Phantom Courier Expansion

Mark: 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: Excellent, thank you. 

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

Mark: Sort of locally. Sunshine Coast. We're definitely up there every day, 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 people, so Phantom staff in Gibsons and in Nanaimo. So 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. So might as well just be going from here to across the street it's way tight. I love it. 

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

Mark: Just simple little things like the proof of delivery we use. Like 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, we'd have to put it in or else we'd be like, was it done?

Because maybe they were an analog courier, and we have a lot of digital back end. And so there was just like that lag. And now there's no lag. And for instance, today at 3:30, got an order from a wine shop on Davey, and we had wine in a helicopter to Nanaimo, and it's in the Nanoose Bay for dinner. So they wanted their special wine, they 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 Davy and Burrard. Pretty cool. 

Which even just by ferry is many hours, an Epic day, long trip, basically.

And they're not serving French fries or anything on the ferries anymore. So you're like, got to sit in your car 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 the, you know, social distancing. You know, you go, you pick your right time, you 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 you go down the streets, it gets old fast. So, and it's safer too. They order through the grocery store, puts it online, it's ready. We show up, Hey Phantom, they're like, here you are. Take this from the table because they have like a table thing, and you just pick it up and go. And you 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 they're and 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's PPE stuff, so protective clothing and equipment. So that's what we're taking up there right now. 

But my friend Jeff  Cripwell, is a car dealer. He commutes and he's like, there is a huge need for same day courier to and from Gibson's. Because Jeff lives there. Half the time you forget something at home. Hre could have it easily picked up by our courier, put it on a ferry, picked it up. There's no unescorted cargo at this point. So you know, somebody has to go and hand it off. 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 out  riding around in the 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. That people are appreciating it. 

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

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

Mark: Sorry, sorry. Wrong place. 

Mark: 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 for fairly far up, and I was like, Oh, look at that. 

Mark: Madeira Park, or..

Mark: 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. So whenever I look at it on the map, he's sticking around the perimeter, but he covers a huge area. 

Mark: 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 you have the city of Nanaimo is basically what we've been doing our same day, inner city stuff. But Parksville is like a hit we do all the time. I've never considered, 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 same day 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, 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 the scheduling and the routing is much easier.  

Mark: 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: 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 I liked it. I was like, Oh, this is relaxing. You're in my world.

Mark: 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 area or along the Sunshine Coast. Forgive me for not recognizing which Bay it was at the top end the post. 

Mark: I can't give directions.

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

Mark: Right on. Thank you.