Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 12 December 2017

Happy Holidays

Another year, another turning of the globe, another holiday season is upon us! Breakaway wants to wish all of our cherished customers a happy, healthy, and prosperous holiday season. May the adults have health and wealth, and may the kiddies get all the goodies they asked for. And, if you need extra help making sure the munchkins get their treats on time, give us a call. We’ve been made deputy elves this year!

Getting Around II

Last month, we complained about the state of our rail system in the Big Apple. Well, on top of that bad news sundae sits a maraschino cherry of distress. The bus system in NYC is the slowest not just in the state, not just on the east coast, but in the entire country. Average bus speed in Manhattan is a mere 5.5 mph. This means that if you take the bus, you can shave just before leaving your house and have pronounced stubble by the time you arrive at your destination. Precisely why we’re sticking with our bikes!

Trailblazing

They’re French, they’re amazing, and they can carry a lot. We’re talking about our new BiciLyft trailers, which we’ve been using to great effect. They can pull up to 400 lbs. of cargo, and yet are highly maneuverable in traffic while hitched to bicycles. Breakaway is the first U.S carrier to put them to work and we’re making news for it - from Fast Company to Newsweek!

Vocabulary

We’re really used to riding in traffic, but we never knew that there was a specific term it. Vehicular cycling is the act of riding as if you are a car, and is the model of urban cycling since the 70s. Bike lanes may be changing that, but we still think it’s a necessary skill. Stay tuned.

Boston Bike Ban?

From our colleagues in Boston comes a story of trying to turn back the wheel of progress. It seems a consortium of local businesses are trying to stop the creation of new bicycle lanes, and even to remove the Cambridge St. bike lane, a major route for cyclists. It seems local businesses feel that cyclists “deter customers.” Naturally, we feel that people cruising at cycling speed are more apt to stop at a local business. More as we learn it.

Holiday Stats

Well, we’ve survived Thanksgiving, and now it’s on to Christmas dinner. Exactly how many calories are consumed at this time of year? According to the Calorie Control Council, Thanksgiving dinner can be as much as 4,555 calories, and 229 grams of fat. If you celebrate Christmas, that dinner could add another 4,555 calories. Gym membership!

Stump the Band

Last month we asked: “on whose coat of arms does the American turkey appear and why?” Answer: English navigator William Strickland was granted such a coat of arms, as he was responsible for introducing the birds to England.

T-Shirt Question

Cyclist Mark Beaumont just cycled around the world in 78 days. What woman made the fastest trip around the globe on two wheels?  The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

 

Breakaway Courier Guide to Holiday Season Deliveries

Our delivery volume will spike dramatically during the holiday season, and you may experience delays, particularly during peak periods.  Here are some tips to avoid service delays:

1) Place large orders in the early morning, preferably before 9:00 AM. We are open 24 hours a day.  Our peak periods are from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM. If we are extremely busy, pickup times can slow down. Trucking deliveries are generally slower because of traffic delays and security checks.

2) If you are planning a large batch of gift deliveries, it helps to have one-day advance notice. For any delivery project with 10 or more addresses, you can just email us a spreadsheet and we’ll upload it directly into our system. Send the email to manyorders@breakawaycourier.com, and get more information at http://breakawaycourier.com/bulk-deliveries.

3) Label your packages completely.  Packages that are not completely labeled languish in the company mailroom.  Always include the recipient's full name, company name, room number, address and phone number. With post-9/11 security, many office buildings will not accept packages without complete information on delivery labels. Also include your return address on the package.

4) Call ahead to the delivery point to make sure someone is there to receive your package. If you order an evening delivery, make sure the receiving party is open past 5:00 PM. It might make more sense to schedule the delivery for the following morning.

5) Don't procrastinate! Please do not wait until the last minute. Many people leave several days early, and some offices close for the entire week of Christmas, so it’s best to complete deliveries by Friday, December 15, 2017.

 

 

 

Enjoy the holidays!

 

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 11 November 2017

Gobble Gobble!

It’s almost that time of year, when we visit family and eat ourselves into a food coma so deep that not even strong espresso can get us out of it. It’s Thanksgiving! We wish all of our valued customers a safe and happily calorific Thanksgiving holiday. Need a few turkeys delivered quickly? Give us a call. We can deliver the bird and all the fixin’s!

Getting Around

A favorite pastime here in the big burg is, of course, to complain. Don’t know why, but it’s very New York. Now, however, we really do have something to complain about: The transit system. NY1 reports that delays are increasing across the board, with the biggest problems along the J and Z lines. The lost productivity amounts to some 35,000 lost hours every day. That does it, we’re sticking with our bicycles. So are our couriers, who can be called upon to get it there on time, even if you can’t because of a sick passenger/train traffic/police investigation/what-have-you.

