Phantom Couriers Now Offering E-commerce Deliveries To The USA

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, Vancouver's best couriers, and we're going to talk about e-commerce deliveries to the United States. How you doing, Mark? 

Mark: Excellent. How are you? 

Mark: Good. Good, good. So it's snowed in Vancouver, and of course I didn't get any mail.

How do you guys solve that? 

Mark: We didn't get any mail either, but our customers got their packages delivered. Rain, sleet, or snow, they used to say, well, if you want it done that way, call us instead of the postal services. They gave up and we didn't. 

Mark: So how does it work for US? To deliver to the US for an eCommerce company in Canada?

Mark: Well, Canadian e-commerce e-tailer would create a product and have to, obviously their customer says, ship it to me. I'm in Blaine, or I'm in Idaho, or something. And what we do is we pick it up, find out what the value of it is, declare the customs, and ship it out on our vertical using our power, like we have a volume discount and we just pay the duty and customs.

Those are never changing. There's no discount on that. And just get her, get her across the border. So it's going to be on that grand mail, ground mail service. It's like a four to six days depending on customs clearance. 

Mark: So for the customers, they don't have to go to the post office. They don't have to fill out the forms. They don't have to, you know, some of the details that they don't have to take the time to do that. You guys are looking after that? 

Mark: Yeah. We've got a full team here that takes care of all the manifesting, all the proactive tracking and monitoring of all of our shipments. So everything that leaves here.

From start to finish has eyes on making sure the job gets done because we bill when it's completed, right? And so we're not going to work. We're incentivized to get the job done so we can make money. So that's why we watch it.  

Canada Post bills you at the source. And says, bye bye. Catch you later. You know?

And you're like, okay, bye. I trust you. And then weeks later you get your thing from anywhere. It's, you know, it's not as, it's not as robust. So we're trying to add a little bit of more value add because more, there's more e-tailer in our, in our customer base that need the need to good service Phantom is used to giving.

Mark: So is it expensive to ship from Canada to the United States? 

Mark: Well, it really depends on what you're shipping, but the cost could, they're super cheap compared to like courier costs, like an envelope to San Francisco is like 45 bucks, and we can get down to the States for like, for a large, like a value package, for $15-$16 for something that could have a value of up to $300. So yeah, there's a lot of power in consolidation. 

Mark: And how long does it take then? What's the delivery time difference between the two ways of delivering? 

Mark: Well, we do overnight on courier. And mail service is what it is. It’s ground mail, but the faster you get it into the US postal service, the faster it's going to get delivered. So you want to hop the border quickly. That's why the consolidated shipping model works. Instead of, you know, so many different stops. You're just cutting out four stops, go direct. 

Mark: So maybe just describe, walk us through that. So it goes the, you go to the Canada Post, then what do they do with it typically?

Mark: Well, we're not going to go to Canada Post, hopefully. We're just going to pay the postage, jump the border with the consolidated shipping. Have it picked up in Blaine. 

Mark: And the way it normally would work if I went to the post office and did it. 

Mark: Yeah. Post office, wait, generate enough volume sent to sort facilities, sort facilities sorts.

Puts it into pickup, which is, it's pretty efficient, but I mean, it's going to take a day there and another day to go on the truck. Then they want to have full loads, so full load going down, has to go down, unload. It takes time. And then reload to to final destination. So you're skipping like five days of just normal stuff. It's just normal everyday work. Just like if you were taking your time, putting groceries in the car, taking a break, driving home, taking a break, unloading the car, taking a break and then putting it away, taking a break. It's just, we speed it up. We put it right in the fridge. That’s how it works.

Mark: So is this the cheapest way to ship from Canada to the United States for an e-tailer?

Mark: I don't see any other way unless you know, you've got a friend driving directly to your client. It's the most economical and cheapest way, you know, you can get your best bang for the buck. Customers are going to be pretty satisfied with shipping mode. It's taut, it's not super fast like courier, but it's definitely going to get their track and trace. So I would say it's the best bang for your buck, that's for sure. 

Mark: Fantastic. So if you're, if you're an e-tailer, retailer, online eCommerce person in Canada, and you've been struggling with getting your packages delivered from Vancouver area to the United States of America, the guys to call her Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at (604) 899-5447. Don't worry about it anymore. They'll look after it and your package will get delivered as quickly as possible at the right price, and your customers will be happy and so will you. Any package anywhere…

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

Mark: Thanks, Mark. 

Mark: Thank you.

