Prime Logistics Is Suited up to Support Cold-Chain Distribution of Vaccines

With the addition of a fleet of all new temperature-controlled freezers at its MIA warehouse facility, Prime Logistics is doubling down its readiness to meet the pressing needs of customers serving the pharmaceuticals industry at a pivotal point in history. 

The company initially ramped up its freezer capacity in response to the soaring popularity of e-commerce distribution of frozen foods, as millions of consumers chose online shopping and delivery rather than leaving home. 

But of course, since the earliest days of the pandemic, Prime Logistics knew there would come a day when much more capacity would be needed to service the imminent release and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. That day has come.

In late November, as several pharmaceutical companies began releasing their pandemic fighting inoculations, it officially signaled to global shippers and handlers that their crucial role delivering coronavirus vaccines worldwide was now underway. 

Prepared & Ready

“The good news for Prime Logistics and our customers worldwide is that we’re ready,” says Omar Zambrano, the company’s chief operations officer.

“Between the new 400cbm capacity at MIA and the vast freezer space already in place at our consolidated freight stations at LAX and JFK, we are well positioned to safely store, stage, and transit highly-sensitive vaccines and other pharmaceuticals at a time when the world needs us most.”

Prime Logistics had in fact played a significant role in the distribution of vaccines in normal times through its well-established global time- and temperature-sensitive handling and distribution system. 

Says Prime Logistics Sales Manager Yulieth Onofre, “It is also important to point out, as demand heats up for temperature-controlled refrigerator and freezer units, our strategically positioned facilities have the available space to expand as greater capacity is needed.”

This addresses one of the biggest challenges facing the cold chain distribution process in delivering a temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccine. The supply of cold storage facilities is woefully outdated, at least in the U.S., so there is greater need for back-up modernized facilities, such as that which Prime Logistics has to offer.

According to a report from Supply Chain Dive, “Demand for cold storage has been on the incline for years as consumers have slowly adapted to shopping for groceries online, but the coronavirus shot that curve up sharply. So, even within a generally hot market, the supply side for highly desirable cold storage facilities is lagging.”

Onofre notes that maintaining supply chain integrity, from the starting point at the manufacturing site to finish, will require all parties to work together. Knowing that no single agency or entity can do this alone, Prime Logistics is aware of the urgency at hand and is ready to step up to do its part.

“This is where we clearly excel,” says Onofre. “With facilities, partners, and qualified agents all around the world, Prime Logistics is particularly experienced in the global management and delivery of temperature-sensitive products anywhere in the world.”

Every party realizes that supporting the global effort at vaccinating everybody in the country and across the world is going to be a phenomenal logistical feat. Knowing this, Onofre adds, “We absolutely have zero margin for failure. We are going to get this right.”

Information & Control 

Getting it right also means maintaining the integrity of the product from source to destination and every point in between. Beyond the challenge of physically transporting the vaccine across America and internationally, there is the additional obstacle of monitoring deliveries for theft.

This sudden burst of activity and demand, as vaccine producers are now ready to ship, will no doubt create openings for providers of transportation and warehouse facilities that may have poor security practices. The rush to market with large quantities of the inoculation will make it difficult for manufacturers to vet all their suppliers.

Not a problem for Prime Logistics, however, with its reputation for being one of the most professional and trustworthy providers on the industry. Its solid reliance on enhanced state-of-the-art inventory tracking and product monitoring technologies not only serves to answer the customer’s most basic questions—where is my shipment and when will it arrive?—but also adds the much needed element of security. 

Charter Operations

One other important service area where Prime Logistics excels is in the delivery of time- and temperature-sensitive products via its air cargo charter division.

Not only does the company enjoy long-time relationships with some of the world’s largest and most reliable air cargo carriers, Prime Logistics also has proven expertise in managing ad-hoc cargo charter operations. This also well-positions Prime Logistics to step up for its many customers in expediting vaccines and other pharmaceutical products when and where they are needed most.

Zambrano says it’s clear there is going to be an unprecedented demand for cargo space, far greater than there was for PPE at the advent of the pandemic. “Just as Prime Logistics pivoted and performed for our customers then, we’re on hot standby to manage charter flight operations as needed for this next round,” he said.

About Prime Logistics

Prime Logistics benefits from being part of the Prime Group, a network of coordinated cargo and freight specialists with offices and representatives worldwide. Based in Miami, the company has 20 years of expertise working with perishables and pharmaceuticals—two very specialized industries that demand intense attention to detail and infallible transportation solutions at a moment’s notice.

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

Cheese, Glorious Cheese

With the holidays upon us, consumers are ready to party hearty. Many are stocking up on drinks, snacks, fruit, chocolates, and especially cheese, glorious cheese. So, when friends pop in for a holiday celebration—presto—everyone can celebrate in style with an easy-to-prepare, luscious cheese tray or charcuterie board. For food distributors and grocery stores, though, the holiday season is cheerful for another reason—a cornucopia of sales.

Fortunately, some of the most highly-desired cheeses across the globe are making their way into the U.S. market, thanks to the expertise and detailed approach of two of Prime Group brands, Prime Fresh Handling and Prime Logistics. By providing export logistics, customs clearance, and cooler facilities (which, we can assure you, cheese simply loves), we’re ensuring that these specialty cheeses arrive fresh, safe, and on time.

