Prime Fresh Handling Casts a Big Net Over New York

Prime Fresh Handling is casting a bigger net over New York by expanding its perishables business to include the handling of fresh fish – but also by enhancing the customer experience with the rollout of exciting new software.

Since early 2019, when PFH decided to couple its core mission of handling fresh-cut flowers with the import of fresh fish, business has been growing exponentially. And now, a soon-to-be released tracking software is promising to make the company’s service product even more desirable.

“The strategy of introducing fresh fish into our New York service line is definitely paying off,” says Alex Paredes, PFH Sales Manager North America.

“It’s been just four months, but we’re growing at a very fast rate because of course were not only able to take immediate advantage of PFH’s existing cold-chain infrastructure here that supports our established flower business, but our vast know-how in shipping perishables in general. So expanding into fish was the next natural step.”

Not to suggest PFH isn’t facing competition in this enormous metropolitan market. But Paredes says other companies in New York focus predominantly on the trucking service, not on the handling end of the business, as PFH does so well.

“While we do have own dedicated fleet of refrigerated trucks to ship product, our primary focus is expert handling – and of course quality control.”

PFH currently serves most major distribution centers in New York including Fulton Market, and the New Fulton Market in the Bronx, as well as upstate New York and into New Jersey.

Let’s Get Fresh
Although timing is everything in the highly-specialized perishables business, understandably, fish require a lot more care and attention than flowers, for instance.

“Freshness is everything with fish. That’s why our customers demand that their product is recovered within less than three to four hours of landing at the airport, and that we adhere to the strictest standards of quality control all along the way,” says Paredes. “And this is where reliance on real-time technology steps in.”

New Technology
According to Omar Zambrano, Prime Group’s Chief Operations Officer, the new hand-held units they are deploying utilize similar software to what’s already in use to ship of flowers, dry cargo, and perishables.3

Integrally involved in the development and rollout of the new software and scanners, Zambrano says the officially rollout is on schedule for an August release.

The new software will be deployed in Los Angeles as well, where the company is also enjoying a booming presence in the fresh-fish business.

How it works:
• As soon as the precious cargo arrives at the PFH’s JFK warehouse, expert handlers are standing by to begin preparing the fish immediately, in order to meet strict delivery deadlines throughout the New York area and to connect with flights to down-line cities.
• From that moment of arrival, the imperative is to initiate direct, real-time communications with the end-point customers – the wholesale/retail distributors and restaurants.
• Using a mobile scanner, warehouse staff clicks on the pallet, triggering a message to the customer that their fish is here, it’s been offloaded from the aircraft, and it is now in the warehouse.
• As the process of breaking down the pallets begins, temperatures are continually monitored and the customer is now advised that their delicate cargo is being segregating by fish type.
• Because orders are custom-prepared based on customer need, on their end, they sign for what they want it, their order is boxed and iced, and is quickly dispatched for delivery.

All the while, this custom-designed software is also keeping PFH staff on point in order to minimize delays and eliminate human error.

“It is easy and smart – and benefits everyone,” says Zambrano. “The software was designed to be totally user friendly so all they have to do is click, click, and click – and there is nothing more to think about.”

Except, of course, enjoying amazingly fresh and delicious fresh fish.

For details, contact Alex Paredes, PFH Sales Manager-North America, via email at salesjfk@primegroup.aero or call PFH New York at 516-837-9777. For more information, visit www.primegroup.aero.

Prime Group Boosts Presence on European Stage

Prime Group’s sales team chalked up a long list of highly productive meetings and promising leads at last month’s Air Cargo Europe 2019, the world’s leading trade fair held in Munich for the air cargo and logistics industry.

While there, says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes, they made it a point to not only buttress relations with current business partners Atlas Air and Emirates SkyCargo, but also to pursue key introductions with several additional cargo airlines. “Because at end of the day we are sharpening our focus on serving other carriers in untapped markets to and from South America.”

For years, Prime Group has had a significant presence at the major trade shows in North and South America, most notably, at Air Cargo Americas in Miami, because it is right in their back yard.

Comprised of four separate divisions, Prime Group is based in Doral, Fla., bordering Miami International Airport. The companies include Prime Air & Ocean Cargo, Prime Fresh Handling, Prime Fresh Products, and PrimeAir.

“As we continue to put greater emphasis on global expansion, it is vitally important that we make our name known among potential customers all across the world,” said Paredes.