New US Mail Delivery Service in Vancouver

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's best couriers, and we're talking deliveries. How you doing, Mark?

Mark: Good. Busiest courier today. It feels like, doing a great job today. 

Mark: So you just opening a new service. US mail for eCommerce companies in, all across Canada or just Vancouver?

Mark: Starting in Vancouver. Like we have lots of cool artisan clients, everybody who makes everything from jewelry to rings to beard oil, Etsy people, all sorts of stuff. And we've been taking out to these fulfillment centres way out in Delta and Annacis Island and East Van is like, Hey, we're right downtown, so we're getting US mail with a good discount and we're going to start expediting that stuff. So anybody with an eCommerce service that sells out to the clients throughout the United States and Canada. We can now do what Chit Chat Express is doing, or Wiz Moe and those guys, and we're just going to crush it. So we're here. We're already doing it for our clients, for another carrier, and it's like, why are you putting an extra middleman in the middle? Let's just take it over and get the same old tracking and good service that Phantom likes give them. 

Mark: And there you go. It's going to make it a lot simpler, of course, for people who are delivering from Canada to go across that magic invisible line into the United States. 

Mark: Yeah. And in bulk. So we'll have that buying power and we know what we're doing and we'll get her done. It'll be awesome. I'm looking forward to it. 

Mark: If you want the convenience of a one stop shopping and getting your eCommerce of any kind, essentially, because they deliver everything up to bridges. 

Mark: That's right. We're not mailing a bridge. 

Mark: Call Phantom Couriers at (604) 899-5447. And they'll look after you. Except now. Right now they're really busy because it's Christmas. But that will change in just a few days. 

Mark: Christmas is coming. Yeah, for sure. We've got you covered. Phantom Couriers any package anywhere, Phantom Couriers gets it there. You got it. 

Mark: Thanks

Express Delivery Service in Vancouver

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggin of Phantam Couriers in Vancouver, Vancouver's favourite courier service and most experienced and best. Let's be honest, just the bloody best couriers in Vancouver. How are you doing today, Mark?

Mark: Excellent. And the bar is pretty high there. I'll just be the best from now on. Not a problem. Starting now.

Mark: Sounds pretty good. So we're talking about express delivery service here in Vancouver. What, how does it an express delivery work? What's the parameters there?

Mark: That's the most important one. That's the most, like people call us, they have a stressful situation that's happening and they don't know, they don't have the tools to deal with it. So they're like, "Oh my God, this needs to happen now”, they outsource the to us. They're like, "Here's my, here's my stressful situation, handle it" and then they're like, pwew. They sit back. So a lot of it is go to one place and man, you can need a time machine. It had to be there yesterday and that's what we do. We put out those fires for people and you know, we make promises and we keep them. That's our job.

So what kind of, can you give me some examples of express deliveries even just from today?

Mark: Sure, very important. Somebody had to return an item to a store and it was like a $90 delivery from downtown Vancouver to Deep Cove, and it had to happen. And they were very adamant, like, no, this just has to happen. We said, you know, it's expensive. Do it, bang done. So making sure that that situation that was stressing him out, we could get it done so that they could relax and get on with their life. Picked up at a construction company to a residence, you know, it was a good hour and 20 minute drive. We had to go from Surrey almost to Squamish and needed to be there. So it was like super important. It has to be that, can you get this done? Yes. I got, you know, clear lines on our, on our map and it's like, we're in your neighbourhood. We'll be there in a minute. Picked it up. Total fire went out. Get a phone call later, like,"Oh, I didn't think it would happen", because like the whole time he was biting his nails, like, “This won't happen”. It happened. And he calmed down. He said, ”Oh I'm glad I had our number".

The express stuff, or it could be a law firm getting to another law firms so that the other lawyers can start communicating and working on their tasks. Or it can be at a law firm that doesn't want a law firm to do their work. And they sent it at the last hour, so they get it at five o'clock. Great got it. It's legal. You know, whatever strategy you've got, whatever fire you need to put out. That's what we, the express, hot stuff. They on demand, freak out stuff is a, well that's our steak dinner every night at Phantom. You know, the cream, I guess the top level, the gold.

Mark: Sure. So I guess mortgages and that sort of those, those kinds of instruments and documents and around conveyancing. Some of that's pretty time, super time sensitive. I guess that you get a fair amount of that kind of work?

