven days a week, 12 hours a day. It will be an international shipping centre. And be excellent for anybody who wants to walk in. Google business drives a lot of business to our office, but they have to enter the building and take the elevator. Now it would just be straight walk in. 

Imagine you're going to check in your luggage at the airport. There'll be the terminals there with the scale. And anybody wants any luggage forwarded, it will be excellent for students that are returning home. Anything going internationally and being open late at night, it will be excellent for all returns. Like if anybody's got a return number, for anything that they've ordered online, they can bring it to us and we'll facilitate the return. It's great because you know, people get home, they forget it's six o'clock. They're like, dang. But we're right downtown. Right by the Convention Center, right in the hotel district, right by the cruise ships when they return, right by all the conventions and it is going to be gangbusters. It's going to be awesome for everybody because it'll be so available. 

Plus we still offer our pickup and delivery. So if you can't make it down there, we can just pick it up and bring it to the shipping centre and get it going. There'll be boxes there, everything, mailboxes, it'll be pretty awesome. 

Mark: And of course you're serving all the plethora of businesses that are right there in downtown Vancouver. 

Mark H: Yeah. You'd be surprised how many, you know, established businesses walk in all the time, they don't know that couriers will come and pick it up. I don't understand how they miss it because you know, I'm forest for the trees. But yeah, we're there for them. They'll know where we are. It'd be super easy to find us. It's got excellent curb appeal from what we've rendered up in all the drawings.

So people will see it. I mean, I'll have the Phantom signal flaring out the window. You won't miss us. You need us. We're there for you. You can walk in, we'll come pick it up, whatever you need. 

Mark: If you're in downtown Vancouver and you want fast service and you want it delivered, you want to get out of the office for a second and you want to drop your packages off or you're jumping off a ship or you're an international student, any of the above the new Phantom downtown retail location. When's that going to open Mark? 

Mark H: Well, I think November 1st we should be ready to rock and roll. We'll be doing a soft opening, getting her going through October. And then by November 1st, that place will be fully manned, stocked and fully operational 

Mark: 329 Howe Street. Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. They'll deliver anything anywhere in the world. +1 844-899-5447. Right across Canada. Any package anywhere. 

Mark H: Phantom Couriers gets it there. 

Mark: Thanks Mark. 

Mark H: You betcha.

Virtual Event Deliveries

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. One of the 100 fastest growing companies in British Columbia and frankly right across entire nation of Canada growing like crazy, having fun, doing all kinds of cool things. How are you doing Mark? 

Mark H: We're doing great. Hello. 

Mark: So today we're gonna talk about something mass distribution. 

Mark H:

What's that? Okay. So first in the film industry, whenever they have a release date or they, you know, finish a project, they usually send out a gift to all the staff, all the artists, everybody that's in it.

And usually they will we'd have an event like an event space. But with COVID, and the fact that we can't get together now, and can't stay past 10 o'clock, they're doing these virtual things where they're sending out to everybody, all the artists, all the contributors to their residences where they're living and/or working. And they all open them up at the same time on this massive production. 

So they may rent a big space to show it all off and get everybody in together, sort of a like an award or something, but everybody's opening these things up at home. So we've got like gift bags, like the Oscars gift bags. Nobody's going to be in the audience. They're going to be at home now opening the gift bags and they're worth, you know, thousands sometimes. They're great gifts for great artists. And so we do massive distribution. We're doing one right now for 350 artists. And they all want to open it up at the same time.

So, and of course, like the runtime on it is like, I need it by Thursday. It's like, okay, so you gotta be tight. You gotta know what you're doing. And you basically are working from an old mailing list. It has wrong addresses and you have to do a lot of quick corrections and it keeps you on your feet. So they're massive. We're doing one for that. 

We're doing one for a Summit that's coming up. And the same thing. It's going out. Like before COVID, they were going to rent out the, in Abbotsford, the Event Centre there, it was really big. All the people in the Valley were really excited. In fact, one of the keynote speakers was going to be Oprah and it got cashed out and I was like, Oprah in Abbotsford, that's sweet. But anyways, now we're sending all this stuff to the participants and to everybody that bought a ticket to their place. I'm getting them rocked up pretty hard. 

And BC Cancer is sending out a big gift basket thing for their donors. And so, you know, usually they would have galas. So all the galas are going virtual and we're there to help them and get the projects finished. The last mile for the gift baskets. Because it's a big part of the event is getting your swag. And it's excellent advertising for the sponsors. So the banks, all the contributors, all the platinum sponsors, they want to make sure that they're front and center. So they're not going to get wrecked. They have to be presented nicely. You have to do a good job. It's a white glove service for these people because they're spending a lot of money for a good reason. So it's fun. 

