Curbside Pick-Up

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, one of BCs, 100 fastest growing companies. Open seven days a week, delivering all over the province now, especially in the lower mainland and Vancouver Island, Gibsons. How are you doing today, Mark? 

Mark: We are doing great. Thank you. 

Mark: So curbside pickup, what's curbside pickup. That's something you guys are really moving into. 

Mark: Yeah, it's easy. So you want to go shopping or buy something then most companies, you go to their website and it says place order and will alert you when the product has been picked by their staff.

For instance, myself, I have been using the curbside pickup at a bicycle store on West Broadway. So I placed my order. And then it says, thanks for your order. We'll send you an email or a text when it's ready. And I'm like, Oh, I don't really want to stand by and wait for it. So I just put it into the courier software.

And when I get my text, it's ready. I send the courier and, you know, two hours later, I've got my items. They just take the order number and go pick it up. It's really convenient for me to use the courier to go pick it up because I can be in two places at the same time. Courier's picking up my stuff. I'm doing other things. Saves me time and it's really effective.

I also do it myself at the Home Depot. It's summer getting things going on my deck. I wanted a bunch of stuff. I just ordered it all up. Quickly the ding happened and I'm like, Oh, well, I'm at home. I'm not going to go drive down there. My car is way too small. So I just sent a courier to go pick it all up. And it was, you know, 20 minutes later, 25 bucks later, I got all my stuff. And then all of our customers, they do it too. 

So big items like furniture at CB2. You just send us the invoice. We'll pick up the furniture because it usually comes in from a fulfillment warehouse and that's a long time waiting, but people are very excited to get their new furniture. They always want to get it.

Coach, you know, that place. Luxury items, people sort of, you know, they're not exactly having a great time right now because of the situation. So they want to reward themselves with something nice. They'll order something beautiful from Coach, and they'll be like, Oh, can't pick it up. But ding, courier will bring it to you. And they're ecstatic, when we're at the, it's here, they're so happy. 

Holt Renfrew. The other day, we picked up a nice pair of shoes. I mean, Nice. Pair of shoes. Super nice pair of shoes. Delivered them.

Cannabis, wine, cigars, you know, it's really easy. You just order it from the store. They text you. You tell us, we're gone. You have it in 20, 30 minutes. It's really easy in Vancouver. 

Mark: And that's seven days a week. If the store is open as well, right? 

Mark: Yeah, for sure. Especially on weekends because who wants to be doing errands on weekends? When you could have Phantom Couriers do the errands and you can have your fun. And that's the whole idea. So there's something new that came out of this whole shutdown is the start up of curbside pickups. It makes it a lot easier for consumers. It's not online next day overnight. It's at the store, same day delivery. So it's really better than waiting for Amazon to bring it. It gets you the stuff that same day, in most cases. So it's pretty cool. I like it.

Mark: And so on weekends, you guys are doing a lot of wine and grocery delivery, is that right? 

Mark: Yep. 100%. Everybody wants their wine and their food. And it's, you know, now that it's nicer weather, nobody wants to be driving around in that hectic traffic so we can consolidate a route, boom, pick it all up.

You know, Okanagan wines. We pick it up all day, Marquee wine all the time, Cigar Connoisseur, Vancouver Cigar. Go and pick those things up, drop them off at people's places. And then Whole Foods does all the groceries. So it's pretty good for getting your weekend adventures or, you know, activities, you don't have to go out and drive around.

We'll get you all the goodies and you can have a nice relaxing evening. Makes sense to me. 

Mark: Yeah. Since we've actually got the sun again.

Mark: Beautiful British Columbia, man. 

Mark: Alright, so there you go. If you need anything curbside pickup relax, take it easy. Let Phantom Couriers deliver it right to your door.

Mark: Yeah. 

Mark: Easy, quick, easy, fast. They'll deliver a bridge for you. No matter what it is, they'll deliver everything pretty much. 

Mark: Pretty much, man. And people are happy, so that's keep them happy. 

Mark: So you can reach them at (604) 899-5447 in the lower mainland or +1 844-899-5447. Seven days a week, they'll get it delivered for you.

Any package anywhere... 

Mark: Phantom Couriers gets it there. 

Mark: Thanks Mark. 

Mark: Right on. Thank you.

Delivering West and North of Vancouver

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's favourite courier company, fastest one of the 100 fastest growing companies in BC and probably the fastest growing courier company. Are you doing Mark? 

Mark: Excellent. How are you? 

Mark: Good. So you guys are going around the bend. You're going up up North. You're going past what you going further West in West Vancouver and North from there. What's going on with all that. 

Mark: Yeah, as we were talking about before, the couriers we've always had from West Vancouver to Chilliwack is our work zone. And we've been getting more and more calls for Lions Bay, Squamish, Brackendale, even Pemberton and the rates weren't in place.

So people would just like make makeup rates. They really didn't think about it. So, you know, you talking to somebody on the phone and you find out that they need to service done and start calculating how far it is, how fast they need it. And you see that your rates aren't in place and your software doesn't handle it, nobody's does. So I just made a solution for it and it seems to be taken off pretty good. People are loving the response, and now it's not so painful. You know, if you live in Lions Bay, a lot of people used to charge an absurd amount of money and they'd be like, okay, just do it. And they'd never felt the value.

So now we've got a fair price. And the people are appreciating the value. And we just picked up a client, actually, a jewelry artist up there had a delivery from another place, like a third party, unrelated, like the fact that we got there quite quick, asked phone desk and said, what did that cost? And so we calculated the price and told her, and she was pretty happy. She went to our website and signed up a new account.

So at that point, we figured out proof of concept. This is an area that needs to be served. A lot of people commute in and you know, they love living up there and I've never heard a courier complaint. Oh, I got to go to Lions Bay. I mean, it's a gorgeous break from reality. You turn that corner and your job is summer vacation. There's a lot of things to do up there. There's businesses going on, you know, from the ferry terminal all the way up to Pemberton, people are doing things. They do things that we are doing here. They have the same needs and wants. And so we're servicing it and having a good time.

