Phantom Couriers New Office at 329 Howe St. Vancouver, BC

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver, Vancouver's favourite courier service and one of the a hundred fastest growing companies in the province of BC, but expanding right across the country. We're gonna talk today about a new downtown retail location, International Shipping Center at 329 Howe Street. This just opened up. What's going on with this Mark?

Mark H: Well, we've always had, you know, excellent advertisement through like Google My Business and maps and people come down to the office and with COVID, they're stuck at the intercom. It's difficult to enter the building. And we're downstairs, they was go upstairs, and there was a barrier and it wasn't really customer friendly. It's more of a call centre that did shipping. 

And I noticed over the last few years, like the UPS stores were closing, the FedEx stores, like the Kinko's stores closed and there was a DHL store up the street with a lineup at 8:00 PM. And I was like, I want a line up at my place until 8:00 PM. So Crest Jewellers moved to the jewelry district on Granville Street and there was a 700 square foot retail spot at 329 Howe. In the building that I currently have my other office in. And I thought, I know it's not the best time, but it's not the worst time either. So I just ran upstairs to the lease manager, signed a five-year lease and got the space. And we did our soft opening on Tuesday. 

And lots of things are happening. It's an Amazon pickup centre. So anybody who doesn't want to have Amazon come to their business, they can come get it from us. So they can just call us, we'll drop it off. We do all of our international shipping out of it. So people can come in and choose their best price point. You know, we have, accounts with Puralator, DHL and FedEx, and then of course Phantom.

So there's all sorts of pricing verticals. People can choose from, different services, world wide, everybody's got a better price point so we can find the best one for them. It's got a student shipping centre. It's got boxes. It's basically like a Uline catalog inside. There's like bubble wrap and boxes and packing and wrapping.

You can come down to discuss furniture pickups. Anything people need. Students who need to have stuff shipped back and forth from home. We can arrange that through there. Wine stores are having wine dropped off to us for pickup. And instead of delivery, a lot of people are, you know, well, my neighbourhood, the kids might mess with it, so we can just hold it for them.

All Clearly returns will come there. So all contact lenses and glasses can be held there instead of going to a Canada Post where they don't know what's going on because they're generally just an employee of a drug store, that's working a shift. And they're, you know, they're up to speed, but they're not that up to speed. It takes people, they've got to stand in line and then to get to the counter and they don't know what's going on. So that's another problem we can solve. It'll be done like that. 

Etsy and Shopify entrepreneurs can drop off their stuff there for shipping and get like a bulk shipment. All that international cross border mail can be done there. So it's got postal services there. We can weigh it out to send it by Canada Post cause we have all the Canada Post rates. 

It is going to be awesome. And you know, the first day we opened, somebody comes wandering in because they're lost. Can't find DHL. Boom done. It's got a nice big sign. It's nice and clean. It's COVID ready. It's excellent actually, it's a bare bones. Get the job done. DIY threw it together, pop up prototype for the future. And it's pretty stellar. 

Mark: Nice. So it's already off to a roaring start even though the sign isn't ready and all this stuff isn't ready in place yet this week.

Mark H: Yeah, we opened the door, just checking the gate, people were coming in. And then some of our gaming companies, with all the virtual celebrations that are going on, all gaming and animation studios are, they're just pumping out huge volume, like 400 deliveries of gift bags and t-shirts for a gaming company that was celebrating the victory. Like they put it in the bag, all that stuff came to Phantom. So the drivers have easy access, but then the returns and the no loads, like if you can't drop it off, people are just like, Oh, you're just down the street. I'll come down, I'm just in Coal Harbour. So lots of people can walk over, pick up their stuff, super convenient.

And they've really liked the look of it. You know, it's sleek, it's tight, it's efficient. It's Phantom efficient. So it's really well done. And Dion's done a great job of setting it up. So I'm pretty happy with it right now. We're just getting our systems and procedures under control. And after that we'll be off to the races. There'll be scalable duplicatable. And then it's, it's really franchisable. You know, we've had a few interests, people interested in franchising opportunities. I was like, all right, I'll take it. Let's see what we can do. But that's down the road. But definitely it has a business model that's scalable people like it. I'm pretty proud of it. 

Mark: Cool. And what's the hours of opening? 

Mark H: Well, we're going to be open from eight til eight, that's standard. Usually we're open seven days a week. I'm not sure if it's going to be open on weekends. We'll have some people stand by for a few weeks and see what happens. See what the need is. But I have a feeling it'd be seven days a week, 12 hours a day, ready for people to come before and after work and be there for the, you know, it's it's to be there for people to use. So we might as well be available. 

Mark: Exactly. And the convenience of being right in the central business district right in downtown Vancouver, that's gotta be pretty amazing.

Mark H: Oh yeah. And right across the street, there's like ample street parking and then there's a parking lot, right to the side of it. So it's easy and it's super, super functional. It's right there. And of course I was out for dinner at Miku. And when we left the restaurant, just turned, pow, it was the biggest, brightest sign on the street. It was it's just like epic. I was like, you can't see anything except for Phantom. So you can't miss it. It's got a big six foot lit up sign in the window. It's pretty groovy. You can't miss the logo. It's like the bat signal right there on Howe Street. Totally suits Phantom. A 100% man. 

Mark: So Batman, if you're listening and you need some help, you need a Robin to help you. Phantom Couriers is at 329 Howe Street in downtown Vancouver. Or of course, if you need curb side pickup or deliveries, whatever you need, wherever you need it anywhere in the world. Phantom Courier (604) 899-5447. Or across the whole country of Canada, +1 844-899-5447. If it needs to be there, Phantom Couriers will get it there. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark H: Definitely. Thank you.