Prime Group Works with Pharmaceutical Customers to Help People Worldwide

Among the ever-expanding portfolio of specialized services offered by Prime Logistics and Prime Fresh Handling (PFH) is the worldwide shipment, handling, and expert monitoring of pharmaceuticals and biologics.

With state-of-the-art facilities in Europe, South American, and across North America, as well as a 24-7 team of agents on at its operations center in Miami, these Prime Group companies are uniquely qualified to meet – and exceed – the customer demands of this highly specialized industry.

Customer agents from around the world, working with the major pharmaceutical suppliers of the World Health Organization (WHO), more often turn to the Prime Group due to its long-term history of managing time-critical shipments like vaccines and biologics.

Fast, Reliable, Direct
Based in such distant places as Indonesia, India, the Philippines, according to Prime Group Chief Operating Officer Omar Zambrano, “Freight forwarders worldwide know our name and our global reputation for fast, reliable, and direct transportation of pharmaceuticals.”

Stationed at the company’s base of operations in Miami, Prime Logistics Operations Agent Bryan Rivas is one of few people in air cargo logistics who know more about time-sensitive products and the tight and ever-changing rules that govern their movement.

“My role is to find the best way to beat the clock, safely and reliably, of course. Because in many cases, door-to-door service from one corner of the world to the other needs to take place within 48 hours, when possible.”

But it’s not just time, it’s also about temperature consistency. Vaccines and biologics in particular must stay within specific temperature ranges every step of the way – during transit, while in storage, and right up to the point of arrival. Such attention to detail ensures these products maintain their efficacy. Otherwise, they are unuseable.

Diphtheria, Tetanus & Polio
For instance in late February, Prime Logistics was called into action to ship 200 vials of highly sensitive Diphtheria and Tetanus Vaccines; and 3,000 vials of live oral polio vaccine from Jakarta all the way to the Ministry of Health in Belize City. Mission accomplished – just in time for the next shipment of a similar set of vaccines to Asuncion, Paraguay.

Certified & Ready
Rivas also makes it his job to stay on top of all of the industry’s complex shipping regulations and standards for the proper transport of pharmaceuticals. In fact, serving as the certified go-to agent at Prime Logistics for pharmaceutical shipments, he recently attended a three-day course in Temperature Controlled Cargo Operations, given by IATA in Miami. Cargo airline representatives, forwarders, and other cargo agents attended it from all across the Southeast U.S.

Welcome Yulieth Onofre
In light of the company’s continued growth of this and several other commercial product lines, Prime Logistics just recently expanded its team with the addition of Sales Manager Yulieth Onofre.

According to CEO Roger Paredes, who made the announcement March 1, Onofre possesses a background with multiple ocean carriers and many years of experience in the industry and will be responsible for all commercial efforts on the freight forwarding side of the Group. Welcome aboard!

Surgical Masks
In related news, Prime Logistics also recently managed the shipment of thousands of surgical masks from Ecuador and Columbia to Shanghai to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. This shipment first transited in Miami before leaving for PVG, where the masks were then transported by truck to various inland cities throughout China.

Quito Operation Goes With the Flow for International Women’s Day

Although International Women’s Day was founded in the U.S., it has grown in significance in many other countries worldwide – and Prime Group’s operations in Quito continues to play a key role in keeping this annual tradition going strong.

With Ecuador serving as the primary source of flowers for this March 8 holiday each year, the efforts of both PrimeAir and Prime Fresh Handling in Quito and Amsterdam are crucial to advancing the company’s winning strategies at meeting the demand of its valued customers.

The Ecuadorian flower market supplies 72 countries around the world with floriculture products. But when it comes to Women’s Day, Europe is the number one market.

In order to ensure the fresh and timely delivery of fresh-cut flowers by March 8 – the day people recognize the most important women in their lives – the peak period for handling and shipping actually begins Feb. 16.

According to PrimeAir Regional Sales Director Jose Luis Suarez, in terms of logistics support, every year is different – but this year, there were several unique aspects at play.

“It was a good season for us, no doubt. First, there was notable increase in air cargo capacity, meaning more service than normal was available out of Quito. But to this we must add factors that were outside the control of the industry that also affected the market and production of flowers.”

Suarez was primarily referring to last fall’s situation in Ecuador during which plantations were attacked by the protesters who barricade roads across the country in response to government policies to end diesel and gasoline subsidies. As a result, fuel prices to spiked across the country – as did tempers – which in turn prevented the normal development of the market.

