A Time to Share Thanks

By Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes.

Every Thanksgiving, my family goes around the table to share what we’re thankful for, just before digging into the turkey. Even back when we lived in Quito, my American wife would insist on putting on a huge Thanksgiving dinner each year, complete with all the trimmings, in an effort to keep the stateside tradition going for our young daughters.

 

Close friends and family joining us there really enjoyed the chance to experience this unique American holiday, not just because it was like getting an extra early Christmas turkey meal, but because it focuses on the universal theme of thanks and gratitude.

 

And although this year we plan to take our celebration to the beach here in Miami, the warm and wonderful family tradition of sharing gratitude continues. Be it a beach blanket or formal dining table, it’s really all about being together, breaking bread, and acknowledging those who are most important.

 

Thanksgiving is also a time when we take stock of what we’ve accomplished over the past year and give thanks to all the wonderful people in our lives who have been at our side along the way, like our valued customers.

 

So, I want take a moment to personally let you to know how thankful my business partner Omar Zambrano and I are to be associated with you. Thank you for placing your trust in us and giving us a chance to provide you with our services. Your success is our success – and I am pleased that for so many of you, this has been a banner year.

 

And because much of our company’s good fortune is also tied to our dedicated and talented employees, I want to thank them as well, for the work they do to make our company great. You help us provide top-tier services to our clients every day. Without your commitment, creativity, and high standards, we would not be the thriving company we are. I am very grateful for your efforts.

 

I wish you a Thanksgiving filled with abundance and bright moments.

 

PFH is making connections with the right people

“The PMA Fresh Summit is the epitome of where you can come to get the best ideas and make connections with the right people.” That’s how the Produce Marketing Association summed up its huge show a couple weeks ago in Orlando serving the global produce and floral-supply chain business.

 

And that’s exactly what they delivered for Prime Fresh Handling (PFH) who sent a sales team to attend the annual Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition at the Orange County Convention Center.

 

Says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes, “The response from potential customers at the show was fantastic. We not only came home with new customer business in hand, but with a number of very solid prospects, as well.”

 

With about 1,200 fresh-produce exhibitors showing their wares, this year’s Fresh Summit paid special attention to new and emerging products and services. So it was a natural that first-timer PFH was in the house, with their Commercial Manager Cristina Moscoso from Los Angeles, PFH’s North American Sales Manager Alex Paredes out of New York, and Prime Group Business Partners Omar Zambrano and Roger Paredes from the Miami headquarters.

 

The PMA Fresh Summit is an industry show for everyone from growers in South America to importers of produce, to conglomerates with household names like Dole – to, of course, firms like Prime Fresh Handling, involved in the transport of perishables.

 

The Prime Group sales team used the show as a steppingstone in expanding the company’s Prime Fresh Handling product and service line, versus a sole focus on the company’s core business, flower transport. “It’s part of our strategy to grow Prime Fresh Handling,” says Paredes.

 

In fact, he says, it is this very shift from flowers to general perishables that is fueling the overall growth of the company.

 

“After 17 years in business, there’s little doubt we’re a familiar face in the transport of fresh flowers – which will certainly continue to be a huge focus for us, “Paredes continued. “But we see great value in aggressively expanding into handling produce such as fruit, vegetables, and fish.”

 

Which is why it was so important to attend the PMA. “We achieved numerous leads, had great discussions, shared ideas for new projects… and to top it off, we came back to Miami to immediately begin providing service to at least two of the new customers we met there,” said Paredes.

 

Prime Fresh Handling benefits by being part of Miami-based Prime Group, a network of coordinated cargo and freight specialists with offices and representatives worldwide.

 

Paredes noted he and his team will continue attending the PMA Fresh Summit and grow their presence at this annual trade show. “There’s a lot of untapped potential there,” he said.

 

PMA offers a unique network of more than 34,000 member contacts from more than 2,800 member companies, based in 53 countries, on six continents. These contacts span all sizes and types of businesses across the supply chain. For information, visit www.pma.com.

 

With offices in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Amsterdam, Bogota, and Quito, Prime Fresh Handling has decades of experience handling perishables. Its vast network warehouses and handling facilities use leading technology that guarantees consistent and safe delivery of flowers, produce, and fish. PFH also provides cold storage, tracking and tracing, and logistics support including document processing and Customs clearance.