Mark: The conveyancing, yeah. That usually happens a little bit before. And then. Definitely mortgage payouts are super important, like really important. And we always get, “This is the mortgage pay out. You’ve got to be there on time”. And a lot of them, might be picked up in like Vancouver, but have to go to Toronto, so you cannot miss that connecting flight. Those are very important ones. A lot of notaries have those kind of buy outs and you use us all the time. Yeah, good point. Mortgage buyouts probably the number one nail biter for the sender. They're totally panicky. For some reason it's the last minute, always to the seconds.

Mark: Well, there's all those, there's that stack of papers you've got sign. It slows everything down.

Mark: Yes, it's high pressure, you know, but I deal with it. I don't know how I sleep because when I look back at some of those things, I'm like, Oh yeah, I remember that phone call. They were just completely crazy with stress, and I'm like, okay, got it. But we make it happen.

Mark: What about medical stuff?

Mark: Oh yeah, for sure. We work for the BC CDC and other places like that, and most of them are temperature controlled. So they're really professional. They're packaged like, they're excellent packaging. So it's the cardboard, the styrofoam, the coolant, more stuff. It's just like, it's never gonna warm up almost, but you don't have much time. And we can get them up to Northern BC, up to the Yukon. We have infrastructure, pick it up, get it on an airplane, fly it up, get the guy to pick it up at the Seaport. Drive it to the place or have somebody at the hospital like, alert them. Okay, go down to the dock, it's there. And we're on top of that, like step by step, making it totally work right up to knowing the nurses stations all over in remote areas, right? Because they, living in a remote area, you need just what we need in a big city. It's just not as easy. So getting the medicine up there is big time.

Pharmacy a pickups are always urgent. People are not feeling well. They want to feel well. We're there for them. And that's, I guess that's sort of how we make people's lives better too. You forget about that. It's not so, you know, legal or diamonds or engagement rings or something crazy. It's just medicine. But we move a ton more, and I look back at each day, I'd say like 5% can be pharmacy easy.

And then to doctor's offices, we move Botox and that's live culture. So we'll go out to a place that's making it and you have an hour to get it to the, to the doctor that's using it. It's not always cosmetic. It's used for a lot of purposes. So we might go from a Botox facility in Richmond up to Laurel Street to VGH and drop off tons of Botox, and then we go to residences and drop off tons of meds. Super important meds all the time, and there's a window when there'll be there and accepting it, and it's always confidential and private. So you have to have a, an excellent system to get that stuff done. That's a big part. The, I forgot, but I forget about a lot of stuff I do. But the confidential medical deliveries, big time importance. You gotta keep your eye on that ball 100%. It's a big business.

Mark: So there you go. If you have an emergency or you need something and it has to absolutely be there today, the guys to call Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, (604) 899-5447 they're the best.

Mark: We care.

Mark: And they care and they've been doing it for a long time and they're really good. They're guys to call.

Mark: Twenty three years. If it's important, tell us it's important because if we're listening right, we're going to hear you say that, and it'd be like, this is important. Let's do it.

Mark: And what's it, what's the tagline?

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

Thanks, Mark.

You got it, man. Thank you.

International Courier Services

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's favourite couriers and we're talking package delivery. How're you doing Mark?

Mark: Doing excellent. How are you?

Mark: Good. So if I want to send a package or an envelope or something like that, say to some weird and wonderful place, like Vietnam or Nepal, how does that actually work? What happens?

Mark: Customers call us. We obviously arrive and pick it up. We bring it back to our office and we manifest and ship it out. So we make sure we do our due diligence. Confirming the address. Make sure all the contact information is done and then we get it on the fastest flight out or whatever you want. But mainly international stuff always goes on a plane. We leave our office between three and four, goes to the airport, gets put on a cargo plane and boom it's gone. Then we'll use whatever third party courier on the other side to get it done. The world wide network.

Mark: And how long have you been doing this for? Like, you've got, you mentioned before that you basically hit every country in the world. How does that work? How do you get all those connections in place to be able to do that?

Mark: Like you said, I've been doing it a long time. First I had a business partner, a long time ago and he was an ex-Purolator guy and he's like, "Oh we'll just take Purolator down to the airport" because if you bring it to us, we will give you like a kickback. And I was like, that sounds kind of cool. Why don't we just open our own network. So I just started back then, not knowing anything and now it just seems like it's so easy but I need to explain it to like everybody else. I just developed it by doing it forever until it basically, I didn't know, I just started off mailing things and tracking them and then I was like, well what if I just phone the guy in Armstrong, BC and send it up to him and have a courier drop it off. I just built a network. And it was like you, just being dumb and not knowing what I'm doing to being smart and having it all done right. Fake it till you make it. Made it. There you go.