Mark: Sea to Sky Highway is pretty amazing. And Whistler of course is a world famous, world ranked ski resort and Squamish is fantastic for all kinds of outdoor activities of course. That's just a little further than Lions Bay. 

Mark: I just think of us. Whistler is just a giant mall. It's a shopping centre and people all congregate around shopping. You don't find a lot of people living around the Number One Freeway by the Port Mann Bridge, but you do find them living around where you get the food and the clothes.

So people live up there, the congregate, they need things done. Plus, you know, it is our getaway land and every long weekend, it happens. Like, I think it was a May long weekend, which is the most famous of all the long weekends when it's kind of panicky, people aren't used to it. We get all the calls for like left my tablet on the dining room table in our house in Whistler. I need it today or chargers or cell phones or keys and wallets and all sorts of stuff. So we've had as many as six calls on the day after the long we can go up to people's houses and they give us the key code. We go inside and solve these problems. So it's a hotspot. So if you forget your laptop in Whistler, we can go up and get it.

And it's pretty cool that people know us well enough to give us the key code. Cause you know, like Airbnb, those little metal boxes and the key pops out, you just go in, you know, they're watching you from their office with their, whatever, their nest or something. But it's another thing we do for people up there.

And it's not so painful as before. I mean, I remember it was like 300 bucks to go to Whistler to pick up a guy's laptop. And it's way more affordable now and we're getting work on the way back. So that's pretty good. I'm happy to do it. 

Mark: So there you go. If you're a little bit further than West Vancouver, a little further West and North.

Mark: West and North yeah. 

Mark: You're not getting the kind of service you want. The guys to call in Vancouver are Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. If you're even further out, you can call them on their 800 number +1 844-899-5447. Book your deliveries, book your pickups. They'll look after you. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark: Right on. Thank you.

Phantom Couriers Nanaimo and Bees Delivery

Mark B: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. They are Vancouver's favourite courier service. One of the fastest growing courier service in probably Western Canada, and is in the top 100 fastest growing companies in BC. And probably is even edging towards the top of that right now, given how they've been growing through this pandemic. How are you doing today, Mark?

Mark H: We're doing great today. Thank you. Busy day, that's for sure. 

Mark B: So the Nanaimo location is open and rockin'. What's going on? Tell me a little bit about your new Nanaimo location. 

Mark H: Yeah, for sure. So we were busy in Nanaimo and we were always just sending things from the lower mainland to Nanaimo. We thought we really need to get a presence over there so I partnered up with a friend of mine that owns a printing company, Print Three. And we've got space inside Print Three that has a street address so we are running an office out of there with walk-in service and same-day delivery in Nanaimo. So right now, we're going between Ladysmith and Lantzville focusing in the Nanaimo business thing.

We joined the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, which is exciting. And we're going to be joining up with the local BNI Chapter in Nanaimo as well. This next Thursday, I think. 

Mark B: Cool. And again, is that a full service? Is it just parcel delivery? What kind of stuff are you guys doing in Nanaimo? 

Mark H: Like I said, we fly things over there all the time and our courier picks up from Harbour Air and delivers legal documents, mainly. Wine. We've been doing a lot of wine from the coast over there. And then we're working with Pomme, a grocery store, and doing all the grocery deliveries out of Pomme. So we're doing B2B,  B2C and we've got a bit of e-comm starting out. 

We're doing everything from small parcels to larger deliveries. Just the same as we're doing in Vancouver. We've even got a freight hook-up out there with Diamond Delivery. 

Mark B: So I know there's a local number to come but right now people can use +1 844-899-5447 to get a hold of you in Nanaimo?

Mark H: Yeah easily. It just comes right to our phones here in Vancouver and our system is networked into Nanaimo. So what we see here, we see there. We've got the same functionality. Like, I'm looking at the GPS now and I can see the drivers and trips happening in Nanaimo. I don't have the GPS in the plane, though. Otherwise I'd watch it fly over.

But other areas on the coast, like Sunshine Coast, we watch the ferry go over with our driver on it so it's fully tracked and traced while having time expectations that we're honouring. We can totally manage it and it's fun.

Mark B: So that's Nanaimo. How's your week been? What's an interesting story from this week?

Mark H: Do you have kids? You know, like I ask a million times, "Hello children. What'd you learn at school today?" "Nothing... wait, calculus, biology, science, how to weld, team work." You can't see the trees for the forest. Everyday is filled with interesting things and I am de-sensitized to chaos. Nothing much, just delivered life saving medicine, paid out 50 mortgages, certified 500 million in cheques, delivered a wedding dress, an engagement ring, grandma's ashes. NOTHING. Pretty quiet week.

But I was going over my notes and we actually delivered live bees. You saw it in the news a couple of years ago where big trucks are pulling around beehives and letting them go because bees are having a hard time with pollution, cellular towers, pesticides and all this stuff. So at BC Bee Supply, they have live bees that they ship out to people who will put them in their gardens or rooftops and get them into the ecosystems. 

So we got a call. I saw it in the morning and I was like, "Oh, that's interesting." And then I forgot all about it. They were 100% packaged and the delivery went perfectly. I was just imagining a Steve Martin movie or something, like these things flying on the side of a car. Nothing went wrong. They got delivered. It wasn't even one of our regular client on either end. It was a person who just phoned us up and paid with a credit card. 

So I'd be interested in meeting anybody from BC Bee Supply and seeing how they're getting their logistics done. And I think bees are kind of cool. So yeah, it was a lot of bees inside of a car. I mean, come on, you've seen it, right? One bee in your car and you go insane but this person had like hundreds of bees and a hive. Another normal day at Phantom Couriers. 

Mark B: So there you go. If you need anything delivered, even your live bees. More than one at a time though.

