Prime Air & Ocean Cargo is all spooled up over AOGs

There are two things people know about “AOGs.” They come with little notice and a lot of emotion.

For Omar Zambrano, they also come with a huge rush of adrenaline.

“I just love moving engines,” he says without a flinch as another wide-body screams over his Doral office where he serves as GM of Operations for Prime Air & Ocean Cargo.

Working right under the approach to MIA, it’s not the loud aircraft that give Zambrano a thrill, rather it’s the quiet ones – the “Aircraft On Ground” that’s stranded on a ramp a continent away, or the AOG at a Costa Rican overhaul center waiting for a new engine to arrive.

“When we get an AOG call, we immediately go into ‘emergency responder’ mode. You jump up, pull the team together, and don’t stop ‘til the job is done,” says Zambrano. “It’s intense and nerve wracking…”

Yet he boasts that AOG’s are the best part of his job. “Never a dull moment, that’s what I like…”

Airline operators however, look at AOGs with an entirely different set of emotions – like anxiety and impatience. That’s because they usually come with great cost.

 

AOG 101
Zambrano explains that any failure in providing spare parts for an aircraft can lead to a situation called “Aircraft On Ground,” a term that indicates a problem is serious enough to prevent an aircraft from flying.

“Generally, to get the aircraft back into service, the airline needs to provide the part immediately, otherwise it will lose its profit – and perhaps even its reputation.” In fact, in operational costs alone, including passenger, crew, ground services, and catering costs, the tab for an AOG can be as much $25,000 per day for the airline.

This is where Prime Air & Ocean Cargo (PAOC) comes in, with a team of highly qualified personnel managing all aspects of the dispatch and delivery of an entire engine or the smallest of parts, door to door. Whether it’s in the middle of the night or for shipment to a remote island, PAOC does its part to ensure fast repair of an aircraft and prompt return to service.

But not all AOG are emergencies. Some aircraft are out of service as part of regular maintenance. Even still, a qualified network of AOG professionals is required to ensure safe and reliable transport of crucial replacement parts.

“If an overhauled engine doesn’t make it to the waiting aircraft in the allotted time, now you got a serious AOG emergency on your hands,” said Zambrano.

 

Success Story
Consider this real-life scenario Zambrano experienced recently with a new client, a vice president of a U.S.-based company that performs major work for airlines and other clients from around the world.

He heard that PAOC is a top provider of AOG service. With years of experience with customers like Aerolineas Argentinas and TAME, he figured he could entrust PAOC with a CFM56-3 engine he needed shipped to Costa Rica for one of his company’s biggest customers.

And he figure right.

The initial inquiry came in to Zambrano’s Doral office just after noon on a Tuesday. The client wanted a quote to transport an engine from AeroThrust at MIA to SJO by the weekend. E-mails shot back and forth well into the night, with final negotiations between 2 and 3 a.m.

Within hours, an email popped back, saying: “Ok, that’s great guys. Let’s proceed. How would you like to be paid.”

With the agreement signed, sealed, and delivered, this next email, at 11:53 a.m., was the moment Zambrano was waiting for – a promise of more business in the future:

“Hi guys, thanks for the efficiency in the last 24hrs. I’m looking forward to using you more often… I’ll be in Miami next week … and would like to set up a side meeting to make sure we look at how we can cooperate on future projects and consignment.”

 

We Can Ship It

“We have a saying around here that goes, ‘If you can ship flowers, you can pretty much ship anything’,” says Zambrano. “But let’s face it, AOGs are even more critical than flowers. Because not only do you have to be reliable and fast, you have to be totally available on a moment’s notice.”

Jet engines and electronic aircraft components are highly sensitive and complex items that simply cannot be handled by just anyone. Everything has to be perfect.

But with a global network of AOG specialists, expertly coordinated by Zambrano from his Doral-base of operations, word of PAOC achieving perfection is now being thrust around the world.

That thrills Zambrano, too.

 

About PAOC

With offices and warehouse facilities in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles, Prime Air & Ocean Cargo (PAOC) has a unique ability to streamline, optimize, and expedite freight to and from points all across the globe for a wide range of major industries – with creative, smart logistics solutions.

 

For information, call 305-592-2044 or visit www.primeaircargo.com.

Prime Group Salutes Quito Airport

I recently came across a quote by Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos that really resonated with me: “You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

With those few words, I realized he was describing the very thing that has forged our own company’s reputation since starting operations in Quito 18 years ago.

Prime Group knows how to do hard things well. Period.

In fact, we’ve mastered the handling of time-sensitive perishables and specialty cargo to such a degree that when someone in logistics thinks “Quito,” they instantly think “Prime Group.”