I'm just taking a look at what we've got, some things going out today, like just out of the city and out of the country. We're going to, oh nothing super interesting. Oh where's this. Where's Katella? It just seems like a lot of Canadian stuff today. But we did a bunch of eBay returns to Japan. And so you know, you don't want to send out, "Yeah I don't like my shirt from Japan", and charge them $400 bucks to return his shirt. And so I had to find a decent vertical to get it out with and found the carrier and found the guy who would deliver it. You know, spoke a little Japanese and a little English and got it done, and cheap so it was good.

Mark: So is that using ship transportation instead of air?

Mark: No, we just got an LTL air freight. Like there was a container that needed to be filled up with returns and stuff. I'm just like, put this in there, ok. So you just meet people talk to people, figure things out and get it done. And it's nice you know, after 25 years, there's that network to fall back on. Otherwise I could just sent it direct, put it on a flight, play for it, it's done. And we just track it all here.

Mark: And so the tracking when it's in a place like Vietnam for instance, like how does the tracking work?

Mark: Usually our way bill goes to their way bill and we starting using their way bill through their system. And sometimes tracking simple, like it could be a SMS or an email where we just go to their portal or they just keep us in touch. Like a lot of guys just text us the stuff. What's happening or is even through email. It's all just, because everybody has a website, it's all tracked through their site. Like our dispatch system would be with their dispatch system. The API's can talk on a few occasions and then otherwise they upload a file to us. And or if it's like a national carrier like DHL, Purolator, TNT any of those guys, we just jack onto their site.

Mark: Sure, and in some of these lesser developed countries, the final delivery, the last mile could be a scooter, or a...who knows for sure. Bicycle.

Mark: Yeah, definitely. Just like the last mile is always the interesting mile I can tell you that. But guys are working hard all over the world, getting it done.

Mark: So there you are. If you need a package or a letter delivered anywhere in the world, the guys to call in Vancouver, Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at 604-899-5447. They're busy. You've got to call them and talk to them and they'll fix it, they'll get it there. 604-899-5447. One of the top 100 fastest growing companies in British Columbia. Thanks Mark

Mark: Right on. Thank you

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 Couriers Shipping FAQ’s Part 2

Mark: Hi It's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's favourite and best known and the most wonderful courier company. One of the top 100, fastest growing companies in the province of BC and of course, Mark Huggan's the owner. How're you doing today Mark?

Mark: Doing really good thanks. How're you?

Mark: Good. So shipping FAQ's. Frequently Asked Questions. The second instalment of this. What's the fastest shipping method?

Mark: Well the same day. So if we're talking about national, like anywhere, like say we're going out of the Vancouver, the GVRD area it would be same day. Like hot shots. Not like the local same day but out of the area, would be our hot shots same day.

Mark: And it doesn't really matter what, I guess it depends on what it is. If it's a container load, a semi tractor trailer or if it's small stuff. That's always a consideration in how fast it can be shipped?

Mark: Yeah it is, it's a consideration. But you can do almost anything. If you put your mind to it, we could get a tractor trailer to Nanaimo same day. No problem. Just a matter of being on time to be on that boat. And we fly places all the time too. We have same day flights to Seattle, Nanaimo, Victoria. We go up north to Bella Bella, Bella Coola. We don't go to the Queen Charlottes same day but Prince Rupert, we can be up there and then we can manage to get it picked up next day. It's just a logistical thing for that area. But yeah, definitely same day. You give us an airplane, give us a fast car or truck and we're gone.

Mark: And how does next day delivery work?

Mark: Well a lot easier. You just order it up, tell us what time you want it delivered tomorrow, we'll get it there. It could go through any one of our channels. It could be done by a local courier. It could be done by any of our contractors in the interior of British Columbia. Or it could be delivered by another contractor anywhere in Canada, Untied States or the world, on next day.

Mark: How does the cut offs for that work?

Mark: Generally, we don't... You could really do a cut off at 5PM but it kind of works against the courier. So we like to have all of our cut offs by 3PM. It gives everybody a chance and it's fair on both sides. Call us by 3 it's there by 5. No problem.

Mark: So how much more of a premium is there for same day shipping?