Mark H: Yeah, for sure.

Mark B: Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, Nanaimo or Sunshine Coast, is rapidly expanding across the province of BC and Western Canada at (604) 899-5447 or +1 844-899-5447. Check it out. They're worth every penny. Any package, anywhere, Phantom Couriers gets it there. 

Mark H: Thanks man. 

Mark B: You bet.

Weekend Delivery Now Available

Mark B: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best, most exciting courier company. Bicycles, cars, vans, trucks, planes, even weekends. How're you doing? 

Mark H: Marketers? Jet powered helicopters? Yeah, doing good. 

Mark B: So you guys have been open for the weekend for a while now. How's that going? 

Mark H: It's going really well. It's been three months of being open seven days a week. At first, we were just doing it for the demand of the COVID onslaught. There was lots to do. And now we've established a weekend ritual where it's busy enough to be including more drivers per day.

We initially had limited hours. Now we're extending our hours. The demand is there, the word is getting out, and I was very surprised. So it's working out better than I expected. 

Mark B: So there was a very special delivery that you guys did just recently. What's the story on that one? 

Mark H: Yeah, it was cool because I was in the office, so I was like, Oh, I like this kind of stuff right. Cause you know, it's usually just things to do and then do the stuff. So it was out in West Vancouver and it was a late pickup. It was a one o'clock pickup. Must be delivered by 2:00 PM exactly. And I was like, Oh, what is this? I'm taking a look and I see it's picking up an ice cream cake. I was like, Well, okay, one hour? Is that like a little bit too long a time? So I phoned the driver and she had already been texting the receiver. And what it turned out to be was because birthday parties are not so easy during these pandemic days and it's not as much fun that their friends are just driving by the house. So apparently, the kid who was having this birthday was really fixated on the fact that she was born at two o'clock.

And so we picked up the cake and we took it to the building, contacted concierge. He was in on it. The mom was in on it, and of course the kid's watching the clock counting down and at 1:59:59. The driver knocks at the door and the kid's probably thinking, It's my birthday but what can it be? The kid goes to the door. Nobody's there, just an ice cream cake. So it kind of made her day. And you know, if we weren't open, we wouldn't have gotten to do it. It was a feel-good moment and the fun part of doing deliveries. So somebody will probably remember this. I don't know the girl. I just thought it was cool. Like, let's make that happen. So I'm glad we were open. It was just a good thing to do. And if there's anybody out there who's got something going on in the weekend when they can't be in three places at the same time, it's the perfect opportunity to call a courier and get your wishes to come true. 

Mark B: So this is kind of unique for you guys. There's not a lot of other courier companies that are open on weekends, right? 

Mark H: That's right. It started when I was sitting around doing paperwork after everyone had gone home and got a late call from this woman in England. I thought, There's gotta be a bigger company that must be open. So I did a Google search and the answer was no. She wanted somebody to go to London Drugs and pick up some medicine for her son who wasn't feeling well. It was just after office hours. Way too late to call someone in. So after helping her out, I decided that we'll open on weekends. There's a need so we'll extend our hours. Let's service that need and make people happy. So I'm pretty stoked to do it. Ever since I've had my company, I always felt like the after hours pager guy or the after hour cell phone number.  

There's no systems and procedures like, "Hey Mike, will you be the after hours guy?" Sure, maybe if they're not watching TV, you know. It's an inconvenience for somebody just to randomly pick up the phone for one thing. And it could be anywhere so it's nice to have a scheduled team that's ready to go. Now we strategically get drivers from across the lower mainland and we spread them out because the volume is not as high. And then for Vancouver, we'll operate West side, East side, North side, South side so we set up for crisscrossing. Cover and move, get the job done. 

On Saturday, one driver went from Vancouver to Richmond to Delta to Surrey, and then all the way back up to Squamish to drop off some stuff. It was a $400 day. Very busy from ten til two so it was a rocking day for her. A hundred dollars an hour. Can't complain. So we got the job done and everybody was happy and it makes me very happy. 

Mark B: So there you are. If you need delivery service in the Vancouver area, right from Whistler to Hope, and even further as they expand into Vancouver Island and the Interior, and Calgary and Toronto, contact Phantom Couriers, (604) 899-5447 or use the toll-free number +1 844-899-5447. www.phantomcouriers.com. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark H: Excellent. Thank you.

Phantom Couriers Expansion – Victoria to Toronto

Mark B: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, Vancouver's fastest growing courier service and one of the 100 fastest growing companies in BC. How are you doing today, Mark? 

Mark H: Obviously, we're very fast, so yeah, we're doing awesome. How are you? 

Mark B: Good. Great. So let's talk about expansion. You guys are rapidly growing, expanding into all kinds of areas across BC, Alberta and maybe even the big smoke. What's going on? 

Mark H: Wanted to do it for a long time and just started doing it. And then once we started doing it, it worked. And I was like, okay, this is good. So, you know, there's a lot of good contributing factors.

First, it's easier than it has ever been. Indeed is a very excellent platform for hiring. So when you're there, you can just hire your people. With the help of companies like yours, we are getting landing pages and getting business addresses in other cities. When we get a business location set up, we go to Google Business and establish our presence. You know what they say. If you build it, they will come. Once you start telling people you're there and people know you, they're like, "Wait a minute, Phantom's over there. I'll call them."

It might be a company that's based in Vancouver doing business in Nanaimo. Once you get over there, you're going to meet one of their partner companies. They're going to say, "Did Phantom drop off the package? What did you think?" "It was great. We should switch to Phantom." Or we will say, "Hi, we're Phantom."

And it's just that organic growth. So, you know, it was weird not to go to Victoria first but we went from Vancouver straight to Nanaimo. It works. We have a location there with a friend of ours in a print shop. So it works just like Phantom used to have a print shop here when the printer needed to shack up, because printers and couriers work hand in hand. Symbiotic relationship. 

