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!