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.