First, we zoom down south to Victoria where we're doing grocery store deliveries for Whole Foods. In Nanaimo, we started off with a simple grocery store as well, and it just led to the B2B. And now that we've got it, it's really nice because we've got Gibsons and we can get there with a sea plane or helijet. Give it to our guys and gals. Presto, is done. 

Then going east towards Calgary was an easy too because with a disruption in the supply chain, we had an opportunity to get into Kamloops and Kelowna. Our operations manager is from Alberta and he made a few phone calls, lined up a few ducks and t's good to go. 

And you mentioned the big smoke, being Toronto. One of our biggest e-comm customers is obviously operating there, but they're operating with next day on Canada Post and Purolator. And we were on the phone and I said, "Victor, we're going to Toronto." And he's like, "That's our largest e-comm market. We don't have any same day there. Can you get your software running?" I said it's the same software and it was like the light bulb went off. We signed some contracts and now Phantom Couriers will be in Toronto. 

We've got a guy there working now solving problems for another e-comm company where they shipped a bunch of stuff over there. All of it got lost. I found it. Well, not me personally, but our company found it and then we got Matt, our courier in Toronto, to pick it up, sort it out and go. And now Matt has been doing some woodworking transfers between shops and some freight. It's perfect. 

It was just one of those kinds of things. Did you want to talk about it? Sure. You know, do it or shut up. So we just did it. It was pretty cool. It was pretty much a "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" moment. It just happened. 

Mark B: So Phantom Courier is expanding right across the entire country. Well, at least from Toronto west to Vancouver to Victoria. 

Mark H: There's a lot missing in the middle. But you know, we'll fill that up. If it happens, I mean, come on. I was a bike messenger. Oh hey. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold the phone. Yesterday was our 24th year in business, man! 

Mark B: Nice. 

Mark H: Yeah, I know. Like, I forgot about that. So 24 years in business. Okay. It should have happened a lot sooner. It didn't. But here we are. We are having fun. There you go. Twenty four years later.

Mark B: If you want to go with a winner, if you want to go with the fastest growing company, if you want to go with a company that delivers on time, anywhere, any place, the guys to call are Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447 or nationally +1 844-899-5447. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark H: Right on. Thank you.

Subscription Deliveries

Mark B: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, one of the 100 fastest growing companies exploding right now as they expand rapidly during the Corona Virus 2019. Silly season.

Mark H: 2020 man. 

Mark B: 2020. It's 2020, and it's COVID 19. I got it.

Mark H: You're not the only one.

Mark B: That last workout just killed me. So how's it going, Mark? 

Mark H: Today's a fantastic day. Totally positive day. Everybody was happy. 

Mark B: So subscription-based deliveries. We were talking before we started here that you've had a real big growth in that. What's going on there? Give us some examples.

Mark H: Okay. Let's take for instance, an orthodontist. People come in, they're assessed, they're given the program that's going to make their teeth straight. So they're happy and suddenly, because of the pandemic, they can't come in to pick up their Invisalign style braces. So they know that every six weeks your teeth are moving this way. 3D printers are printing braces.

We've got one really smart orthodontist who quite possibly is going to buy every single orthodontics office in the lower mainland. But this guy, super smart guy, said, "Look, my people need their braces". So he fired them off to us. We had 500 smiles we had to deliver. We picked them all up and helped on the back-end due to a lot of bad addresses. People move so we did all the admin around that. We really cleaned up his supply chain and nailed it. And then everybody got their braces.

So we did same day courier, overnight courier, like two day for everybody that this guy services from Lion's Bay to Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and all points beyond. Got them all out there. He was happy because what had backed up over 22 days was out in three and customers were like, "So what's going to happen next month?" And he's like, "Well, Phantom, will be back!" We cleaned up that list so going forward he can focus on getting more clients in the door, getting more braces on people that want to have a better smile, and do what he really loves, which is fix smiles and just get that automated system going out.

So he's pretty happy and all his admin people only have to show up once instead of like, Mark will be here at 10 and Brian will be here 10:15 and the next guy will have to wait until 11 because, you know, social distancing. We were able to safe drop them all with photographs, call the person, and leave them at the door. The customers can do what they want, like if they want to leave it and wait two days or if they want to pick them up with tongs or whatever. It makes everybody comfortable and it made that business get back into functioning. It's awesome. I'm pretty happy to see that one. It was good.

I made the decision on January 1st to take care of myself. Oh, COVID-19. Things happen. Lots of dieting, people eating healthier, and seeing counsellors and stuff. And so everybody knows the name Jenny Craig. So Jenny Craig in the US they got going with Postmates. There was nothing to fill the void up here in Western Canada so they called me up and now we're picking up frozen and chilled food from the nutritionists and taking it out to people in these really cool thermal bags with ice packs. We're doing that for Victoria, the lower mainland and Kelowna.

So, you know, a big footprint. We're getting a lot of work done, dropping off the bags and not having the customers return them so there's no fear of contaminated bags going into the system. So that's not cheap for Jenny Craig and they caught the ball and they're like, "we can't give these bags back. Just write them off." You know, it's the cost of COVID. So that's really cool. And admirable. You've got to admire somebody who's not trying to cut costs here. They're really taking care of their customers because if somebody gets where they want to get, and if they get that goal, they're going to tell a thousand people. So that subscription-based thing was pretty cool to talk to them about. It was a good deal. I liked it.

And then of course, local entrepreneurs that like Ecom, Shopify and Etsy entrepreneurs, there's just billions of them. Everybody's got a great idea, you know. Face masks for one thing. People are stitching them up and they're like, I'm going to sell this in my Shopify website.

Expect all these delays for Amazon and Canada Post because they have the plugin and you're kind of a slave to the plugins for FedEx, UPS, all that stuff. So I've been calling around like, "How do I get a plugin?" They're like "Give me $30,000." And I'm like, "How do I get a plugin? I'm not giving you $30,000."  Like, forget it man. I'm not going to do it. 

