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.