PrimeAir’s handling of oversized cargo is a heavy responsibility

When it comes to handling high-value, oversized cargo there is no margin for error. Especially when it’s a large commercial turbine engine – or an entire helicopter.

As Atlas Air’s general sales and service agent (GSSA) in Bogota, PrimeAir’s expert team on the ground knows well that working with such major payloads is no small task. It is a specialized skill that requires years of experience and knowledge of the critical nature of the cargo.

PrimeAir benefits from being part of Miami-based Prime Group Companies, a global logistics conglomerate with 20 years of experience in working with such heavy and oversized items. Ensuring the safe and reliable handling of aerospace equipment is just one of many services they provide as the GSSA for Atlas Air, but it certainly ranks among the highest in importance.

With a price tag for one single engine exceeding $20 million, and $3 million for a new rotorcraft off the line, it is critical that the operation goes perfectly.

Last month, Atlas Air was contracted to transport a 13-ton General Electric LM6000 engine from Los Angeles to Bogota (BOG), where PrimeAir’s crew would offload it. A gas-turbine derivative of the CF6 engine family that’s been the cornerstone of the widebody aircraft business, this particular version is used for marine propulsion of cruise ships and fast ferries… A big engine with big work ahead.

Upon arrival at BOG, the PrimeAir team used a ramp-side crane to delicately move the 26,000 lb. behemoth to a nearby trucking area where a wheeled flatbed trailer took over, by providing final delivery to the customer’s warehouse.

“Special cargo like this needs definitely gets special attention,” said José Luis Vargas, PrimeAir’s Commercial Manager at BOG. In fact, both the engine and the helicopter that was delivered in a separate operation were designated Dangerous Goods (DG). This meant that expert handlers were required at each of the points of origin to carefully inspect the outbound shipments to ensure their acceptance and transport on Atlas Air aircraft.

Point of origin of the helicopter was YQB, the Canadian airport serving Québec City – not far from where Bell manufactured this Bell 407 GXi rotorcraft destined for Colombia.

With a chargeable weight of approximately 10 tons, the seven-seat four-blade helicopter was disassembled for transport and shipped BOG where it was accepted ramp-side by PrimeAir. Once off the Atlas Air freighter, the payload was transported using a normal dolly to a trucking area for the continuation of its journey to the customer.

“Our customers know we’re the go-to experts for big logistics challenges like these. That’s because we’ve been doing specialized heavy-cargo work for decades – and not just for the aerospace industry. We also manage logistics for the transport of oil-industry equipment, construction equipment, and automotive parts and equipment.”

One of the premier carriers in PrimeAir’s portfolio, Atlas Air is not only one of the most important and reliable cargo airlines in the world, it is the company’s longest lasting customer. PrimeAir also offers sales and marketing, cargo services, operations, handling, and accounting.

While PrimeAir has been Atlas Air’s designated agent in BOG for three and a half years, the relationship between the two companies began 20 years ago, in support of Atlas Air’s freighter operations between Quito and Miami, which continues today.

For information, visit www.primeair.aero.

Emirates SkyCargo is flying high again in Quito offering scheduled freighter service worldwide

After a slowdown in service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo is once again on course at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, with three scheduled weekly frequencies to Amsterdam and Dubai – and plans to add one more.

According to José Luis Suárez, PrimeAir’s South America Regional Sales Director based in Quito (UIO), this come back is welcome news for local shippers, freight forwarders, and his other customers in the region.

Before the pandemic hit, PrimeAir was supporting the operation of four regular flights from UIO to Amsterdam (AMS) and Dubai (DXB), Emirates’ main hub with connections across the entire Emirates SkyCargo network.

As its general sales and service agent (GSSA) in Ecuador, PrimeAir and Emirates SkyCargo (EK) have been working closely together since EK first entered the market in 2013. PrimeAir provides in-country sales, marketing, and accounting for Emirates SkyCargo, in addition to specialized airport services such as warehouse supervision and ULD control.

PANDEMIC RESPONSE

But, according to Suárez, as the coronavirus crisis grew, so did demand for service to transport medical equipment and supplies. In March and April, regularly scheduled service in multiple markets was interrupted – and not just for Emirates SkyCargo. Nearly all cargo carriers worldwide were re-allocating their capacity – and humanitarian commitment – to countries hardest hit by the virus.

Flash forward to August, and only now are service patterns getting back to normal, which Suárez says is very good news for shippers of non-medical material – especially among Ecuador’s vast floriculture industry.

“Even as the impact of the virus was hitting markets hard, there was still a demand for fresh-cut flowers, and product was available. But there were only limited options available to move it.”