So I kinda did the old Phantom Courier DIY way and we've kind of hacked up a good push notification system that we'll be testing out with a couple of stores in the neighbourhoods where our office is.We'll probably have to get somebody to transfer it into the digital waybill system we've got and we might use Zapier to automate it. So we're going to have a push to Phantom to Zapier to, Digital Waybill. It should work and this could put a big crack in it and make it nicer because if your customer is waiting four or five days for this thing, they're going to forget about it. Then they get worried. Then they start calling you. Then you gotta stop what you're doing and deal with it. But if we can do it, we'll do it same day. They're going to be impressed. They're going to come back. So these opportunities are evolving and they're pushing us to, think of how to solve problems.

Be problem solvers. This is what we love to do because the day flies when you're solving problems, you know. It's like, Oh, I gotta think about this. This is cool. Try it. Works good, didn't work good. I now know what to do or not to do. So we're having a pretty awesome week. 

Mark B: Awesome. 

Mark H: Everybody's stoked, it's like good work. You know, like people are happy. It's hard work and we're making it happen is what we'd like to do. 

Mark B: You also mentioned you might be looking for a virtual assistant.

Mark H: Oh yeah. I've got so many ideas. It's like, my staff here are, you know, project managers, operation managers, CSRs, call takers. A lot of times I'm like, "Can you just do this? Can you just develop all this for me? Can you go get some data and filter it out for me?" And it's like, "Yeah." But it never gets done. So I'm definitely looking for a really good assistant, and obviously it's going to be a virtual assistant at this point, but somebody might want to jump on a team of a very fast thinking, growing company. It's fun. Thanks for asking. Are you applying? 

Mark B: I have a gig. 

Mark H: I know you do. You've got a good gig. Right on.

Mark B: So there you go. If you need a package delivered any time anywhere, Phantom Couriers are the guys to call. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. You got to call and book cause they're busy, but they're working seven days a week.

They are delivering to the Sunshine Coast and Nanaimo now soon to be in Kelowna within the next couple of weeks. 

Mark H: We're always there, but we're going to be full-time. Our hours on weekends are limited hours from 10am to around 3pm, but if you call us at 2:59 and need something done quick, we're there for you. So the weekends are expanding rapidly. Clearly Contacts, a big client of ours, we always do their same day. We're having a talk tomorrow, so we might be rolling out their weekends and that'd be great because it will keep the couriers more active. So if you need us later in the day, we're there for you.

Mark B: Phantom Couriers. It's all happening. If you want a package delivered, give him a call. Thanks, Mark. 

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

Phantom Courier Expansion

Mark B: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers, Vancouver's favourite courier service, and we're talking deliveries. How are you doing today, Mark? 

Mark H: Excellent, thank you. 

Mark B: So,expansion plans. You guys are expanding where? 

Mark H: Sort of locally. Sunshine Coast. We're definitely up there everyday and we've got couriers in Nanaimo now. We used to use contractors. So we would get it here, put it on a plane or a helicopter, fly it over there and get somebody else to do it. And now we've got our own Phantom staff in Gibsons and Nanaimo. It makes a big difference. I didn't notice how much of a difference it would make until we started doing it.

I was like, this is incredibly excellent. You know, I trusted the other contractors we worked with, but it was not as seamless. And now it's perfectly seamless. I love it. 

Mark B: So what makes it seamless now compared to how it was? 

Mark H: Just simple little things like the proof of delivery we use. Our system gives us an automated proof of delivery and we used to have to wait for the contractor to contact us, and then somebody here, would have to put it in or else we'd be like, "Was it done?"

Sometimes it's because they were an analog courier and we have a lot of digital back end so there was just that lag. And now there's no lag. For instance, today at 3:30, we got an order from a wine shop on DavIe and we had wine in a helicopter to Nanaimo, Nanoose Bay for dinner. They wanted their special wine but couldn't find it. They got it in Vancouver. We helicopter it, put it with Michelle and boom, it's done.

So that was, you know, 90 minutes later in Nanoose Bay from Davie and Burrard. Pretty cool. Which, even just by ferry is many hours and an epic day long trip, basically. It's worse because they're not serving french fries or anything on the ferries anymore and you have to stay in your car now. Now, you stay home and couriers and helicopters do the work for you. I mean, like, that's sweet. It's way better.

Mark: And you guys are doing a lot of grocery delivery over there as well? 

Mark: Yep. We're working for a new chain that's got a few places. It's good because this is spawning from social distancing. You luck out if you pick the right time to go to the grocery store. You just walk right in. But if you have to stand outside and there's 30 people and you're six feet apart and the line up is down the streets, it gets old fast. Our way is safer too. They order through the grocery store online, it's ready, we show up, take it from the social distancing table thing and bring it over to the house. You'd leave it on the steps and people can deal with it as they wish. You know, they can leave it outside as long as they want. They can touch it with gloves, there's no confusion. It's really easy and straightforward and customers have a lot of control. So it works out better. That's been building like crazy here.

Mark: So what about the Sunshine Coast? What kind of deliveries are you doing up there? That's ferry-only access as well. 

Mark: Yep. And there's not a lot of ferries. So we're usually on the 7:15 in the morning ferry going over. So we will meet our courier David up there, and we've been, right now I'd say 99% of the stuff we're sending up there is PPE stuff, so protective clothing and equipment.

My friend, Jeff  Cripwell, is a car dealer. He commutes and he's like, there is a huge need for same-day couriers to and from Gibsons. Because Jeff lives there, half the time they'll forget something at home. We could have it easily picked up by our courier, put on a ferry, and delivered to them. There's no unescorted cargo at any point. Somebody has to go and hand it off and that's fine. Just get somebody over there. It's a short ride. We had a bike messenger go out on the weekend, just rode his bike up there, got on the ferry. $13 fee for crossing. Dropped off this big box to David. Boom! He's back riding around in West Van.  So we're dialed in, we've got all the schedules, and it was a surprisingly wicked success. I didn't think it'd be so great and people are appreciating it. 