Big D and the Man

For a while a few years back, “big data” was the buzzword. It was going to revolutionize the way commerce works and influence our daily activities. Here at Breakaway, we don’t use “big data” per se, but we do get distracted by our stats, especially on Strava. Regardless of that or of what the data sets are telling you, you still need a courier so call us. Tracking them is more fun than collating your sigma tau set and multiplying by the integer of the cosecant.

How High?

We have calculated we are twelve feet above sea level. Just thought you should know that.

Rise of the Robots

The Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and Detroit Free Press have all recently run articles about robots. Not cute, Japanese anime AstroBoy type robots, but robots that are taking over jobs once done by people. More and more, it seems, automation is replacing people. But, we know you still need a real person to talk to, so call our friendly phone ops, and have a flesh and blood courier assigned to deliver your job. And don’t be afraid to talk to him or her. They’re people too.

Daylight Savings

November 5th is officially the day when we all fall back, and enjoy the lack of sunlight streaming through our windows at seven in the morning. You heard it here first, so be sure to reset your clocks, and don’t be late!

Stump the Band

Last month we asked who said, “I got no reason to be there, but I imagine it would be some kind of change” and what it referred to. Answer: It was Bob Dylan, in the 1965 song “Outlaw Blues,” and it’s about his longing to be on an Australian mountain range.  

T-Shirt Question

The American turkey appears in the coat of arms of whom and for what reason? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 10 October 2017

Booooo-yah!!!

It’s October, and that means that at the end of the month, we get to experience the annual sugar rush we call Halloween! Hordes of tiny hobgoblins and pint-sized superheroes will beat a path to your door in hopes of upping their cavity count from your bowls of sweet goodness! Need help preparing? Give us a call; our trucking department is ready to ship a few pallets of premade confectionary your way!

Fall Tasting

Fall weather is definitely in the air. We at Breakaway are getting ready for some serious leaf-peeping, getting out our fall and winter clothes from storage, and bracing ourselves for what has become the new annual onslaught: pumpkin spice!! We have no doubt as we wander through our respective cities that we will be inundated with  pumpkin spice lattes to accompany our pumpkin spice scones, perhaps later to be followed with pumpkin soup and some pumpkin spice beer. All in moderation, of course.

B.o.B, S.O.S, N.u.T.

Rapper B.o.B. has made a new name for himself recently. He came out strongly in favor of the idea of a flat earth (because, why not?), and has now launched a Go Fund Me page to launch satellites in order to “help him find the curve.” Of course, he could save himself, and people who might contribute, a lot of money; all he has to do is ask one of our couriers. They have enough miles and measurements in their legs to suss out any curve. Heck, we can even rush that to him.

Overheard

One well dressed young boss to another: “Oh my god, none of us have working phones!”

 Just another titillating conversation heard by our couriers every day.

Ultimate Stairmaster

How famous are general manager AY’s stair workouts? Famous enough for real estate mogul Stephen Ross to build him the ultimate stair master! In his Hudson Yards project, there is what looks like a large waffle cone in the middle of the whole shebang, the sole function of which is to provide a stair platform. Andy is already lacing up his running shoes.

Shorter Days

The days are definitely getting shorter (thanks to a round earth, B.o.B!), and we’re feeling the effects of the declining sunlight. Groggy all day, groggy all night, time to take a flight. Admittedly, some of our couriers love the winter. That’s why we hired them, so we could fly south.

Stump the Band

Last month we asked why the Tappan Zee Bridge is located where it is. Answer: It was deliberately built 25 miles north of the Statue of Liberty to keep it outside the jurisdiction of the Port Authority, and under the NYS Thruway’s authority.

T-Shirt Question

“I got no reason to be there, but I imagine it would be some kind of change.” Who uttered this and what does it refer to? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 9 September 2017

Labor Day

We had a wonderful weekend off, and now it’s back to work! We hope all of our customers had an enjoyable and relaxing Labor Day weekend. Also, hats off to all of our hard working couriers, who manage to get it done day after day and still come back for more.

Fall Cleaning

We’re sprucing up! Breakaway’s global HQ has gotten a bit of a makeover; we have new shelves, new secure cages for storing customer items for shipping - we’ve even got bicycles hanging from the ceiling!  Our warehouse also got a new floor, so we’re still hoping to catch the eye of “Better Warehouses and Headquarters.”

Do It Now!

There are always strange and wacky holidays every month to go along with the holidays that everyone already knows. Here’s one we can get behind; September 6th is Fight Procrastination Day. If you’re having trouble fighting procrastination, you have a strong ally in Breakaway Courier. So give us a call, and allow us to do the heavy lifting. After you drink the latte, of course.