Mark: So this is just because of the pandemic right now and the changed world we're in right now, but some of this will continue on, I suspect, after things go back to whatever the new normal is. What do you think? 

Mark H: I mean, pre COVID, we do all the Vancouver Canucks seasons ticket parking passes. Right. Cause you know, people want to get their parking passes. They're everywhere. I mean like Cranbrook sometimes. There's some diehard fans. They're out there. So yeah, before COVID the thing, now it's sort of ramping up to a different thing and probably after, you're right, it's going to stay a semi normal because now they can reach a wider audience.

Not everybody can make it to the event. There's a lot of people with reasons why they won't be able to travel and now they can participate. So I think we're going to see a hybrid in the events world because the events world is a tough, tough business. They're not going to die just because we can't get together.

They're going to reinvent themselves in this very unique way. I'm glad to be part of it. 

Mark: So there you are. If you've got an upcoming event that you're suddenly going virtual and you need stuff delivered anywhere in BC or Alberta, or even Ontario, the guys to call...

Or the world man.

The world even. Phantom Couriers, you can reach them in Vancouver, (604) 899-5447 or across Canada, +1 844-899-5447. They'll get it there. They'll get it done. They'll make sure your clients are all happy. Thanks, Mark.

 Right on. Thank you.

Bio Transport

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best couriers, fastest growing. One of the fastest growing companies in British Columbia and in Canada, frankly, they are expanding right across the country. We're gonna talk about shipping stuff. How are you doing today, Mark?

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

Mark: Good. So Phantom Couriers is now bio transportation certified. What does that mean? 

Mark H: Well, it's just a bunch of paperwork, but, you know, it's this regulation stuff, but it was for a big account that we got that just needs excellent management for the next two years for some medical sampling and testing.

So it goes across Canada makes three stops, dips into the United States and then heads over to Europe every day, seven days a week with return shipping. So picking up these samples from hospitals and universities, flying them out to Europe, where in Germany, that's where, other countries are sending them there too. This is the North America and the one city in the States Minneapolis. And off we go. So it's a big deal. 

We just had to fill out some paperwork, answer a million questions, be legit, know what we're doing, and you know, we've been in business 25 years. So that helped us a lot because there's a lot of startups out there. And with 25 years experience. And being in the freight forwarding business before courier, it really gave us a leg up on just understanding what they needed. So we heard what they needed and we were able to rise to the occasion. It's good. It's really a big step. It's a good thing for us. 

Mark: So do you think this is going to help you a little bit since we're in the middle of COVID still, when there's vaccines around and they've got to be distributed to, you know, 8 billion plus people.

Mark H: Well, I hope so. I mean, there's going to be a lot of last mile. That's going to be really, you know, necessary, just from what we've experienced with PPE distribution. That when there's vaccines, I mean, how much better is that going to be? So we're already embedded in that logistics infrastructure for everybody that has the PPU, which are people treating or people at risk.

So vaccines are gonna head to them first and with our niche, what we've got, we're able to handle it and deliver on time, which I think is going to be very helpful for when there is a vaccine. It will be distributed quickly. And the people that need it will get it. There won't be any waiting.

Mark: Right. So you guys do a bunch of other bio transportation stuff already. Give me some examples of that. 

Mark H: Well you know, everybody's favorite bio is a Botox, you know, there's a lot of it that's for strictly cosmetic and there's a lot of it that's for surgeons. So we move a lot of it to the Diamond Center on Laurel Street for VGH. Lots of doctors in there are using it for whatever. They treat a million things with Botox more than we just know. So, you know, I didn't really ask what you're doing with it, but it's live cultured in Richmond. And it has a short, short life. So cosmetic Botox, they might inject it in a few days later it activates as the poisons affected your body and you swell.

And the other kind of Botox affects differently and it has a short half life. So it needs to be administered very quickly because it is a toxin. So if it's past its time, it's not going to be used on the person and it has to be destroyed. Expensive. And, or it's a total waste, right? So it's very expensive and important thing. It's really big time. 

And then there's a lot of people, you know, we distribute medicines, like hepatitis. There's a lot of medicine going out for hepatitis and people are happy to have it. It changes their lives for the better. And a lot of it is also life cultured. And we have to get that on a certain amount of time. And it can't be, the temperature has to stay the same. So we have to have it checked before it can be delivered. Like there's a thermometers on the box. And if they're not within a range, forget it. It's like, you know, that can't be done. So luckily we're always nailing that. 

For the BC CDC, we're doing lots of, like vaccines and stuff to go for all sorts of things that the human has come in contact with for the last couple of hundred years. There's all sorts of illnesses out there that are treatable and rural areas have to get them. And they're often temperature controlled. So we have to keep them at a specific temperature, get them on the plane, identify them that they need to be kept at a certain temperature for the airlines. Then when they're put on the last mile, and we're out in Bella, Bella, Bella Coola. Atlin, our couriers and or our partners are all up to speed on them. And it's super important. 