Mark: A lot. It's not that I want to discourage economy and overnight shipping but I do employ people who have to make a living. So if they're doing a mass volume of discounted pricing, it's not really good for them and I want to see them succeed. So our next day shipping is a moderate savings. A lot of people are like, 75% savings, but we're about 20% savings. So you save money but it takes a lot longer. We're really a same day, on demand company for local freight and courier.

Mark: So I'm sure this never happens, but what does a failed delivery attempt mean?

Mark: Failed delivery attempt? You mean like we don't make it?

Mark: Yeah

Mark: Hey it happens right. Like bad addresses, mixed up this and that. A lot of times you know, people might have an old address list they're sending something. We might end up at your house and you're like, "What, Mark moved out a year ago." Things like that happen all the time. If we fail, we quickly do some research and find where it's supposed to go, what happened and fix it quick. I like it when we have failures within the service time, so we can be on time and get it done. But if it's on the end of the spectrum, where we're running out of time and we get there and, "What they moved". Then it's like, oh, you have to regroup quickly, figure out what's going on. We don't loose anything so that's good, so no fail there.

Mark: Have you ever failed to deliver because of bears or seagulls or escaping chickens?

Mark: Crazy people, not so much animals in our way. Well we did actually have to stop, we were delivering to Swaneset Bay Golf out in Pitt Meadows and bears were on the road and Adam was videotaping them. And it was like, bear is not going anywhere and there were deer there too. So Swaneset a couple times for wildlife. We've had crazy people, threatening to put a bomb in a building lobby. All sorts of, there was the time that that guy was stabbing people on West Georgia, and yeah we couldn't do our deliveries. People were asking us why and us telling them there's a guy outside stabbing people and they're like, "What? Really?" Car upside down on the front stairs of a hotel, that was an interesting one. Couldn't deliver that day either. So crazy people more than just rather random animals. Oh, and an owl. An owl smashed into a building, fell down by the Van City on Hornby and everybody was standing around it. It was stunned. So they were like, "Don't come into the bank, the owl, we don't want it to die". So one stunned owl. It was pretty tall. It was cool. I was there, I got to see it. I got called and I ran out to take a look.

Mark: So have you guys ever left a parcel on the roof?

Mark: On the roof? No. I mean, where's my package? On the roof. I don't know if anybody's asked us to put it on a roof. Could of been hidden. do a lot of garage drops, back yard drops, stuff like that, never a roof, back patios. I don't know about the roof man. It's going to come now, you said it, it'll happen. I'll do it though. You ask and I'll do it.

Mark: Well it wouldn't be my first choice to be honest.

Mark: Yeah, me either. It's like huck it on the roof. Maybe if it was like a divorce or something was going totally awry. You know, huck it on the roof, see what happens.

Mark: You guys will actually go to the bank for people. You'll actually go to, in difficult situations, like you mentioned divorce, or to a lawyer or do those kind of pickups. What are some of the wild kinds of things that you've done?

Mark: The divorce was pretty, we do that a lot, people serving. We had a woman crying on one side of the door and I heard on the radio, Lindsay, the courier talking, "It's ok you know, life will go on." So our courier was actually like a therapist. Finally signed the documents, got her calmed down, it was pretty crazy. A lot of banking will be like pick up a cheque at a law firm, take it another law firm, get a second signature, take it to the bank, get it certified, after it's certified take it to the vendor. We do like four or five part cheque certifications that are pretty difficult. We do that a lot. Always going around. Or settlement payouts for lawyers that need to be witnessed by another person in a third party somewhere. So we're always waiting in line. Getting there on time. Waiting to go. So there's a lot of complicated couriers. It's not point a to point b as much as I'd like it, or think it is, you know. When I go home, they're like, "What did you do today?", I'm like "Oh, nothing." Meanwhile, like 400 crazy stories happen and I just have to remember them. What actually really did.

Mark: So there you go. If you want a courier that's going to go way above and beyond to get your package delivered. They guys to see are Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at 604-899-5447 in Vancouver. You've got to call them and book ahead because they're always super busy. Everyday. But they'll get it done. And what's the thing Mark?

Mark: Oh, any package anywhere, Phantom Couriers gets it there. Even on the roof if you want it and I'll do it. Just take a picture.

Mark: Thanks a lot.

Mark: Thank you.

Phantom Couriers – Same Day Courier FAQs

Mark: Hi it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the 100 fastest growing companies in Vancouver and of course, Vancouver's best courier service. How're you doing today Mark?

Mark: Excellent Mark, had an excellent day today.