Andean Blue Cheese

For one of our valued customers, Prime Fresh Handling (PFH) and Prime Logistics recently teamed up to transport a shipment of Andean blue cheese, an Ecuadorian delicacy from Troya Hacienda, a cheese factory on Ecuador’s northern border. This was the cheesemaker’s last step in a complex regulatory process that began when it first applied to the appropriate U.S. and Ecuadorian agencies for approval of sanitary compliance to export blue cheese. 

Let’s just say we’re renowned across the globe for our expertise in handling temperature-sensitive specialty cheeses. Prime Group’s careful handling, attention to detail, and shipping experience assured the customer’s valuable Andean blue cheese shipment arrived cool, fresh, and ready for discerning, cheese-loving consumers to sample in Miami, Houston, and New York City. 

Just as the world’s best cheesemakers have spent years perfecting their skills, we’ve done the same. Our PFH global network of bonded and refrigerated storage facilities allow for timely, easy access to all the world’s major markets.

In South Florida, for example, our comprehensive services for cheeses and other perishable foods include U.S. Customs clearance and pick up at Miami International Airport (MIA) upon arrival, followed by immediate storage in the company’s nearby warehouse to maintain a required temperature range of 37-40°F.

Australian Cheddar

Need 500,000 pounds of Australian Cheddar transported? Yep, we’ve done that too, handling that humongous shipment with ease. Success lies in our attention to detail and in knowing that no single step in the process can be overlooked. Our ambitious task starts the moment we receive the cheese from the shipper right on through to the last mile—and onto festive holiday platters all across the world.

Upon splitting up the product according to purchase orders and building the pallets, we then safely load them into temperature-controlled containers bound for ocean freighters or waiting aircraft, whichever the customer desires.

In Sync with Customers

The pathway to preserving quality is closely coordinated with the supplier so that minute-by-minute pick-up and transportation to the port of departure is successfully achieved. Any delay in this synchronized process is simply unacceptable. This is where Prime Fresh Handling truly shines. By paying attention to the smallest of details, we avoid additional costs for our valued customers.

So, with the holidays approaching, we wish you the best in satisfying your retail customers’ desires to create the perfect party spread. And we’ll look forward to hearing from you for our assistance in moving your product the entire way.

Prime Logistics

Prime Logistics team expertly streamlines, optimizes, and expedites freight to and from the U.S. for a wide range of major industries. With hundreds of contacts around the globe, they are skilled at finding competitive rates and ample space via air and ocean shipment to virtually any destination.

Prime Fresh Handling

The PFH global network of bonded and refrigerated storage facilities allows for timely and easy access to all of the world’s major markets. With innovative technology, operational proficiency, and friendly customer relations, PFH expertly handles temperature-sensitive products, from fresh fish, produce, and cut flowers to pharmaceutical products and vaccines.

A Season to Be Grateful During a Year Like No Other

This holiday season is unlike any other, coming at the end of a year like no other. I am inspired to reflect on how fortunate we are to have made it this far, and I am thankful for those who helped us get here.

The COVID-19 pandemic created such unimaginable and unprecedented pressures on worldwide commerce, especially upon those of us that are part of the global supply chain.

Naturally, we were very concerned that the perishables industry, historically Prime Group’s core business, was so hard hit when the pandemic started. Yet when we were called upon in the earliest days of the crisis to support the massive demand for PPE and other medical supplies, it was due to our vast experience in handing time-sensitive products that we were able to respond so quickly—and with great success.

I am so grateful that we had the flexibility and know-how to be able to step up to deliver these life-sustaining materials to people all across the world in their greatest time of need. I am also extremely thankful to the Prime Group employees who made it possible for us to do so—and so proud of every single one of them.

Mission Focused

Not to say we didn’t also focus on ways by which we could support our long-time commitments in South America, because it was crucial that we did that too. Once the worldwide lockdowns and border restrictions were lifted, and the fields in Ecuador and Colombia began producing fresh flowers, fruit, and produce again, reality set in. The word’s cargo capacity at that point was being deployed to distribute essential medical goods only. So our mission here was to find solutions to get our customers’ fresh products out of country and to market.

Suffice to say, our people burned the candle at both ends to address this bottleneck situation. We not only introduced innovative solutions, such as a Sea-Air service to move product, but we also worked closely with our major air carrier partners to bring passenger freighters into the market. I am so grateful for their willingness and ability to step up—so too are the people of Ecuador and Colombia that desperately needed to keep local commerce alive.

Next Steps

Prime Group is made up of professionals who know how to act fast on their feet. Through their creative thinking, innate agility, and commitment to our customers, we were not only able to survive those darkest days, but to reposition the company to go forward.

The next phase of the global fight against the spread of COVID-19 is massive distribution of vaccines, medicines, and related supplies. This will continue well into 2021 and beyond. I am so grateful we made it through the storm and will be able to keep doing our part for the health of the world.

Miles to Go

Though we are moving into a new and better year ahead, my concern for the safety of our customers, our employees, our company—and the world—is still top of mind. After all, we have many hurdles and responsibilities to fulfill before the last chapter of this pandemic closes. Or to paraphrase the immortal words of Robert Frost, we have miles to go before we sleep.

This holiday season, all of us here at Prime Group wish you moments of peace amid the difficulties, connections with family and friends even if they can’t be in person, and the warmth of memories from holidays past.

Stay safe and healthy!