And a lot of times we just deal straight with the clinic, tell them our flight info, and they've got a nurse or a doctor or a practitioner down there to meet the plane because it's like, get it, go now. 

So it's a lot of like last minute logistics where you gotta be on top of it. You might have to stay late at work that day, but it's getting the job done. And that's what we do. 

Mark: And that's that specialization of the rigorous checks and balances and systems that you guys had in place after 25 years of being able to know exactly where stuff is when it's there, that you've been checked properly and getting it there on time.

Mark H: When you take responsibility for something like that, you just don't put down the phone and go for coffee. You have to watch it all the way, because you know, you take your eye off the ball and that's when it goes crazy. You don't want that to happen? It's hard to undo those mistakes. So you want to keep them from happening all the way. So you really have to watch that a hundred percent. There's no automation and things like that. It's hands on you experience that makes it happen. You know, it's a touchdown. It doesn't happen by computer.

Mark: If you need stuff on time, on delivery, that's critical. That has to be checked. That has you want systems in place so that your stuff, your deliveries, get there on time in Vancouver, in Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, right across the Toronto. Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447 in BC or across Canada, +1 844-899-5447. Any package anywhere?

Mark H: Phantom Couriers gets it there. You got it.

Driver Onboarding

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. One of Vancouver's best courier companies. Voted best in Vancouver. One of the hundred fastest growing companies in the province of BC expanding right across the entire country. And today we're going to talk about something that's really quite important and illustrates a lot of the systems and procedures that these guys use in order to make sure that your package is delivered on time and in good shape over and over a hundred percent of the time. And we're gonna talk about driver onboarding, how you doing Mark? 

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

Mark: Good. I think this is going to really show the level of detail that you guys use in order to get the job done right the first time. This is for new drivers. So how does it work? Give us the deal.

Mark H: You know, 365 days a year we're running ads on Indeed and Jobillico. We're always looking for new drivers because we're always growing. So there's always somebody coming in at the lowest common denominator at the bottom of the bar, the lowest level.

And we have to speak the same language to all of our drivers, even if they're the most senior driver to the most junior. We speak the same language because that's the language our customers are speaking to us. So we have a pretty short and condensed, like a minimum effective dose onboarding procedure that starts off with binder that is ready to rock.

They get it and they keep it. And it's full of everything, all of our systems and procedures and how we like to do things so that we can communicate to the customers because our customers are communicating with their customers. And we're just the conduit. So it has everything from pretty simple stuff like turn on phone, log in to thing, right down to the end of the day, when you're shutting off.

So how to collect signatures, how to get proof of deliveries, how to register your vehicle for insurance, how to get the proper mileage for your tax deductions. There is a million things in this book and we go over them. At each page, they have to sign off on. So if there's ever a problem, we can coach them by saying, Hey, this seems to be confusing. Why don't you come into the office and we'll go over it and then we just flip to the page. Here's the example. Here's what happened. Let's compare notes. And then they learn and they go up. Because everybody thinks it's just getting in a car, go and then you're like, how much money did I make today?

And you're like, well, you know, you only did like four things and other people did 22. So they need to practice. So this onboarding procedure helps people get going and you know, a lot of great people come through the door and everybody needs money. So our job is to make sure customers get delivered and our couriers make top dollars.

Do, you know, the least amount of work. Most effectively make the most money. It's just economics. So we have a pretty big onboarding thing and there's texting involved, there's email pictures involved, there's reading, only really four things that you need to know as a courier. 

Where is it? Where's it going? Was it ready? When does it have to be there? But then you compound that with 16 other deliveries throughout the day, and you have to keep, there's a method to keep track of all that. And so it's pretty simple stuff we use. Cover and move, you know, you have a bunch of things you need to do. And this one is due now at Mark's house.

So you go to Mark's house and when you drive, but off to Mark's house, dispatch knows it. You're at a point in time and your point of reference on the map. What's next. So we can measure like you have some time, why don't you go over to Jim's house and pick up a package for Sally. It's due two more hours on your way. So we cover and move all the way. We keep it really simple. 

So we prioritize and execute, and then we listen to what the drivers have to say to us, like bad traffic, then we can go to the text, watch out for traffic here. So decentralized command, they tell us what's going on. Total communication all the time. 

I'm probably being conservative when I say that myself probably have over 2000 conversations a day with drivers, and they're quick, they're short, they're concise, but there's a lot of communications going on. And it's overwhelming for somebody who's not familiar with the courier industry. And people who have been here for five, six years, they're just like another day, but it's overwhelming at first. 