Mark: So today we're going to talk about same day courier frequently asked questions. What is same day courier service?

Mark: Same day as it implies. You call us up, we're on demand and we'll make it happen within a business day. Usually it's a four hour service.

Mark: So I guess the next question is kind of redundant but is same day delivery possible?

Mark: 100% possible. That's what we're here for. You know, if you're suddenly surprised and you need something done, outsource to us and you could be in two places at the same time. That's the whole benefit of a same day courier company,

Mark: So how does someone call up and get same day delivery?

Mark: Generally people see us on the internet, Google and it says on demand courier and they call us up and it's just a matter of telling us where it is and where it's going, what time you want it delivered, we're on our way. It's about as easy as it gets.

Mark: So this is a hard question I guess because it's going to be the lawyer answer, depends. How much does same day shipping cost?

Mark: Ok, our prices start for just say it was a downtown bike envelope going a couple of blocks, it's like a sub five dollars up to, we went up to Whistler and it was a same day delivery to Whistler, it was like four hundred dollars. So anywhere in between. The beautiful five to four hundred, we can get her done. We've gone to Kelowna on same day. It's more expensive. It was sixteen hundred dollars but it had to be there, had to be there. But generally our average trip cost is twenty four bucks. Average over every trip on the day. So on average you could spend twenty four - twenty five dollars, you've got your package done.

Mark: So how long does it take for an express delivery?

Mark: Well we always ask what time do you want it delivered. We're not like, oh would you like that, mysterious service level jargon. We're like you want it there at 11 o'clock, we're aiming for 11 o'clock. So if it's 9 o'clock to 11 o'clock, it's two hours, if it's 10 o'clock, it's one hour. We work within, you know, we break it up into one hour segments and off we go.

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for a same day courier in Vancouver, the guys to see are Phantom Couriers. Plain, simple, straight ahead.They'll give you the answers and the service you want and need. You can reach them at 604-899-5447. And what's the slogan Mark?

Mark: Any package anywhere, Phantom Couriers gets it there. You know it.

Mark: Thanks a lot.

Mark:Excellent thanks Mark.

Phantom Couriers Shipping FAQ’s

Mark: Hi it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. One of BC's 100 fastest growing companies and of course, expanding like crazy, delivering stuff all over the place. How're you doing today Mark?

Mark: Totally excellent. Having a great day.

Mark: So we're going to do some frequently asked questions about shipping that I'm sure you guys get all the time. Does destination scan mean I'll get it today?

Mark: Ah, no. A destination scan is when it goes from one party to the other and they sort of do the handshake and it's off to its final mile, but it doesn't mean that it's going to be arriving in any time soon. It just means that a new carrier is holding it. So track it accordingly.

Mark: So how long does it take to deliver after the destination scan?

Mark: Well it should be same day or you know you have your transit times for most shipments. So it says like delivered on Wednesday by 5PM. Should be there. But a lot of times if it's a rural area, so say it's like you know Vanderhoof or something weird, there might be every second day or might be the next day. It's just hard to tell. It's case by case but generally when it's you know, heading for, out for delivery it should be during that timeframe that time and transit has been established.

Mark: What does import scan mean?

Mark: Ok, so you ship something to another country and it gets imported. It means that customs is done with it. They've done their paperwork.They're looking at it and now it's free to be picked up by a carrier.So a lot of things have to, you know they just have to check it out. You might be sending a present to your favourite aunt and they're like well let's just make sure that you're not selling something without telling us. Oh you're not, good-they're pajamas, import scan. Out for final mile. It tells you what's going on. It's just an extra step in the million steps to get a package delivered.

Mark: So does out for delivery mean I get it today?

Mark: Well we would hope so. But it does and doesn't. Generally it means it's out for delivery but a lot of times if there's an address correction, like there's something wrong, you might get that scan and you should actually just all in and have somebody get down to the bottom of it for you because you can see that for two days. Just always call up and find out from your CSR what it's really going on because they'll know because they can just quickly get access to it and find you. Are you going to deliver this driver, yes or no? Well address was corrected yes. I don't know what it is, no. So case by case just call your CSR. If you're at Phantom, we'll help you.

Mark: So do you guys do the dreaded door hanger thing when you don't deliver?