Mark B: So for the Sunshine Coast, are you going right from Gibsons all the way up to Nanoose Bay, or how much of the...

Mark H: Nanoose is on the Nanaimo side. So that was a totally different thing. 

Mark B: Sorry, sorry. Wrong place. 

Mark H: Yeah. So all of the Sunshine Coast is accessible once you get off that ferry. We've gone up to, well, I don't know where this clinic was, but I was watching the GPS thing go fairly far up, and I was like, "Oh, look at that!"

Mark B: Madeira Park, or..

Mark H: Yeah, if I was to look at the map, I kind of thought he was heading towards Squamish, parallel to it. I was like, "What's going on?" So I don't know where that address was, but David's all over the Sunshine Coast and whenever I look at it on the map, he's sticking around the perimeter, but he covers a huge area. 

Mark B: And what about Nanaimo? What kind of area are you guys focused mostly on? The city of the Nanaimo or are you going up to Parksville, et cetera? 

Mark: Well, we haven't really done that yet, but the city of Nanaimo is basically where we've been doing our same day, inner city stuff. But Parksville is like a hit. We do it all the time. I've never considered it and we usually just get overnights with that kind of stuff. But you know, if people want to same day, now we're capable. We always had to meet a courier so before, if we wanted a same day to Nanaimo, the contractor we had was in Victoria. So they went from Victoria, which is super south all the way up, and if you missed them, you're out of the game even if it was at Harbour Air sitting there. If that guy didn't hit it at one o'clock, and he only stops once, you're hooped. Now we can go over as many times as they fly. It's at our depot. People can pick it up at any time so it makes the scheduling and routing much easier.  

Mark B: And you guys have access to all that, where the courier is right on your computers and you can connect with them and find out exactly what the ETA is, all that sort of stuff, if customers have questions?

Mark H: Oh yeah, 100% and it's so seamless. The customer even knows where they are really because of our digital waybill app. But it's way easier. I love it. I'm surprised how much I like it. I was like, "Oh, this is relaxing. You're in my world."

Mark B: So there you go. The start of the beginning of world domination from Phantom Couriers in Vancouver and if you need service in Nanaimo and the surrounding area or along the Sunshine Coast. Forgive me for not recognizing which Bay it was at the top end the post. 

Mark H: I can't give directions.

Mark B: Call Phantom Couriers (604) 899-5447 to book your appointment. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark H: Right on. Thank you.

PPE Deliveries, Masks and Gowns

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, and we're talking couriering in this time of crazy. How are you doing, Mark? 

Mark: I’m doing great. I'm having a good day. 

Mark: So before crazy, you guys delivered just about anything everywhere, but now during crazy time as we're in the midst of this pandemic worldwide, what's happening in the Vancouver area? What are you guys focusing on these days? 

Mark: Well, it's not like we've focused on it, but we, we got a call. The calls are coming in, and, uh. Uh, quite a touched my face. I'm not, let’s do that anymore. So sorry people. But anyways  we are starting to do a lot of last mile stuff for PPE equipment, so personal protection equipment.

And I was like, okay, so where's this stuff going? And I started to watch it all come in and saw the patterns and I was like, that's pretty, this new and people probably weren't thinking about it. But you know the hostels. They're still full of people and they're living in close quarters. So I was like, well, no, no wonder it's important.

So women's shelters, I was like, of course. Right. They are stuck there. They're under quarantine or they're just so, you know, social distancing. But they're also in close quarters. It's not like they have an 800 square foot apartment to relax in. They're in a barracks kind of situation, you know? I don't know what they look like on the inside, but I know they're not big. I know they're not that well funded and they're crowded. Addiction recovery, of course. All those people that are like, trying to get out of their situations. They're stacked on top of each other to. The Masonic lodge runs a bunch of homes for the elderly. Also, you know, those places are privately funded. They're not gigantic. So the nursing staff there The Portland Hotel Society, you know, those are really, like SROs are overrun and people are talking about the downtown east side is a place that could explode. And if we did have a flattening of the curve at that point, those people might over, if they're all high and got each other contagious without some protection, especially in those hotels, then they could overwhelm the hospital's really quickly.

So we're dropping off a lot of gowns, masks, gloves for the residents, for the nurses, for the staff, for the people that are all involved. Everybody in the building is getting protection. Just to help them self distance. Even if you're really close, they're like, okay, look, I got a mask, you see and gloves and stuff like that.

Well, I never really saw that one coming, you know? But it's, it's good that it's happening and it's a lot. It's a lot of stuff like behind me, there's like 300 pounds of gloves and stuff going up to the Sunshine Coast, which is hard to get to, but we've got that under control. 

Mark: So I was just gonna mention that, that there's been a lot of reduction in routes on the buses and in this case, the Sunshine Coast, you have to get there by ferry. So there's a lot of that is shutting down cause there's just no traffic to those riders. So how's that impacting what you guys are, are doing? 

Mark: Huge. Okay. So Vancouver Island, we used to be, Oh, whatever, I'll just fly there every hour. Like I can just walk down there or they'll send a courier. But I mean, hour every 15 minutes I can be on a plane, have a guy on a plane, just have package someplace like it was, you never even thought about it. I had, and if the planes were flying, I had a helijet you know,  and if Pacific Coastal Air going up the coast, we had tons of stuff, medicine going all over Bella Bella, Bella Coola, Atlin, Klemtu, I mentioned before, Powell River. Suddenly even the trucks won't take it. So trucks won't take anything unless it's wrapped on a pallet. So LTL Freight is a problem less than a pallet. They're like, Oh, we can't take it. It needs to be wrapped. We have to protect our, okay, I get it.