Air Cargo Europe is an international exhibition with an accompanying high-profile conference offering opportunities for prominent industry representatives to discuss the latest trends and topics.

Reflecting the major growth of the cargo industry overall, this year’s show, June 4 to 7, saw a 10 percent increase in exhibitors (to 2,400), as well as a jump in visitors to the show – with more than 64,000 in attendance for 2019.

Top topics included status of the trade war between the USA and China, discussion of the “New Silk Road,” and how artificial intelligence will help the industry in the long term by making logistics chains more transparent and efficient.

Most impressive for the Prime Group team was the sharp increase in the number of Chinese attending the show, as Chinese firms are increasingly looking for cooperation partners in Europe. With Prime Group’s strong and growing presence in Amsterdam and multiple service connections to and from South America, this came as very good news. After all, sparking new growth in capacity between Europe and the Asia market is one of the company’s prime objectives – especially during peak seasons for fresh flowers and other perishables.

Despite the fact that current relations between the governments of the U.S. and China are not conducive at the moment, says Paredes, “We have to be open to options and think in the long term.”

With an exhibition covering 10 halls, the top 10 exhibitor countries after Germany were: Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France, Poland, China, Austria, Spain, U.K., and the Czech Republic. New exhibitors this year included Fercam, Neutral Air Cargo, Hong Kong COSCO Shipping Lines, China Asia Shipping, and Yuxinou Logistics.

Paredes said there are significant benefits to participation in trade shows – and this show in particular allowed his team to check many boxes. First and foremost:
• The ability to effectively advertise their brand to thousands of vendors, prospective customers, and industry leaders;
• To see familiar faces and build upon existing relationships; and
• To generate high-quality leads and close sales.

“It’s also a great way to display our latest products and services, while keeping an eye on your competitors” he added.

“We’ll definitely be back, as Air Cargo Europe is the perfect networking platform thanks to its massive global appeal.”

Celebrating 18 Years of Prime Group Success

While flipping through some old photo albums in preparation for our company’s 18th anniversary this month, a great rush of nostalgia came over me. It was just so satisfying to look back at the myriad milestones we achieved over the years and the amazing growth we’ve experienced.

There we were in dozens of pictures with bright smiling faces accepting corporate awards, rolling out new services in new markets, working major trade shows… Some things never change.

But then again, some things change a lot – and I’m not just referring to how young I looked! As I sat there looking down memory lane, it suddenly hit me that all those faces looking back at me were on glossy color-photo paper pasted into a faux leather-bound book. That’s how we use to do it! Using a “technology” that is now considered totally out of date in today’s digital world.

Who could have foreseen the avalanche of impending advancements that would not only revolutionize how we capture and share images, but in the process, deal a deathblow to major corporate giants like Kodak and Polaroid. I am sure they wish they were better prepared for what was coming.

Lessons Learned
So, lessons learned. But also lessons applied – which is why I can say with great confidence that as we celebrate 18 years in business, I firmly believe Prime Group is extremely well positioned to survive the unknown unknowns. Because we have a strategy in place that keeps our companies open to all possibilities. We are not only nimble, but entirely deliberate in the way we are diversifying our business lines.

Who would have thought 18 years ago we would be here today using cutting-edge communications technology to track and monitor the status of thousands of pounds of fresh fish arriving at LAX and JFK, real-time, for a whole new base of customers. That’s what’s happening right now at Prime Fresh Products.

Who would have thought we’d have created a line of snack-foods, Tostones harvested and packaged in Ecuador for distribution among major retail supermarkets all across the U.S. That’s what is happening now at Prime Fresh Products.

Well Positioned
And all this upon a backdrop of aggressive sales and marketing efforts geared toward boosting awareness of the Prime Group brand in a way that will position us for long-term growth in new and emerging markets around the globe.

They say the only constant in business is change. With that in mind, we are continually monitoring our alignment with defined organizational challenges and objectives. We are also keenly aware that our business can be influenced by:

• Increased diversity and globalization in the workforce, customers, suppliers, and competitors;
• New technologies that have resulted in faster pace and larger scale;
• A more complex communications environment with more channels; and
• Changes in business situations and strategy.

So in 18 years, when I look back at our bright smiling faces, the moments, and milestones – stored on an antiquated USB drive – I will know that right there in the background, there were smart and strategic efforts taking place to ensure the long-term success of our company.

Thank you for being with us on this journey.