Online Ordering/Tracking

It happens every so often, that when a customer sends out a delivery, they’re on tenterhooks until they know for sure that the package has been delivered and they find out who signed for it. In this modern day, all of that happens electronically; our messengers no longer use paper manifests, and all signatures and Proof of Delivery can be seen online. You can even track your messenger, and place your order via our mobile app. Visit us online to download the app and breathe easy. 

Better Billing

Can’t get enough of online organization? Good news! Now you can set up your Breakaway account to receive your billing in a spreadsheet. You’ll be able to see all your charges in an easy-to-read format, and sort them to suit your own purposes.  You can even pay your bill online. What better thing to do on a Saturday night?

Bank On It

We love our new bank! We recently switched to The Westchester Bank and, among other benefits, they don’t charge for remote scanning our deposits. We like them even better than stashing our money in the mattress. Their customer service is far superior to bouncing around the world on phone jail. It’s amazing; we get to talk to real people who really are named Jeff and Sue.

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what APIs were. Answer: Web APIs allow for one company’s services to be embedded into an e-commerce site. That way, delivery information is obtained without having to enter Breakaway’s website.

T-Shirt Question

It’s almost finished, and ready to replace the older model, but why is the Tappan Zee Bridge located where it is? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 8 August 2017

Summer Lull

Ahh…August, lazy August! That place holder month between the festivities of July and the start of school in September. Nothing to do except laze around in the summer heat on the beach. Oh, and work, of course. Commerce still takes place here in the big burg, so when you need your item delivered quickly, give us a call. August may be lazy, but our messengers aren’t.

Congrats

Congratulations to Chris Froome of Team Sky, who won his fourth Tour de France victory. This was a historic Tour, as the first four placed riders went into the last day separated by a mere 29 seconds, the closest spread in Tour history. In the end, Froome’s team was too strong for the others, although Team Sunweb had a very strong showing, winning both the King of the Mountains and the Sprinter’s jerseys.

Down on Pronouns

Here at Breakaway, we have decided to ban pronouns. We are banning them because it bothers us to use them for us and others, and we don’t want it to be a drag on our conversation. That said, they are now banned and banished, and those will no longer be employed by us and others in the office.

Making One’s Bed

A young couple, perhaps new to the city or to our neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, made their bed, but we’re going to make them lie in it. Specifically, they left a mattress outside our offices in the dead of night, resulting in a $200 fine for us! This is the 21st century, however, and these youngsters forgot that security cameras are everywhere. We’ve dispatched our mattress ninjas to let them know we’re not taking this lying down.

 Two-Wheeling It

The New York Times reports that daily bicycle rides in NYC have soared to an all-time high of 450,000, and that one in five of those rides is a commute to or from work.  They don’t say much, however, about those of us who spend their work day on a bike except to mention that not long ago, “only hardened cyclists braved the chaotic traffic” (that was us) and to note one enlightened gentlemen who enjoyed his bike commute so much that he quit his job to become a bike messenger.  The more the merrier!

See You on the BU

No motorist likes to see a bridge closure, but our colleagues and other cyclists in Boston are ecstatic for that very reason.  The Boston University Bridge is closed to cars for repairs, but it’s open for bicycles. Now, if only we could work out something like this on the Brooklyn Bridge…

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what legal process is needed to allow rails to trails. Answer: Railbanking, where the owning railroad allows the trail to be repurposed, but reserves the right to convert it back to rail.

T-Shirt Question

They’re becoming a standard in commerce, and we use them, but what do Web APIs actually do? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 7 July 2017

Happy Fourth…

…and First and Second and Third. July Fourth this year lands on a Tuesday, so we hope that all of our customers enjoy the long weekend. Remember to be safe, enjoy the fireworks, and don’t hand any lit M80s to anyone. And if you do have a shipment of M80s going anywhere, don’t call us. But, if you have a shipment of Independence Day barbecue fixins going to the beach, definitely call us!

Tour Fever

Independence Day isn’t the only thing we look forward to in July. The Tour de France has started! Our annual addiction kicks off this year in Dusseldorf, Germany, before heading into France for a whole month of drama and excitement. We’re rooting for U.S. homegrown rider Taylor Phinney. July 1st was 30 years to the day his father, Davis, won a stage in the Tour de France. Taylor’s mom, Connie, was a pioneer in her own right, winning the inaugural women’s Olympic road race in 1984. That’s our boy! USA! USA!