So, but that leaves a large, humongous amount of stuff not getting done. So we got Dave who lives up on the Sunshine Coast. He works for us and he is up there and he's going to gather everything. The ferries are running once a day, like back and forth, there's one and, there's two. So we get everything here. We put it on the ferry, it goes over there, it gets unloaded by the freight master of the ferry, and Dave picks it up and gets her done. Which is good because there's always a problem. 

Canada Post isn't even go in there. It's, you know, it needs to be done. So it's just these cracks are opening up and things are slipping through and they, the government's doing the best they can do, but they're like, Oh, well, of course there's more than we can handle. And you can't blame anybody. It's just has, it's just the way it's working out. So everybody's pulling together and I'm happy to report that the Sunshine Coast is okay to get things to. Usually it is like Monday, Wednesday, Friday, sometimes just Wednesday, Friday. It's not easy to get there at anytime at any time, but now this is good, especially for all the PPE stuff we're shipping up there.

And then the other direction too, everything has to get there. And food, you know, my buddy Jeff lives up there. His life is absolutely not normal right now. And it's like, Oh, that's, you know, that's a, that's a thing. So it's good to deal with where we can be, start getting part of that supply chain. It's breaking. So we're there to fix it. It's a good thing. I think Sunshine Coast needs, needs stuff right away, so get it up there. 

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for service in Vancouver right now, during the time of crazy, or even after the crazy, you can call Phantom Couriers (604) 899-5447 to book your delivery. They're delivering everywhere in the world still. The timing might not be as quick as you wanted, but they'll still get it done. Thanks a lot, Mark. 

Mark: Crazy fast. Hey, you got it.

Covid-19 Precautions and Deliveries

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver in a time of great uncertainty. We're in the midst of the Corona virus in mid March, 2020 and we're talking about couriering. Delivery of packages has become a vital service. How are you doing today, Mark?

Mark: Excellent. Super busy. Like you said. 

Mark: So yeah, you guys are hopping and bopping and thank you honestly from the heart. Thank you so much for what you guys are doing. You're a critical piece of what needs to happen in the world as we kind of go into lockdown and people are staying at home. So thank you for what you guys are doing.

Mark:   Sure, no problem. It's what we do. We always have, but now it's becoming more of an essential kind of service. We've seen a lot of that, our customers are like, we've got a call from a guy, and he's like, are you guys still operating? But yeah, of course we are. I'm just taking precautions, you know, because people are working from home and that's great. And our guys are working from their car. So they're distancing. There's a lot of just leaving things on porches and stuff, but it's still, it's not contributing to the problem. It's alleviating, you know, people all go into one place to pick up all their laptops and stuff. We just have a courier, pick that up and decentralize the chaos and then centralized the efficiency.  So it's in our wheelhouse where we like to work. So it's pretty good. 

Mark: So what kind of precautions are you guys taking?

Mark: Standard ones. We work with the, like, whatever comes out, Dion's been looking at all the regulations and what needs to be done, but just what you see on the news, they change it daily. So we keep our, you know, six foot distance and you know, everybody's wearing gloves and not touching doors and carrying styluses. Nobody's handing phones back and forth anymore. Nothing like that. So we've upgraded like a proof of delivery. Hey, here's your thing, click take a picture, attach the pictures of the way bill goes to customer.

They're like, Oh that's Mark. Things like that just makes it easier texting ahead of times and telling people, because we are doing a lot of residential delivery. So we're like, we're two minutes away. We'll be right there. Just putting on the porch were taken off, and people like, yeah, do that. Every time people come into the office, we make sure that they're gloved up, that they're everything they know is going on.

And then the government, or one of the regulations that Dion says that everybody has to have like Phantom, I have this vest now. So because we're recognized as working. And not just out and about. So everybody's got this stuff. So when we're in a place, people they know, okay, this guy's on a mission. They know what they're doing. Security is, come on in, because there's lineups and everything. I was just at a store on Arbutus and it was a 30 minute wait to get in because one person at a time. But the courier guy just comes blasting in because he's been pre-checked out as he's not coughing, no fever, no temperature. You know, nothing like that. So no symptoms, obviously. 

Mark: Sure. International shipping is still happening? 

Mark: Our air freight's been going out with documents. We haven't had any trucking stuff happen. Like no new calls. I can't think of anything else. No. But all the air freight, it's business as usual. You know, customs of course is going to be taking a longer look at things to make sure there's nothing going on that's not supposed to cross, like probably personal items and weird stuff that probably would be more scrutiny. But with documents and electronics and stuff, they're still boogieing pretty quick. 

Mark: And what about the eCommerce business that you guys usually are doing day to day? So that's still...

Mark: Kaboom Holy man. Oh yeah. You know, like here's a solid, interesting thing. So drop shipping is, you know, everybody's into drop shipping and there's this standup desk company, Effie desk. So the guy usually like pops out a couple of week. It's like whoosh it's just full of the standup desks all being ordered. Right? Because suddenly his orders are going crazy.

Contact lenses. Of course they've gone right up cause people are panicking that they won't be able to get them. So eCommerce websites like Clearly helping out the contact lenses. Lots of deliveries today for them all successful too. Cause everybody's home. Lot of times you go someplace, they're not home, but now they're home. We're just like pow pow pow, nailing it. 

The wine has been incredible. Just tons of it actually like, literally tons of wine because it's wine club season and everybody's home, so they're just, we're going up there. Nobody's picking up their wine. So that's big. Their websites are ticking out super efficient too, and you can see the wine stores like, Oh this is great. Because if they had four pallets of wine and Mark came in at one o'clock to get it, and Mark came in at two o'clock to get it well that's two boxes of a pallet left. But if Phantom comes, 40 boxes gone, one hour. Wine store cleared. Everybody's delivered super efficient, and I think they were like, Hey, this is like, look at this. It's way better for the store. You know, less people in and out, not waiting for somebody when they want to leave. You can see these sort of evolutions of efficiency happening. 