Mark: No we use the cool email. So generally, door hangers don't you know. So basically, we will text you, we'll call you but nobody answers their phone, "I don't know who you are". So we'll text because then you're like, oh it's Phantom, and get a hold of you. We have like a couple preset messages, like "Hey Phantom is in the area, are you close by? Give us a heads up in five minutes and we'll come back." Or we also have the email. We'll send you a way bill number and ask for the best, maybe it needs to be sent to your office. So we'll just usually figure it out that way. But it's pretty easy to track people down with text.

Mark: What if you just can't be there and you'd prefer that it just be dropped off, hidden away perhaps on the porch or something. Can you arrange that?

Mark: Yep. Locally 100%. We do that all the time and we have like photo POD. So like we just take a picture, track it, we store it. So if you called me up and said, "Hey my tracking number 1234, where is it?" We'll find it and send you the picture, you're like, "Oh it's at the back door". It's really easy. And for out of town stuff, you just have to give permission to be left at the doorstep. Like no signature required. And it'll be there for you. You just have to tell us to do it. And it's really, it's good.

Mark: This is another one that I've seen. Does in transit, what does that mean?

Mark: What is it, what did you say?

Mark: In transient, in transit.

Mark: We don't really use in transit here. You'll find that with UPS, Purolator - it's in transit. It means they don't know what's going on. So it might have missed a connection or it's in transit. So call us and we'll tell you exactly where it is because really everything is trackable by GPS. And we can find it exactly where it is. That in transit thing is old. They should just abolish it. It'll be there soon.

Mark: It's in the cloud

Mark: Completely, yeah I hate that one as much as anybody.

Mark: What's the difference between shipped and out for delivery?

Mark: Shipped is yeah good. So a way bill has been created, it's been shipped means nothing. It means it's started. And out for delivery means yeah, a person has it, they have their instructions, they know what to do, they're going to get it done. But shipped just means ah-hah.

Mark: Somebody filled out paperwork

Mark: Yeah, it's shipped means... Call Phantom. We will tell you exactly where it is. Like yeah, it could be on a shelf waiting for instructions or something, but generally shipped means nothing.

Mark: It's in the cloud

Mark: Yeah, another one I don't like. Yeah, so call us up. We know exactly where things are. We track them.You know, it's so easy now. GPS and computers, like I can see it. In fact our GPS is so good, maybe I shouldn't use GPS, but our tracking, if I go in, scroll in on the map, I can see our guys on what floor in a building they're in. You know, it's kind of clunky but you're like, "Oh yeah I can see he's not o the street, he's on this floor." So we could tell you where it is - out for delivery.

Mark: So timing. Can I specify a time when my package has to arrive by or how do I know when my package will arrive?

Mark: Yeah ok so, if you want to know when it will arrive, like you select the window of opportunity to drop it off. So anytime in between. But if you said, "Mark needs my package at 2PM, be here by two o'clock". That's specific. That's our target. That's what we're going to be where we're going to be. Two o'clock be there all day, be there two o'clock, two o'clock, two o'clock. Otherwise it's not a good trip and we don't like that. So yeah specifically we love that stuff. That's like the best kind of work.

Mark: Is it a little bit more expensive because of the tight timeframe?

Mark: The most expensive. Yeah for sure. I love those things because we are doing it at a priority service for you, but everybody likes it. I mean they want it. They got it. And there's nothing better than somebody who's like, "Ah that was money well spent". Keeping it premium for a reason you know.

Mark: And for shipping, you guys don't really have any limits on what size or amount of stuff that you can move? You ship everything, everywhere.

Mark: That's right. As somebody is trying to get a hold of us right now. So yeah, we'll ship like anything. An envelope to a full container load. That's a container load, a pallet, engine block and crane wheel cables. Anything. So yeah, we ship it all. Any package, anywhere.

Mark: Phantom Couriers gets it there.

Mark: You know it man, that's our thing.

Mark: So there you go. If you want to ship your stuff in Vancouver, the guys to call are Phantom Couriers. Reach them at 604-899-5447. They're always hopping, they're always busy. Thanks Mark.

Mark: Right on, it's been awesome. Hope you have a great week.

Bike Couriers

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan, the phantom from Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. Vancouver's favourite and best courier service. How're you doing today Mark?

Mark: Totally excellent, how are you?

Mark: I'm good man. So bike couriers, we're going to talk about today. Do bike couriers still exist?

Mark: My favourite topic. Of course they do. Like of course, they're everywhere. They're... well I see them everyday because I'm a courier company, but there's just hundreds of them world wide and it's a growing industry.

Mark: What does a bike courier do?