Our reputation for providing best-in-class service here is also why we’re the go-to GSSA for the biggest names in air cargo, like Atlas Air and Emirates SkyCargo.

And now we’re seeing a clear sign that success breeds success: the combination of top-quality airlines and Prime Group’s unmatched brand of service is playing a significant role in the success of the overall cargo operation at Quito airport.

At this year’s Air Cargo Excellence Awards (ACE), presented by Air Cargo World magazine, Mariscal Sucre International Airport was recognized with the prestigious Diamond Award.

The award considers the performance, facilities, and value delivered – through the eyes of freight forwarders, cargo agents, and third-party logistics providers. In all these areas, Quito has achieved the highest grades for excellence among airports handling under 400,000 tonnes annually.

To me, this affirms the notion that no matter where we operate, Prime Group companies continually excel, improve, and set new standards. Of course there are many factors that play a part in Quito’s excellence, but certainly we have left an indelible and positive mark on the overall operation – and continue to do so every day here.

So on behalf of our dedicated team of flight dispatchers, administrative and accounting agents, operations and traffic supervisors and agents, and sales representatives in Quito, we congratulate Mariscal Sucre International Airport on this well deserved honor.

And we humbly promise to continue to do our part to ensure that together we may celebrate this important honor year after year, long into the future.

Lastly, allow me also to congratulate one of our most important customers, Emirates SkyCargo, for winning the ACE Diamond Award as the top carrier for 2019 in the airline competition.

Well done, team!

Dragon fruit signals shift in focus for Prime Fresh Handling

It seems the world is catching on to the power of the pitahaya. Also known as the dragon fruit, this delicious tropical superfood from Ecuador is now growing in popularity from Hong Kong to the U.S. and many points between.

And that’s a good thing for Prime Group. Because as the market’s appetite grows, two of its divisions stand to benefit most: PrimeAir as the GSSA for air carriers transporting the product worldwide; and Prime Fresh Handling (PHF) as the agent that takes care of such sensitive perishables on the ground.

In fact, it was the PFH team at LAX that was ready and waiting when the first-ever U.S. import of organic pitahaya was accepted here last month.

Leading up to this historic flight, the Ecuadorean Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock worked long and hard with in-country fruit producers dedicated to this crop. And it is now paying off as the agency recently announced that dozens of international markets are currently open for the export of organic dragon fruit – spanning China, North America, Southeast Asia, Russia, and 28 countries of the European Community.

The Ecuadorean pitahaya is the most highly sought variety not just because it’s so plump and enticing, with hardy yellow skin and unique seed-speckled flesh, but because it can do a lot for your health, too.

In fact, benefits include anti-aging, immune system boosting, and sugar stabilization. And pitahaya tastes great too, like a mix between a kiwi and pear with a slight crunchiness.

 

Growing Presence
The seeds to success in being selected to handle Ecuador’s first inbound shipment of organic pitahaya actually were planted over a year ago, says PFH’s Commercial Manager Cristina Moscoso.

That’s when she and her team launched a big commercial push to grow the division’s U.S. West Coast presence. This move was timed to follow an expansion of the PFH facility at LAX, which now features more than 21,000-square-feet of cooler and freezer space for product staging and storage.

“We obviously know a lot about handling fresh flowers, our core business. But lately, we’ve made impressive strides into serving clients who deal in other perishables, such as fish and produce,” said Moscoso.

With PFH facilities also in Bogota, Quito, Miami, New York, Amsterdam, the division offers a complete menu of logistics services from crating and packaging, to cold storage and inventory services – even document processing and customs clearance.

“So that’s why we’re so pleased to be working with organic pitahaya – it’s is exactly what we have been aiming for.”

 

Well-Timed Fruit

Not only is the pitahaya good for you and good for business, it’s amazingly well timed. Just as the annual flower season cycles down, dragon fruit is ready to fill the open capacity out of Quito.

It’s where produce meets productivity.

“March was always the low point of the year in terms of kilos handled, but now, due especially to the pitahaya, the number of shipments and tonnes of fruit has been on a major upswing,” says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes.

In fact, this year they didn’t really feel the low season at all following Russian Women’s Day, the traditional end of the busy flower season.

Paredes also notes that while dragon fruit demand is high all across the world, the majority of output right now is going to China, via connecting Emirates SkyCargo flights from Quito.

“We are all hopeful this will be more than just a ‘year of the dragon,’” he quipped.

“But seriously, if the voracious Chinese market is leading the way in the consumption of pitahaya, all of us supporting its distribution should plan to be busy over the long haul.”

 

For more information, visit primefresh.eu or email Commercial Manager Cristina Moscoso at Cristina.Moscoso@primeair.aero.