That's what we have the onboarding, which gives them support. And then we call them in on the first pay period and review and show them like their progress with a graph. And it's pretty great. It's good for longevity. 

Mark: So you guys really focus, the core of your business honestly, is communication then basically. That's what I'm hearing.

Mark H:  Yeah, that's what people do communicate. So it's natural. You know, that's all we do is communication between the customer, the courier and the end user all the way down the line. It's not what I thought it was when I started the company. I thought I was gonna be burning around doing this, but I soon understood that is important and it's communication. That's all we're really doing. Like deals need to be done. It's communicating, you know, it's 100% of our job. 

And then if a customer calls, we need to get concise information from a courier. And if it's not on our system and it's out there, he's got it. Decentralized command. Here's the reference number, what's the status? And he's like, well, let's due it four o'clock it's 3:45. I'm a kilometre away. It's exactly with our GPS, we can tell the customer so they can be relaxed. Our system has it, but a lot of people don't have the time to look it up. So we need to ask for them. And we do that. And it's just concise information because then they can go and say, look, Mark, it's going to be there in four minutes. It'll be there ahead of schedule. And then you're like, great. I'll call them then. And then we'll seal the deal. 

And so it's all right down the line and it's fun stuff keeps you very busy all day, but it's rewarding, right? Because there's a lot of satisfaction at the end of the day. And our on time numbers are really good. Obviously when we train somebody, we put them on the longer duration trips. So that they don't, you know, they're not late. And then as they get there, they go from unconsciously incompetent to consciously competent.

We start putting the higher priority trips on them and then they can accept more work. And then they're happier too, because they can get stressed out and quit. We don't like that. We don't like turnover. And like every business it's 80/20. And turnover's expensive and nobody feels good, getting a new job and then not liking it.

So we try to make sure that they're the right fit and that we fit for them too. So we always have a trial period, get to know us.

Mark: There we go. If you're looking for a courier that goes the extra mile to make sure their drivers are happy. To make sure that they're very well trained and continuously trained. To make them better and communicate with you about all your packages that need to be delivered, when and where and how they're getting to where they need to be. These are the guys that talk through Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at 604-899-5447  or long distance for the rest of the country, outside of the Vancouver area, +1 844-899-5447. Call them they'll deliver it for you. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark H: Right on man. We will with a smile. We love it. It's what we do

Typical Courier Day

Mark Bossert: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's favourite couriers. One of the 100 fastest growing companies in BC. They're growing right across the entire country of Canada. They're booming busy, and we're going to talk about a typical day in the life of a courier today.

How are you doing Mark? 

Mark Huggan: Doing good, how are you? 

Mark Bossert: Good. So there's some new things happening because of this whole pandemic thing that we're in and social distancing. How was today? 

Mark Huggan: Well, today was pretty standard operating and huge, gigantic. I just brought up my list of clients and just alphabetized and I'm going to start with 'A' and give you a few examples of what we were doing.

Working for law firms today, straight up doing real estate transactions and banking, gotta get that done. 

Same law firm, which is a family practice. They do family law - with COVID, there's lots of mom and dad don't live together, don't live together, they got the kids, it's better to have sets of rules. It's important. And so the couriers are going between the two lawyers and helping everything get settled down and the sooner the better, right? Because when two parties need to agree on something, the third party in the middle is where the money is. So working for the lawyers, it's a lot of family law going on right now, everything has to be redone. And it's super important to the mom and dad and kids that, that gets done smooth, then we're here to help. 

House builders. They started building all those spec homes and that is totally different, right. Nobody knows what to do with the market. They're doing staging things to try and sell them, like removing showcase pianos for staging, which is a big deal. Helping out the stagers.

We're doing the millwork, we're bringing back counters and cabinets and doors and stuff like that, working for all the mill workers. 

And of course, the financing. A lot of a spec guys get construction loans, very important. They pay them back super quick, but they're always back and forth. When any change happens that has money, that change notice has to go to the city. It has to go to the guy that's holding the mortgage. Cause if they wanna increase it by a day, they can, and if they're late with the courier, super big trouble. We've worked like that with a lot of builders and it keeps them in the cashflow because they're expensing like mad, you know. Like huge. It could be millions of dollars of a build, you know. 

We got people changing locks, now, right. A lot of people are leaving. Employees with keys are not returning them, so the locksmiths are just going crazy. At UBC, there's over a million doors. So we're out to UBC, constantly dropping off the locks. The locksmithing trucks go out there  in the morning, and then they're like, they forgot a box of fobs or something. Always to UBC for locksmiths, really huge. 

And then of course, there's little eCommerce businesses, like a local jeweller, she had to ship stuff out, down to the United States, to mail it out to our customers that are still buying. So Etsy and Shopify stuff are going good. 