UNIQUE SOLUTIONS

To help meet the capacity challenge at UIO, PrimeAir stepped up with unique solutions to support its customers throughout Ecuador – first by successfully arranging interline shipments with AtlasAir to AMS through April.

As available capacity started to come back on line, PrimeAir received its first offering of Emirates SkyCargo service at UIO with Boeing 777ER passenger aircraft, also called PFs (Passenger Freighters). Interline and PF service continued weekly until early June when pure B-777F freighters were reintroduced and added to this mix of service on SkyCargo’s standard routes.

Presently, three freighters flights (B777F) operate weekly, departing UIO on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays with direct flight to AMS.

Looking forward to returning to pre-pandemic levels of service, Suárez is hopeful that by mid-August a fourth frequency departing Fridays will be added.

“It has been a time of ups and downs, but I know that our clients are grateful for the unconditional support of both Emirates SkyCargo and PrimeAir in the Ecuadorian market,” he added. 

“We understand that the investment in bringing empty flights to UIO was high, but the effort was not in vain because our goal is to preserve the long-term relationship with our customers.” PrimeAir also has served as the designated GSSA for Emirates SkyCargo in Colombia, since Summer 2018.

ABOUT EMIRATES

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, is the largest international airline cargo operator in the world. With an unrivalled route network, the carrier connects cargo customers to 155 cities across six continents and operates in many of the world’s fastest developing markets.

Besides supporting the floriculture sector, Emirates SkyCargo exports other perishables such as mangoes and baby bananas from Ecuador to markets such as Germany, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Emirates SkyCargo’s modern fleet of extended-range widebody freighters have controlled temperature zones set up inside the aircraft ensuring that perishable shipments travel at the right temperature.

For more on Emirates SkyCargo, visit https://www.skycargo.com/network/air/

ABOUT PRIMEAIR

PrimeAir benefits from being part of Miami-based Prime Group, a network of coordinated logistics specialists with offices and representatives worldwide.

For information, call 305-592-2044, email info@primeair.aero, or visit www.primeair.aero

 

The New Normal Cost of Trade Show Connections

In my 20-plus years in global logistics, I’ve come to learn that success in business is all about human connection. In fact, the Prime Group of Companies has pinned its entire approach to business on this core principal.

 

Consistent, timely, and direct interpersonal communication – it’s how we understand customer needs, and expertly match our services to satisfy those needs.

Every day, across our entire system, we use a broad spectrum of communications options to network and make connections that will attract new business, ensure the best in customer satisfaction, and maintain long-lasting relationships with clients.

But in recent months, one of the most impactful of those efforts has ceased to exist.

The Fallout

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed sudden changes on our industry, to say the least. Most notably, in the form of an immediate interruption of the global trade-show circuit, a necessary step to ensure public safety and to help stop the spread of the virus.

But the fallout has been the loss of dozens of crucial once-yearly meetings we would be now be conducting with so many of our key customers, prospects, and peers – all under one roof.

Events like the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit and Bogota’s Proflora that attract top players in the fresh-food and floral industries. And huge exhibitions like Air Cargo Europe with 65,000 logistics professionals in Munich last year, where we made great strides in moving into untapped markets across Europe and beyond.

With attendance numbers like that, it’s no wonder mass gatherings are totally off the table for the remainder of 2020. Can’t argue with that!

The Show Must Go On

While no one can see into the future with certainty, when these major business conventions and exhibitions make a come back – and they most certainly will – they’ll need to be changed, forever.

Face it, we are social animals, and no advancements in video or telecommunications technology can ever match the effectiveness of direct human connection, and the business it generates.

Of course, there will have to be an entire revamping of the trade-show industry’s delivery of mass meetings. It is imperative that they make these gatherings safe and responsible from a public-health standpoint, so when the time is right, we will be able to immediately and confidently step back into the most impactful means of  human connection.

Necessary Enhancements

Beyond the introduction of lots of sanitizer dispensers on convention floors, major changes at trade-show venues will need to include wellness checkpoints, increased ventilation filtering capacity, greatly expanded presentation spaces and controlled traffic-flow lanes to ensure social distancing – and perhaps even extending the length of shows by an extra day or two, and/or limiting daily attendance.

Such measures will no doubt be pricey. Significantly higher participation fees will need to be imposed to offset the high cost of supplying enhanced safety and security measures. And at first, there will likely be fewer participants than we’re used to. But this will be the new normal price of doing business in the post-coronavirus period.

Communication is what brings people together in our business and paves the way for future success. That will never change – just the means by which we achieve it.

I look forward to connecting with you soon. Until then, please stay well.