Beat the Heat

Have you got a many of gallons of ice cream, dozens of frozen brats, and pounds of steak to ship for some summer barbecue? Afraid it’ll melt on the way there and wind up smelling like the chum bucket in the back of a fishing boat? Not to worry, we have refrigerated trucks that will keep your cargo chilly on ice until it gets there. Call our trucking department for some cool details.

Rails, Trails, Dales

Rails to Trails, a national program, which turn unused rail corridors into picturesque trails, is continuing to link far-flung places. NYC’s High Line is among the most famous, but you can find one in just about any part of the country while you’re traveling around this summer.

 Going Hyper

It’s been ten years since the introduction of the iPhone, if you can believe that. It created a whole new paradigm for how to get things done, namely via apps. Breakaway is no exception.  If you haven’t yet done so, visit our website to download our app to send us your pick-up and delivery instructions on-the-go.  Don’t you need a little break from Candy Crush? 

All Aboard!

It’s not even six months, but the NYC East River Ferry Service is already up to 500,000 riders! For the cost of a subway ride, people are using them to shorten their commutes and enjoy some sun and sea on the way to work.  The ferries have racks, so folks can bring their bikes on board and just pedal off when they reach their destination.  This author has already availed himself of the ferries to head out to Bay Ridge and the Rockaways for exploration and picnics. Try out your sea legs! 

Stump the Band

Last month we wanted to know where the Pennsylvania RR terminated before Penn Station in New York was built. Answer: At Exchange Place, in New Jersey. Passengers then boarded a ferry to go further east.

T-Shirt Question

Rails to Trails helps revitalize many towns, but what is the legal process that allows this to happen? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

IS THIS YOU?

IS THIS YOU?

Are you the slightly overly-privileged looking young couple who left your discarded mattress in front of our building at 444 West 36th St at 1:00AM on July 26th?  

Guess what? We received a ticket from the NYC Dept of Sanitation for leaving a mattress in front of our building. A $200 ticket for a mattress that was left there by you!!!

This may come as a shock… but many businesses in NY have security cameras! Crazy, I know.  

Do you think you could maybe…if…you know… it’s not an inconvenience for you… possibly… stop by before you jump in the Hampton Jitney & head to Montauk for another crazy weekend in that summer rental with your besties?  Just pop over & apologize and pay our ticket?

That would so great. I mean…we would hate to have to tell your parents about this…Then it’s like …Goodbye Hamptons!

BTW…The confession dept is on the 3rd fl

 

Read More

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 6 June 2017

Father’s Day

Last month you honored Mom; now it’s Dad’s turn.  June is the month, in which we celebrate the guy who played catch with you, taught you how to swing a bat, and maybe had that awkward conversation with you about the birds and bees. Get him something great - and fer gosh sakes, make sure it isn’t another tie! Be it a Fitbit or a hibachi, Breakaway can deliver your gift faster than you can say “thanks, Dad!”

Summer Trucking

Summer is almost here, even if the weather still feels like fall. Trust us, it really is coming, and that means you’ll be off to the Hamptons, the Adirondacks, the Jersey Shore, or maybe some secret getaway spot. Whether you’re fleeing Upstate, Tri-State, or out of state we can schlep your summer gear to you wherever your paradise might be.

Solstice Approaches

June 21st brings the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and official start of summer.  Solstice comes from the Latin words sol, meaning “sun,” and sistere, meaning “to come to a stop or stand still,” which the sun’s zenith actually does on that day. If the summer heat has you wanting to stand still, fear not:   Breakaway messengers never stop.

Ride Bikes!

Seems our NYC mass transit system is in need of much repair, what with aging, neglect and overcrowding.  Upcoming track repairs at Penn Station could create what our own governor has declared a “summer of hell.”  He’s even offering a $1 million prize for an idea to improve the subways.  Easy money.  Avoid the delays, crowds, and traffic – just jump on a bike! 

 Cycle Class

Congratulations to all the members of the New York Cycle Club who completed the C SIG training rides! These are folks that beforehand had hardly ever ridden a bicycle. By the training’s end, they were riding 50+ miles. Enjoy a well-deserved beer, and keep on riding!

Glimpse of Greatness

If you pass anywhere near the West side of Grand Central Station, along Madison Avenue, you may see a sight not seen for a long time: The western façade of Grand Central Station. Sadly, this glimpse of the station’s glorious architecture won’t last; a building is swiftly going up that will once again block the view. If you’re fast, you can get a glimpse of what the station looked like when we arrived in the city like kings, rather than underground like rats. (We’re looking at you, Penn Station!)

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what foxtrot song got later rearranged as a Hawaiian Hula. Answer: “May Day is Lei Day.”

T-Shirt Question

Penn Station is named for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the station was its easternmost terminal. But, this wasn’t always the case. Where did PRR trains terminate before Penn station? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.