The animation studios are just kicking it off, because with the film industry, paring it down and making smaller sets and bigger studios. It's going to be a lot of diminishing returns. The animation studios are doing a lot of work for live action, so there'll be more CGI green screen, Vancouver is well known for that. Just tons of it, like all day, everything. 

From desks and chairs to mouses to software, to cables, to scripts, to everything. We're moving tons and tons of that kind of stuff. And with everybody moving around with all these big studios, lots of UPS batteries for computers, just in case there's any weird power outages. 

Because in a big studio they've got them, but they can't count on an apartment. Just having a car hitting a power pole and zap, something's gone. It could be millions of dollars of hard work for a team. Who knows where the editing processes. So when we get those calls, it's like, Oh, I didn't even know that happened. You know? 

Just lots of good sending of course, up to Bella Bella today, we sent for the BCCDC, lots of pharmaceutical drugs because they still have to get to remote areas. And now that the airplanes are flying, they're loading up with as much non-perishable medical supplies as they can get in case. More lawyers, lots more pharmaceuticals. And it just repeats as we go down the list. 

They're calling couriers more and more. Offices are decentralizing. Pharmaceuticals are going up, and then life is normal. There's people that are starting to get married and stuff, and we're moving around wax castings for engagement rings and diamond rings and stuff like that. That's nice to see that people are able to get married again. The diamond trade's always been good to Phantom. Phantom's always been good to it. Tons of contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses, for Clearly Contacts. So the list goes on, and then it goes on, and on, and it scrolls down forever. 

We did 30 standup desks today. So we rolled a big three ton truck into a distribution place in Coquitlam, and picked him up and dropped them off from Coquitlam to North Van, and looped all the way back through Vancouver up to New Westminster. So lots of standup desks. They're heavy. And popular. Get into the stand up desk business, people. There you are. 

Mark Bossert: I'd get in the courier business. Apply for a job at Phantom. They're always hiring. There's the guys to call. And it's a business that is always interesting. There's always a challenge is always a problem to be solved. If you're a problem solver, or you need a problem solved, even more important. Call them. They'll get it done. (604) 899-5447. Or Canada wide +1 844-899-5447 Phantom Couriers. Any package anywhere, Phantom Couriers gets it there. Thanks Mark. 

Mark Huggan: You bet. Problem solvers.

Bowen Island Same Day Delivery Service

Mark Bossert: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. One of BCs 100 fastest growing companies expanding right across the country of Canada and delivering on time, on budget, all day, every day. How you doing Mark? 

Mark Huggan: We're doing excellent. Thank you. How are you? 

Mark Bossert: Good. So same day Bowen Island. Something that every other courier company was saying couldn't be done, you guys got it done. How did that work out? 

Mark Huggan: Well, everybody says it's not going to be done because it was difficult. And even myself, when our operations guys showed me the manifest, it's like what? We don't do that.

And he said, I've got a plan. I was like, okay. You know, I felt bad even for saying, Whoa because everybody says, Whoa, because it's a huge time commitment. You don't get off the ferry, deliver a package, get on the ferry and come back to Vancouver. So it had to be done. It was urgent. There was no flights, there was no private water taxi.

So we had to just do it the old fashioned hard way. Get to the ferry, they get on the ferry, go to the Island, get the documents signed, wait forever to get them back. But end result was that it wasn't like a want, it was a need. This needed to be done. It had to be done. It was done. And everybody in the end result the company that sent us and the person on Bowen Island were very happy.

Because they were in a crunch and that's the bottom line of courier, we get things done they need done. So I was happy for the team to get it done. I was impressed by our operations guy. He was on point and he'd even surprised me, but I guess just being human, I was like, "Ahhh!" 

But he got it done with the team we've got, because we built an excellent team that can respond to the needs of the customer. So I was pretty impressed. And it just goes along for every delivery we do, you know, we do hundreds and hundreds of deliveries a day. To some people, they probably seem impossible and to us, they're just normal. 

So I guess that was just me reacting to a different way. And I'm impressed with how Phantom handled it. That was pretty cool thing. So we'll do it again - if you need to go to Bowen Island, same day, we now know it's totally possible.

Mark Bossert:  Let's explain a little bit about what's going on. You're looking a little bit different than your normal, more tucked in, buttoned down self today. You're in there on a Saturday. What's going on?  

Mark Huggan: Today we're upgrading all of our phone systems and we are open on weekends, but today, we're tearing everything apart upstairs, put in a new firewall, new internet phone. We'll be able to divert the customer's requests a lot easier.

We have a lot of calls just for quotes, we've got the dispatch, the customers, the non-customers. If there's a 911 call, we can just point it at one line, and one person can handle it. 

