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Phantom Courier Service Stories

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

Mark: Doing good. How're you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark: Absolutely

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Is The Last Mile eCommerce?

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

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

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

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

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

Mark: CBD is a whole other thing.

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

Mark: So how does last mile delivery work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phantom Courier Trucking Services

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

International Shipping tips

Best International Shipping Services for Small Business

international shipping tip

 

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

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

Shipment Size

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

Delivery Time

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

Shipping Method

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

Distance Being Shipped

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

Insurance

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

Shipping Volume

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

international shipping tip

Points System or Loyalty Program

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

Cargo

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

Conclusion

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

International shipping tip #1

International shipping tip – Shipment size :

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

 

Clearly partners with Phantom Couriers to provide same day delivery in Vancouver

From desktop to doorstep: see same day delivery in action. Currently available only in the city of Vancouver on in-stock contact lenses.

The service is available for all in-stock contact lens products for delivery within the City of Vancouver. Customers will be able to secure a guaranteed time slot of their convenience for their delivery on the same day or as soon as possible for $16.95. The company has partnered with Phantom Couriers allowing extended deliveries to be made up to 8PM PST on regular business days.

Need contacts ASAP? Clearly and Phantom Couriers provide same day delivery service in Vancouver

From desktop to doorstep: see same day delivery in action. Currently available only in the city of Vancouver on in-stock contact lenses.

The service is available for all in-stock contact lens products for delivery within the City of Vancouver. Customers will be able to secure a guaranteed time slot of their convenience for their delivery on the same day or as soon as possible for $16.95. The company has partnered with Phantom Couriers allowing extended deliveries to be made up to 8PM PST on regular business days.

Need contacts ASAP? Clearly is ready when you are

From desktop to doorstep: see same day delivery in action. Currently available only in the city of Vancouver on in-stock contact lenses.

The service is available for all in-stock contact lens products for delivery within the City of Vancouver. Customers will be able to secure a guaranteed time slot of their convenience for their delivery on the same day or as soon as possible for $16.95. The company has partnered with Phantom Couriers allowing extended deliveries to be made up to 8PM PST on regular business days.