Mark: Every single thing. Everything, like in the day to day business world, we're delivering documents and rolls, and cheques, and standing in line and doing banking, returning cell phones, delivering medicine. And in the evenings, they're delivering food. Tons of Amazon, contact lenses, engagement rings. Getting things done back and forth all day high speed. You know, just rocking it out hard. Lots of deliveries.

Just our regular service, you know, regular call ups, last week there was 500 regular, just get a bike messenger, downtown. And hundreds of different ones like directs and returns and economy's and one hours, but just the 2 hour regular envelope, we had almost 500, 487. Just envelopes. Then everything else.

Mark: And that's just in little old Vancouver.

Mark: I know, and it's a small downtown. But that's downtown. But our bikers go super far, so those numbers I gave you don't present the true number because they take car trips too. That was just bike work, just strict bike envelope.

Mark: So any difference between a bike messenger and a bike courier?

Mark: No, it's just the word. United States is messenger even though the french for courier is messenger. It's just we adopted the word courier. But couriers are better, take it from me, a Canadian.

Mark: How much do bike couriers make?

Mark: Millions of dollars, it's the best job ever. Like our top guys make about 200 bucks a day and it goes down from there. A guy who starts is going to make 15 bucks an hour, is our minimum. It's a you'll make this. It's an entry level job and then if you want to rock it out, you can go hard and make more. And they certainly do, they impress me everyday.

Mark: So why do bike messengers or bike couriers, why do they ride a fixie? What is a fixie?

Mark: So a fixie is like a direct drive, single speed bike. You peddle and you go. Don't ever think you're going to coast or you'll just get hucked over the front of the bike. They're low maintenance, they're fun to ride, they go wicked fast and it's like skiing or skateboarding, you skid around corners. It just gives you more control and they're just super fun. They come from like the velodrome. They're not exactly built for couriering but people rock them out hard and they're super fun to ride.

Mark: So how is this job evolving?

Mark: Well, as I sort of talked about food delivery at night, you see Foodora and Door Dash and Uber Eats and in any downtown core environment, the traffic's a mess. Things got to happen. It's not just the business community that uses bike messengers, it's everybody, because they're a quick on demand solution to I got to be in two places at once. What the hell am I going to do?

We'll come and meet you in a cafe, pick up your stuff and get it somewhere else or bring something to you that you forgot in minutes. And we're more on demand than ever. It's awesome. I remember when they said the fax machine will kill the business. Well that cargo bike delivered a fax machine, so ha-ha, it didn't happen.

Mark: So is that part of what's evolving is the actual bikes themselves are changing, evolving?

Mark: Yeah, well you know, you've got your fast guy downtown just dropping off documents with that fixed gear and then you've got cargo bikes like that one behind us taking up to 400lbs of whatever you're throwing at us. Every bike has got a rack on the front. So they're all putting boxes on them because it's just such a congested environment, we need to roll out. Whatever arrives by Amazon might not be staying in one spot. We've got to go move it around. We go to Microsoft all the time to pick up stuff, take it out to other places. Doing last mile on a bike is you just show up, you never know what you're going to pick up. So freight is a big thing for those guys. Big bags. big.

Mark: So you're saying that it's not only limited to the downtown core, what kind of stuff is going out a little bit further?

Mark: Oh everything. So our guys go from, in Vancouver, from the PNE to UBC, up to 41st by bike, on the rig, all the time. Like today, one guy delivered contact lenses from Clearly Contacts. He picked them up at the Renfrew skytrain station and went all the way out to UBC. He dropped off like 30 of them. So small boxes and he did a big run to residents like that. Otherwise we're up on the south side, Broadway corridor, from all the architect firms picking up rolls, dropping stuff off. Manufacturing, Granville Island. It's pretty unlimited what we'll pick up. Nothing's too crazy. We'll pick it up.

Mark: And what kind of mileage do they do in a day?

Mark: Yeah, 50k for us is like a slow day. Like they all have Garmin on their phones and "I only did 50kilometres today". Some guys ride in super far, other guys just go really far. We go over the bridges, we'll sea bus to North Van, drop off packages because the price is right.

Mark: So there you go. Bike couriers. If you're looking for fast delivery for all kinds of stuff as you heard. Everything from picking up cheques to standing in line at the bank and waiting at the Immigration office. These guys do it all. Phantom Couriers 604-899-5447 to book your courier and they'll look after you. Thanks a lot Mark.

Mark: Like you said, Any Package Anywhere, Phantom Couriers Gets It There man.