Because we're scaling quickly, this system will go across Canada. So they can call and we can delegate the work across the nation and have everything addressed quickly. So it's going to be great and I'm pretty happy. We have an excellent IT company, we work with CPG Systems. They rock. They've been there for us hundreds of times. 

I have deleted the entire accounting database and he found it and I was like - that's the kind of people we surround ourselves with. Like yourself, top level, excellent workers and entrepreneurs. They know what they're doing, they're masters. 

So I'm happy to be here today, you know. It gives me a chance just to clean up and look at what's going on and have fun. 

Mark Bossert: So also you guys are hiring. It's a constant need for more people who are dedicated to learning the courier trade and becoming good at it. And you guys are going to walk them through the process of how to do that. Is that right? 

Mark Huggan: Yeah. There's a lot of different onboarding. We're onboarding like a freight line section in Kelowna this week. We're onboarding everything from same day, bike messengers to same day drivers for the Lower Mainland, more Island drivers being onboarded, our freight sections being onboarded. 

In September our international freight brokering is taken off gangbusters because we'll have a new partner coming in, which is pretty awesome. And right now, you know when you drive down the freeway, I used to see those trucks that said we're always hiring, always hiring. And I was like, wonder why.

Well, I guess we hit that critical point where we're expanding so fast. We get more clients per day, more orders per day. Now I understand. We are hiring all the time at Phantom Couriers. We were straight up onboarding all week and testing people out, seeing if it was a good fit and had a lot of fun. A lot of trial and error met some great people and we onboarded a handful of really excellent couriers. And I hope they have fun working here, but we're looking to hire more all the time. We have the need. There it is. The need is here! 

Mark Bossert:  If you have the need for a job! Or do you need your package delivered to places that everybody else, all the other courier companies saying isn't possible, call Phantom Couriers. If it's possible in any way, shape, or form, they'll get it done. 

You can reach them at (604) 899-5447 or outside the Lower Mainland - all across the country - +1 844-899-5447. Phantom Couriers. Any package, anywhere, Phantom Couriers gets it there. Thanks Mark. 

Mark Huggan: That's right. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Asset Retrieval

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best couriers, one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in British Columbia, probably in the top 10, the way  things have been going. How're you doing today Mark? 

Mark H: Hey, doing well. Thanks. 

Mark: So, what happens when somebody isn't paying their stuff, do you guys actually go and get it. Paying for their products that they're leasing or supposed to be paying on and they've stopped?

Mark H: 100% . We've been doing it for years. So asset retrieval is the norm a lot of times. So, you know, like an easy one would be say, there was a partnership and somebody had something to belong to the other person, but it's like a shotgun agreement. You know, they're both pointing guns and somebody in the middle, that's us.

So we will drop off cheques. And so a simple case scenario, drop-off cheque pickup key, you know, super simple. Or it might be something more elaborate. Say a company has a lot of remote workers that something happened and you need to retrieve all those assets can say their workstations for an animation studio and there could be like 40 of them and they're randomly all over the province. You have to go get those. There's a lot of exchange going on, a lot of hard feelings or remote area ones. We did a Sechelt pickup and you know, it didn't go as planned. 

So we were in the middle, like, well, he was expecting X and they got Y so we have the item we're supposed to do an exchange. So we have to get in the middle and negotiate. And it's a lot easier when it's us, because we're just a face doing a job. And people are kind of irate and they're losing their mind, but we can say, Hey, we're just a courier, you know, like you're going to shoot us, but we're just here to do our job. And yeah, we can communicate as a go-between and we get a lot accomplished.

So that's just this week, we've done a lot. In fact, we did the Gibsons, which was not easy. North Van, super easy, but we did Edmonton and Calgary and a whole milk run between Calgary and Edmonton for a  Calgary client. So we do that all the time and it makes it easy. 

Mark: So why would somebody call a courier? Wouldn't be the first thing on my mind to do this kind of thing. How did this kind of evolve? 

Mark H: Well, you're right. You know, people are like, I don't know who to call and  it's something we do. We do it all the time. We always have done it. But they kind of just call us because we do solve so many problems for businesses. And it's a natural cause. Like we are sort of like just the go to, we'll call Phantom. Maybe they do it. Like, yes we do do that. We can do that. We will do that. We'll figure it out how to do it for you. 

Because we are like, a courier is like a concierge. You know, if you're busy, you're just going to call downstairs and get the concierge look, Bill, I need you to go pick up my shoes. Done. You know? So they do call us on the whim. They just get used to having us solving problems and it gets it done. So those kinds of things naturally evolve. 

