Tucked in the suburbs just northwest of Miami International Airport, Doral is dubbed the fastest growing big city in Florida and the 11th fastest in the country. This rising young town is also a hotspot for trans-global companies such as Prime Air & Ocean Cargo – a rising division of its Doral-based parent company, Prime Group.
Prime Air & Ocean Cargo (PAOC) has extensive experience and knowledge in getting cargo from point A to B, matching the transportation needs of major industries all over the globe with creative, smart logistics solutions.
And for this long-standing company, Miami/Doral serves as a prime location for growth, opportunity, and successes – now and for years to come.
To get a better perspective on the Miami operation, we caught up with Omar Zambrano, co-founder of Prime Group, who oversees the day-to-day management PAOC.
Q:With the continued success of the MIA operation, tell us about your recent move to an all-new facility in Doral.
OZ: After outgrowing our previous home, we moved the company’s operation this summer into an all-new facility of 20,000 sqft, just three miles from the MIA cargo zone. It’s still within the city limits of Doral, because this area serves our needs so well – and the needs of our customers. Here we have 500 positions on rack, which is the right way to keep the cargo in good condition. Also, we now have parking space that accommodates 53-foot trailers.
The much-needed move, actually included relocation of the entire Prime Group portfolio of companies: PAOC, PrimeAir, Prime Fresh Handling, and Prime Fresh Products.
Q:What is your strategy with the MIA operation?
OZ: Our strategy for success lies within our team of people. PAOC has been in the enviable position of attracting and retaining extremely qualified professionals with skills and expertise spanning the entire logistics spectrum. PAOC employees are trained to handle general cargo, hazardous material, perishable cargo, and over-size cargo – via air and ocean shipment. In addition, our entire staff is bilingual in English and Spanish.
It’s also important to note, we are always ready to help our customers with any problems, challenges, or questions they may have. It simply doesn’t matter if it’s late at night or over the weekend. Our clients absolutely love our dedication to service – that’s why we have a very high level of customer retention. And in the few instances a customer leaves us for a competitor, it’s just a matter of time until they make their way back to PAOC.
Q:How is the market performing for the company?
OZ: PAOC is very well known in the international market. On a weekly basis, for instance, we move more than 50 tons from China in transit to South America. We we keep just keep growing, year after year – and 2018 was certainly no exception.
Q: Where are your biggest customers based?
OZ: The majority of PAOC’s customers are out of Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Holland, and Italy.
Q: What are the primary products PAOC focuses on with its marketing and shipment efforts?
OZ: The main products we transport include electronics, hospital equipment, ATM-machine parts, fresh-cut flowers, and vaccines. As you can see, that’s a wide-ranging mix of products and material, but honestly, that’s what makes our business so interesting.
Q. We’ve heard PAC will see a “commercial push” in 2019. Tell us about that.
OZ: What this means is we are focusing on increased diversification. With the ability to move all kinds of cargo, including perishables, we are extremely well positioned to manage the ups-downs of the market. We are anticipating a very good year in 2019. Brazil in particular will be growing this coming year, as well other principal countries in South America.
Our very good relationships with air carriers and ocean carriers allow PAOC to offer great rates and ample space to all destinations, inclusive of space on passenger flights.
Q: What kind of expertise is required to beat the competition?
OZ: In one word, it’s know-how. Well, that’s two words, kind of! But the fact is, we know the logistics business up and down, from origin to destination. We have very close relationships with our customers, which allows us to always find solutions. By aligning ourselves with our customers, side-by-side, we always find the best way to move their cargo, based on their needs. Flexibility is also one of our greatest qualities, allowing us to accommodate last-minute requests.
Q:What is the composition of your team?
OZ: The Miami PAOC operation consists of the following team members:
- Igor Vilas Boas – Cargo Manager, Export & Import
- Brian Rivas – Ocean Operation
- Roy Paredes – Brazil Operation
- Kahrenn Leiva – South America Operation
- Roberth Valdes – South America Operation
- Francisco Zumarraga – Sales Executive
- Tatiana Hernandez – Quotes
- Pamela Espinoza – Pricing
- And in the warehouse, staff members are Minerva Pedraza, Alain Ciscal, Joshuan Hernandez, and Javier Soza.
Q:Tell us a about your history with Prime Group and in the industry.
OZ: I got my start in the airline business in Ecuador in 1997, working for Avianca Cargo; and then Transoceanica were I become deputy manager for cargo with Lufthansa and Lan Chile Cargo. In 2001, I joined up with Roger Paredes to form our own company, Prime Air, which was the GSA for AGI, operating six flights per week to Miami. Our market was Quito-Miami with B747F equipment. By 2004, I moved to Miami to fulfill the dream of expanding our operations beyond Ecuador and diversifying our service portfolio.
In October of that year, I started moving cargo from Miami to Quito with Arrow Air. Many of the contacts I had in Ecuador started contacting me to arrange their export from Miami to Quito, so business was good and continued to expand. In 2005, we rented a small warehouse of just 2,500 sqft, but by 2008 expanded into a 5,000-sqft warehouse. Growth continued and in 2010 we moved into a to 10,000-sqft warehouse – and then this past year, into the new 20,000 sqft space.
Now PAOC is well known among all the airlines and ocean carriers in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles due to the high volume of cargo we move and the exceptional quality of our services.