 

PFH is located at the headquarters of Prime Group at 1301 NW 84th Ave., Suite 127, Miami, FL 33126. For information, visit www.prime-fresh.com or call 305-592-2044.

Prime Group sees presence in European market budding – with Amsterdam Station

Here’s what most people know about Amsterdam. It has more canals than Venice, it rains a lot, everyone rides bicycles there, and it’s right in the heart of the flower capital of the world.

 

But those of us in the air cargo logistics and services business know one more thing, that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is also home to one of the top providers in the industry– Prime Fresh Handling.

 

A total of three PFH employees are now based at Schiphol, the main international airport of the Netherlands. Located nine km outside the city of Amsterdam, AMS is high on the list of the world’s busiest airports by cargo traffic, ranking alongside Chicago O’Hare and London Heathrow.

 

And for Prime Fresh Handling, it is a prime location for growth, opportunity, and successes now and for years to come, as it also serves as a convenient gateway to the rest of the European market.

 

To get a perspective on the AMS operation, we talked with Marco Vink, Prime Fresh Handling’s General Manager based here at Schiphol.

 

Q: Tell us a about your Amsterdam operation?

MV: Prime Fresh Handling is one of the companies that compose the Prime Group. It is dedicated to import and handling of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. We are handling over 26 million kgs here on our six weekly freighters from South America, offering services such as vacuum cooling, transit handling, and export from the Dutch and French growers.

 

Q:With the growing success at AMS office, are you outgrowing your office?

MV: At the moment, we are in the process of moving to a new and larger facility where we can further grow and expand our operation. It’s going to be in a facility just 10 minutes from the airport, with very good infrastructure – and close to all major customers are in the region like Aalsmeer, Westland – all via direct access of the motorway.

 

Q: What is the focus of service at the AMS station?

MV: Our focus is on import and export, handling produce and flowers, and offering our clients an end-to-end solution with Fresh 2 Door service.

 

Q:What is your strategy with the AMS operation?

MV: Specializing in professional and responsive service to the customers, with a single-point-of-contact policy, is the hallmark of our service. We also offer the customer direct service so that they never have to wait for hours to get the attention they need and deserve. It’s a strategic approach that is not only quite appealing  in the marketplace, but is working well for our customers and us.

 

Q:What does the market in The Netherlands and Europe look like?

MV: Markets across Europe have a lot of potential with imports and export of various produce from Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina – and there is a wide range of products for sale on the export markets into Middle East, Far East, and U.S.

 

Q: Who are your biggest customers?

MV: Our biggest customers are the agents who we are flying the products for; and all major fruit, vegetable, and flower importers/exporters in the wholesale markets – as well as the big flowers auctions in Holland, of course.

 

Q: What are the primary products of the region?

MV: The main products we transport by air are flowers, plants, fish, cheese, fruit vegetables, and general cargo.

 

Q: How do you store, ship, and transport product to ensure the best quality?

MV: We are the “go-to professionals” in the business, transporting temperature-controlled products and maintaining a closed cold-chain, as we have the capability to store various products in the right environment and at different temperature settings. All is constantly monitored and measured by qualified, experienced staff.

 

Q:What do you think of the city of Amsterdam? Is Holland your home country?

MV: I was born there in 1971 – a very good year if I may say so myself! Amsterdam is a truly multi-cultural city and has a strong reputation in the world as a lovely town with an amazing flower-bulb market, some cheese farms, and of course the wooden shoes.

 

Q:Are you happy with your assignment in the Prime Group world? And please share a little know fact about Marco Vink that we might find interesting.

MV: I am a father of four children and married to a lovely wife. I started working in the industry in 1992, and accepted various positions in the business of import and export air and ocean logistics of perishable products. I think working for Prime Group gives me a strong motivation to succeed – and hope to have the opportunity to do just that by growing the business, in a nice and stable environment.

 

Q. In addition to the recent Royal FloraHolland Trade Fair Aalsmeer, what other shows are best to attend – in getting the word out about Prime Fresh Handling.

MV: The IFTF show indeed just passed we had a very productive presence, yes. Other shows we are visiting are the Fruit Attraction in Madrid, Fruit logistica in Berlin, the PMA in the USA, Flowers Expo in Moscow, and the Expo Flor in Ecuador.

 

For information, contact General Manager Marco Vink via email at managerams@prime-fresh.com. Also visit www.primeair.aero.