We've had people, interesting story, but a divorce, you know, wasn't it going well, and we had back in the days of the two-way radios, I had a young courier, 19 years old, Lindsey on one side of the door broadcasting, a crying fit. Between the door and Lindsey was like, calming down the woman telling her like, yes, it's not going well for you, but I won't leave. I'll just hang out with you until it goes well. So she made the best of a bad situation that I'll never forget that, but it was like, yeah, the paperwork wasn't going well. And it relayed to the office to the other party and kind of got straightened out. And in the end, nobody was happy, but they weren't as upset. So, you know, we can do that stuff. We'll calm you down.

Mark: Bridging the gap. So what other kind of stuff are you guys picking up? 

Mark H: Well you name it, I mean, we, you name it. We had to go pick up like this heirloom today, but the big problem was somebody was holding it and when we got there, they didn't want to wrap it. Like they didn't want to package it up. Cause that was like their last final, like, you know, jab at you, like here take this, but it's like, Holy man, you can't just like drive around with this, this, you know, it's an old heirloom is it's going to fall apart. It like an antique thing. 

So of course we had to come up with a solution. We're always handed the hot potato. That's our life, you know. Ding dong. Hire the hot flaming hot potato. Can you just deal with it? So we usually have a trick up our sleeve where we can fix things up. We're always good at problem solving. It's just a good thing. We did. It's crazy thing too. 

Mark: So there you go if you've got a hot potato, if you need some assets recovered, if you have some stuff that somebody stopped paying for and you need to get it back, or you want a third party...

Mark H: And we'll try and track it down too, like manhunt, we're good at that. We are good at following the clues. We can find where people move because a lot of times there'll be forwarding mail that the person in the house will just be like, Oh, Hey, by the way, take this with you. If you ever find Joe, this has been forwarded. And sometimes you just call a few of those places and they're like, Oh yeah, we've got the forwarding address for this guy already. And boom, we're on our way. It's like a little detective job. 

Mark: Phantom Couriers, (604) 899-5447. Outside of the lower mainland +1 844-899-5447. They'll get your stuff back. Thanks Mark.

Mark H: Outside of the box, too. Right? There you go.

Misdirected Package Delivery

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best couriers. That's face it. They're one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in BC and Alberta, in Ontario. And Hey, maybe even in the whole world, how are you doing today, Mark? 

Mark H: I'm doing good, super busy.

Mark: So misdirected packages. This is something that we were just talking about that I didn't know that you guys do. Explain a little bit about how you guys find and deliver misdirected packages. 

Mark H: Yeah. Finding them is easy because, well, basically you know how that saying is you'll find it in the last place it was. A lot of major carriers, somebody might ship a package, let's take for instance, like you, you might send something to your son and he's like, Oh, I moved. So you're like, Oh, it was delivered to your old apartment, of course. So it's there. 

So you phone up the carrier and they're like, sure, we'll go get it today, a day later, bring it to the depot and deliver it a day later. So it'd be three days. And if you can call us and we'll go into major cities and track it down and get it done same day. So that's how we got our start in Toronto was figuring out and picking up packages for match.com and Plenty of Fish. Things were getting lost. We'd go track them down, get them out to the right people.

And then, tada, there you go. So it's a good end. It's easy to do too. Like, cause they are there. It's just that they're a bigger, different beast they do overnight and we do same day. 

Mark: So another thing that we've not really mentioned before was you guys deliver pallets? What's that all about?

Mark H: Well freights, right? So anything that is palletized. We love to take it cause we have the 3 ton, 5 ton trucks. And we were doing freight over in Edmonton. So Benjamin Moore, a customer got referred to us through the BNI Network. And since there was a major flood in Fort MacMurray, can't catch a break, burned down, flooded. Well, the insurance companies are all getting all the paint and restoration under control.

So everything has to be shipped up. All the new goods. So we're shipping up, paint for the painting crews. I think we missed out on the drywall and all that stuff, but definitely we're shipping up pallets of paint for Benjamin Moore. That's a good gig. You know, pellets are like 800 pounds of paint.

Mark: And another thing that you were in the mix of, your amazing days, you guys were delivering candles, you've been doing a lot of candle delivery. Candles? 

Mark H: Yeah, for sure. Vancouver's got a lot of local candle manufacturers and, you know, once they get there, and now that Covid's over, manufacturing is up, right. A lot of things didn't come from China anymore. So there's local manufacturers. And they have to get them out to the stores. So we were delivering once again for our truckloads to like London Drugs distribution, to get out to all the London Drugs for an excellent client of ours. So we do that constantly.

It's just something that's in the mix. We just see it every day. It's like the forest for the trees, but yeah, we definitely do it. And candles are big thing. I mean it's summer, right? Everybody has candles for their Instagram. So you need pallets and truckloads of them. That's what you need. Candles, summer. 

Mark: So what's, today's weird delivery. What was your weirdest delivery today? 