Mark: So what about bike couriers? Are you still doing any of that kind of action? 

Mark: Oh yeah. Solid all day. Like those guys are busy. The roads are empty too. Lots of security courier interaction. So we'll go to lobby, security guards there. He's the only one going up and down. He's been checked out. We're outside. We're inside. We give it to them. So there's a good symbiotic relationship going there. All the couriers know the security anyways. They're always, they talk all the time. So concierge and security, couriers, it's a lot more efficient. I see maybe mailrooms becoming more of a thing, which is a plan I've always wanted to bring it to Vancouver. I want to have a centralized mailrooms that are a hub that could just, everybody comes in and it goes out and I think we'll see that developing. For many reasons, just efficiency and security and health. You know, if this thing is with more people, more problems, this could solve problems. We're living and learning right now. A big deal. 

Mark: And what about employment? Are you looking for more couriers?

Mark: For drivers? Yeah, we are definitely are. We've had a few couriers, obviously parents being hit hard with schools closing and then spring break and there's a lot of things, you know, some couriers were like, their daughter was immune deficient, so she can't go to daycare, so she had to stay home. Even though in the normal day, she would just go be normal, but everybody's a little bit cautious. So with that, and then bringing on four new clients today, busier and growing all the time busier.  We've had a lot of calls from people that used to work here that went off to go do other things and have suddenly coming back. They want their jobs back because those other jobs aren't panning out. So yeah, we're definitely looking to get more staff. We just on boarded an excellent courier today. Trained her. Everything went smooth and it just got a feedback. She had a really fun, exciting day. 

Lots of, you know, just, good time to start a job, right? Like we're all pandemic. Would you like to be a messenger? Yes. So that was pretty fun. Did that. And with the bikes, I see we are going to need more bikes anyways cause we're doing longer hours. We're going to be doing a lot more deliveries to residences and a lot more hours. So we're down four till 8:00 PM, so definitely need more manpower.

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for a solution, if the you've been laid off or you're temporarily whatever, you need something, you need something to fill in the gap, the guys to call are Phantom Couriers. If you're looking for a job, but also if you need home delivery, if you need office delivery, if you're working from home. These are the guys who are going to get it done for you. Phantom Couriers, 604-899-5447 check them out. They're the highest rated courier company in Vancouver for a very good reason. Any package anywhere..

Mark: Phantom Courier gets it there. Almost 155 star reviews. 

Mark: Thanks man. 


Phantom Courier And Recession

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, Vancouver's favourite couriers and one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in British Columbia. How you doing today, Mark? 

Mark:We're doing fantastic. How are you? 

Mark: Good. So things have taken a bit of a downturn and according to the stock market the wave is coming. So how can a courier help companies during a recession? 

Mark: Well, you have to be more efficient, more efficient than ever, right? Everything's important. I learned from the last time that what is valuable is important. So if somebody is going to spend money on a courier, you better perform. And so we'd like to do that. And then also we learned a lot of things last time. We learned that a lot of people cut their mail room staff. When offices have huge mail rooms that do a lot of courier, they can outsource that to us. We can take care of everything from just a regular Canada post mailings and weighing all those packages to picking up the mail at Canada post and bringing it to them because when things go slow, what makes business goes cashflow. So you need your cheques. If you're expecting cheques, EFTs and stuff like that, the mail cheques are just as important. We will pick them up at Canada post and have them to you first thing in the morning instead of 11 o'clock in the morning. So that if you're multitasking staff, you can stagger your staff duties throughout the day so that the regular accounts payable receivable person, it doesn't wait till 11 for the cheques. They're there at like 10. So you've saved yourself an hour and then that person gets that job done. Move on to other tasks such as getting new business or advertising your business and making your business move forward. So we're there for those efficiency models.

A lot of people will start to look for contractors. So a lot of working remotely, and I think we've touched on that before, but right now we are just moving out, like right now, I think there's like 30 workstations going out to remote workers already. People are preparing. So tech companies are like, “Hey, you know what we're going to do? We're going to sublease this section and we're going to move you guys home, and this can be a new efficiency thing”. So that efficiency model's already in play. Because people already are ready, they're ready, they know what to do. 

Mark: You can help companies actually prepare to do that by taking their workstations to their employees as well as delivering stuff to keep the employees efficient while they're working from home.

Mark: Oh, 100% yeah, because they don't, they're not, they're decentralized now. And using a courier could help centralize all the work efforts. So it's an easy thing to do and you're just piecing it out. It's not like, you know, you have, an hour long courier wage. You've just got a 15 minute wage. It's like, so you can do four things to one hour instead of four hours and four things. It's super cost effective and it's super efficient. 

Smaller businesses all over places, tons of small businesses in Vancouver that have larger delivery fleets that are going to be kind of in crisis. So like bakeries and caterers, they may have had, I knew a caterer, they had eight cancellations recently because of the Covid-19 and now all the food has to be separately packaged, all this crazy stuff up. So there's a total shift happening there. And they're regular catering vans that we're going to take out, like the coffee and muffin orders in the morning with a gigantic catering order is now this big giant truck taken out an urn of coffee and muffins for meetings in like whatever lunch and learns, or architectural firms. That should totally be sent up by courier, not wasting a big catering truck that's super expensive. Piece that kind of stuff out. Be more efficient, save your money. In the long run, it'll work out for you, and then who knows? Maybe you can just focus on the bigger orders later and leave that small stuff to the more efficient, smaller courier cars. That's great. There's three good things right there. 

Mark: Beauty. So there you go. If you're looking for some efficiency in case this recession continues for a while, hopefully short and sharp, the guys to call are Phantom Couriers.

You can reach them in Vancouver, 604-899-5447 to book your appointment and they will deliver for you on time. And any package anywhere..

Mark: Phantom Couriers, gets it there with a smile. 

Mark: Thanks Mark. 

Mark: You betcha. See you soon.