“The protests did negatively affect overall production, because it delayed the cutting of the plants for the Valentine’s Day period. But apparently this helped to make production for Women’s Day season more stable,” he added.

Ultimately, PrimeAir was able to move 1.2 million kilos of flowers over the two week peak period, Feb. 16 to March 1. “Meeting this challenge took a lot of hard work, but for us, hard work is regular work – and it’s what prepares us to continually be attentive to providing the high levels of service and reliability that our customers demand.”

And so it goes working in a market as sensitive to outside pressures as the fresh-cut flowers.

About Women’s Day
For more than 100 years, International Women’s Day has been celebrated annually round the world on the 8th of March. A public holiday in many countries, it is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights that started back to 1910, when the day was first observed across America and Europe. Later, in 1946, feminists in Italy chose the mimosa flower as a symbol of strength, sensibility, and sensitivity for Women’s Day.

Today, although the mimosa flower maintains a special significance, it’s not the only flower given. Other flowers popular flowers to gift on International Women’s Day are lilies, alstroemerias, tulips, orchids, and roses.

In fact, flower shops across Russia sell upwards of 150,000 roses on March 8. And while pink, yellow, and white carnations are also hugely popular, light pink flowers are highly preferable in the U.K.

Elsewhere in Europe, such as in Romanian, purchasers want red and white flowers, and Greek purchasers mostly buy white flowers. Pastel colors are most preferable in the Western European countries while those in the Eastern European countries buy mostly vivid colored-flowers.

For information about PrimeAir, Prime Fresh Handling, and the entire family of Prime Group companies, visit www.primegroup.aero.

Regional Sales Director Jose Luis Suarez may be reached in Quito via email at joseluis.suarez@primeair.aero, via cellphone at (593-9) 9 555-3195, or at (593-2) 281-8055, ext. 1006.

The Secret to Handling Uncertainty is to Focus on Progress

As a businessman, a father, and a member of the world community, I’m very concerned, as most of us are. I’ve been closely monitoring news of the progression of coronavirus around the globe – and its impact on the markets and the logistics industry, in particular.

Yet all I can be sure of these days is that there are very few things we can be sure of.

In fact, as I share these words, news just popped up that the global death toll has now passed 3,000, with South Korea and China leading the way in confirmed infections.

Apparently they are calling this thing a “novel” coronavirus, because it’s an all-new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. They know for sure it causes a highly infectious respiratory disease called COVID-19. But beyond that, they are unsure how and when it will be brought under control. Meanwhile, we wash our hands, cover our coughs, and limit exposure to crowded areas.

And we stay tuned. That’s what I have been doing, gathering all the information I can from trusted sources of information, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization. I encourage you to so the same.

Impact on Logistics
With regard to the health of the logistics industry, we should likewise keep a close eye on what is happening as the world’s second largest economy, in China, continues to spook global markets and dent growth in all sectors of the worldwide economy.

To say the potential impact of coronavirus on the logistics industry is a fluid situation is an understatement, because, as we all know, we are more interconnected today than ever. Asian markets are closely tied to European markets and to North America and South America.

For those who remember SARS in 2003, this situation is far more complex because back then, the economy worldwide was much more siloed. Today it is all interdependent.

Thus far, however, the impact of this epidemic on Prime Group operations has been minimal – but it’s not clear how much worse this outbreak will yet become and how long it will last. Some experts are now saying perhaps through the summer.

Global Impact
I just read a late February study by the American Chamber of Commerce stating that three-quarters of international businesses around the world expect the COVID-19 outbreak to impact 2020 revenue.

The study further states that the outbreak has affected operations “to a great extent” for 43 percent of logistics companies they surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region, with 57 percent of logistics companies saying operations were “somewhat” impacted. In terms of revenues, the report also indicated that the 86 percent of logistics companies are expecting revenue to be down between 1 and 10 percent.

What’s even more disconcerting is that the fear of what could happen is driving the markets. Yes, few things these days are for sure. But there is certainly always hope.

Let’s Focus on Progress
I think it was author and life coach Tony Robbins who once said, “The secret to handling uncertainty is to focus on progress.”

So as I get back to work this morning, I do know one thing: We are in this together. We will get past this together. If we all stay focused on progress, soon it will be business-as-usual again, I’m sure.