Mark H: We've got three, three stand out weirdly. Well, one's just, weed is normal. Right. But of course, every now and then there's an independent weed guy that calls us up, we just deliver it. So people like, Oh, I think this is weed. And it's like, yes, it is. But then the person that was delivering the weed goes out to Burnaby and they get a call and be like, pick this up and bring it back to Vancouver.

And it was a replica gun, like a like a pistol. And so the person that shipped, it said, Oh, Hey, open it up and look inside just so you know in case you feel it's heavy or whatever, it's just a replica. And sure enough, it was a replica and it went to an army surplus store, I guess that's where they bought it. They didn't want it. So they take it back. 

Then the courier leaves there, just in east Van, just goes over to Main and Broadway area he picks up a 25 pound box of breast implants. So this couriers day is just like what was going to be envelopes. So these of course, went to a clinic and they're being fulfilled in whatever need necessary. It could have been for reconstructive surgery or whatever.

But went to another one of our clients, but the funny thing was when the courier picked up the box , it was like, they called in the weight of the box. And they're like, yeah, it's 25 pounds of breast implants, nowhere in the notes and just kind of stuck out. It was like, Oh, that's interesting.

So they got to get around somehow. Might as well be by courier. So I thought that was an interesting one. That was an interesting run for a courier day. 

Mark: So there you go, the ever interesting life of a courier in Vancouver, Edmonton Calgary, Kelowna, Victoria, Toronto, Nanaimo all over great across the whole country. Phantom Couriers. You can reach them in Vancouver area (604) 899-5447. Or nationally +1 844-899-5447. If you've got a problem, you need to get it delivered Phantom Couriers will get it there. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark H: Right on. Thank you.

Meal Prep Delivery

Mark:  Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's favourite courier company, one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in British Columbia. And well, let's just expand it, Alberta, Ontario. The world. Hey, how are you doing Mark? 

Mark H: We're doing great. Thanks. How are you? 

Mark: Good. So we're going to talk about meal prep delivery. What is that? 

Mark H: Alright. So people at home, they order weekly meals brought over for their particular diet preferences that week. And we work for meal prep companies that prepare the meals all over the lower mainland. And well, we worked with them as far away as Fort Langley to Vancouver.

And so they prepare the meals, they get them all together in packages, and then we go and take them out to the clients' homes. And so with that, there's the specific needs to get to be done. There are usually frozen meals or meals and cooler bags with ice packs, which means the bags in ice packs have to be retrieved.

They have to be accounted for. There's inventory management. Specific, you know, non-contact dropping off. Plus I don't know about you, but if you've ever cooked a Sunday dinner for two, I mean, you know, that things aren't always working perfectly. So a lot of patience when you're doing the pickup, because people were putting the orders together.

So it's a big teamwork thing between, the logistics of owning a meal prep company must be huge. So the courier really needs to be like the easiest part of their day. Like everything's done. It's ready. Let's just go. So when we arrive, we try to make it like, Hey, great job. Let's go. And if there's any waiting around, we're just patient.

Because we know it's already been a hard, long road to get it to that point. We must just make it the happy ending. A different industry, but happy ending comes along sometimes once in a while. There you go. 

Mark: So given where we're at with the pandemic and it's going to stretch out for a while, from the way it's looking. This is probably a business that's really expanding, right? 

Mark H: Oh 100%, you know, for sure. You know, everybody was a little bit paranoid at first. Like, Oh, I don't know if I'm going to order my food because people have touched it, but those industries were probably the first ones to get the excellent protocols in.

First of all, food safe, they're already sanitary. And then they already had things in bags. They're already frozen or flash frozen. And really that's the first non-contact delivery there is. Cause you arrive at the home, there'll be branded bags there that they were had previously had you just take the old ones, put the new ones there. They're taken out to be sanitized. Everything is tickety boo. You know no contact 100%. And then everything inside is super sterile and people are appreciating it. And you can see the meal prep popping up in all sorts of things. 

A lot of companies specialize in like a paleo meals or keto meals. And then there's some from South Asian community. They put out more warm food. Like it's not frozen as much. So it might be like fresh prep eat this today. So that takes it a little bit different than a frozen meal, but they're all over the place and they're popping up and we're working with them all the time.

So it's fun. It's challenging. And it's fun. And it gives us more to do and we'd like doing it. So it's a good job. 

Mark: Keeping people happy, keeping smiling faces, keeping people fed. Phantom Couriers. If you have a meal prep company and you want a reliable delivery service to make sure stuff gets there on time and get your stuff picked up, organizing it all for you,makes it as easy as possible. Phantom Couriers. Reach them at (604) 899-5447. Or if you're  in Edmonton or Calgary or Toronto, +1 844-899-5447. Thanks Mark. 

Mark H: You got that right. Thank you.

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