Prime Logistics Expertise Now Includes ‘Spotting Trouble’

It’s great for a company to have all the best processes, all the best technology and all the best people, and we’re pleased to say we believe that’s the case at Prime Logistics. But in our modern society, unfortunately, companies need to be the absolute best at something else as well – spotting trouble before it happens, and moving quickly to handle the situation, as well as meeting unexpected challenges along the way.

Logistics & Security

Not surprisingly, during this COVID-19 era, many governments and companies have concerns about their deliveries and, particularly, the efficient and safe delivery of pharmaceuticals and vaccines in the shortest possible time.

To assist our valued customers, Prime Logistics and its sister company Prime Fresh Handling (PFH) both employ in-house teams that are highly knowledgeable about the massive yet intricate operational structure of global pharmaceutical logistics and the need for sensitive handling of any perishables such as vaccines.

It’s a massive system that involves tens of thousands of people, countless facilities and many extremely-difficult-to-reach transportation destinations. But that’s not all. “Unfortunately, life-saving, high-cost drugs or technologically sophisticated biologics are often the target of criminals,” emphasizes Edgar Campana, General Manager, Prime Logistics.

“It’s not uncommon for international cartels to attempt to steal these products during delivery to sell them at cheaper prices or even to counterfeit them,” he acknowledges. The reality is that logistics companies and manufacturing firms must invest appropriately and be extremely diligent in making these deliveries secure.

Checks on the System

As a result, appropriate security deployments must be in place at each transit point – such as travel between the manufacturing location and the warehouse, between the warehouse and delivery fleets, and between delivery fleets and delivery-location storage.

“It’s also important to have a robust security framework in place in the last-mile delivery phase,” Campana stresses. “That will help ensure that products reach the intended recipient and aren’t diverted to unlisted wholesalers or suppliers.”

In addition, both of these Prime Group companies have the latest, top-of-the-line systems in place to track and trace cargo 24-7. This year, we’ve also further enhanced our security measures to protect the goods or pharmaceuticals that the company has been entrusted to handle.

Investment in People

But the most valuable resource in assuring safe, secure and timely transit of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other goods is always the “human touch.” Thus, Prime Group has invested heavily in its “people,” both at Prime Logistics and PFH. That further assures the complex process for pharmaceuticals and transport of vaccines is secure. “We are continually keeping a keen eye on ways to expand and enhance the skills and aptitude of our team members,” Campana says.

Fortunately, Prime Group is a member of the World Cargo Association (WCA), which serves nearly 10,000 members in 194 countries. Earlier this year, through its WCA relationship, multiple staff members of Prime Logistics and PFH received an “Anti-Bribery & Corruption Certification” issued by the London-based WCAworld Academy.

Newly certified are Campana, as well as Commercial Manager Cristina Moscoso,  Administrative Assistant Mary Marino, General Manager Alex Parades, Regional Manager Jose Luis Suarez, Commercial Manager Jose Luis Vargas, and Manager Severyn Yanytskyy.

Now these employees are skilled at risk analysis, understanding the risks by the country or region of operations; doing risk assessments; tracking global opinion; selecting vendors and managing suppliers; and supporting customer due diligence.

 

“We are extremely proud to have a strong team that’s WCAworld Academy-accredited in “Anti-Bribery & Corruption,” stresses Campana. “It not only reinforces our commitment to continually expanding our knowledge base through education, innovation, and adaptation, but also reaffirms that Prime Group companies are trusted leaders in the global logistics industry.”

 Such certification comes at a pivotal time for the air cargo industry, in particular, as logistics companies across the globe are maneuvering into position to support the crucial worldwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Prime Group staff recently have secured other important WCAworld Academy certifications as well.

 In earlier 2021, Campana became the first-ever U.S. based global logistics representative to be fully credentialed by WCAworld Academy as a “Responsible Person for Logistics.”

 “The WCAworld Academy is fully committed to assisting our members with the highest levels of training and compliance,” says Adam McKenna, general manager-WCA Pharma Group. “Prime Group’s dedication to training and constant improvement helps to secure their status as one of the most qualified pharmaceutical and healthcare logistics forwarders in the U.S. and we are delighted to have them as members.

 

So, moving into the second half of 2021 and beyond, customers who require complex logistics and safe care for their global shipments of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals can rest assured their valuable shipments are in the best hands.

Prime Planet is on course to change the face of healthier-for-you snacking across the world

With its growing line of unique and delicious Tostones, Prime Planet is determined to build the best possible relationships with customers by providing value and quality – while making great inroads to the mainstream American snack market.

 

Promoted as a “better for you” product, Prime Planet  is a natural snack brand made from fresh green plantains sourced from Ecuador, hand-crafted, and packaged there on the spot following strict production protocols. What results is a fresh and flavorful plantain chip that’s packed with all-natural ingredients – and an irresistible crunch.

 

“We took our time to find the best possible quality ingredients because anything else simply wouldn’t do,” says Marie Gonzalez, with Prime Planet Business Development.

 

Prime Planet Tostones come in a range of flavors, from Lime and Sweet Chile to Habanero and the Original salted variety.

 

The History of a Chip

Initially operating under the heading of Prime Fresh Products, Prime Planet launched in 2016 – and almost immediately set a trajectory toward success. After testing the waters with its initial line of Tostones in the Miami/South Florida market, and recognizing that the popularity of this new snack was taking off, by 2018 the time was right to further grow this fledgling division.

 

One of the first steps was to introduce a new slogan, “A Natural World of Flavor.” This creative tag line was conceived to drive home the point that by using simple yet innovative ingredients, snacking can be incorporated in a balanced diet while delivering to consumers the tastiest flavors on the planet.

 

Concurrently, in response to consumer testing and other key market factors, Prime Planet rolled out a new and improved version of the original thicker chip. Now lighter and crispier than ever, the reengineering of the product made them taste even better.

 

Says Gonzalez, “We are the pioneers of converting green plantains into all natural and ready-to-eat chips, and so perfecting the formula for production and widespread distribution was key. Essentially, we took a good chip and made it a whole lot better. In fact, when compared with the original chip, existing customers overwhelmingly loved the newer product.”

 

Prime Planet Tostones were also made easier to spot on grocer shelves. As a result of meeting certain standards that allowed the product to be re-designated a “mainstream snack,” Prime Planet made the critical move from the ethic section of stores to the official snack aisle.

 

 

The Prime Planet Difference 

Prime Planet continued its mission to strike a difference between other traditional banana chips or plantain chips on the market. By 2019, the manufacturer doubled down on the growing demand for their significantly better-tasting, better-textured chip, by aggressively touting the product’s multiple health benefits.

 

Turns out, nearly 50 percent of U.S. consumers say that natural ingredients and non-added sugar are the top reasons for adding snack items to their shopping baskets. So, not only do consumers get to enjoy a top-selling all-natural snack product with no added sugars or preservatives, they are also comforted to know Prime Planet’s unique plantain chips are also certified low sodium, NON GMO, GF, BASC, and RSPO palm oil.

 

What better way to call out these essential qualities than to prominently position the insignia for each across the front of every bag. And a packaging redesign in 2019 did just that, allowing health-conscious consumers to quickly spot the healthier snack benefits they desire.

 

Reaching for Regional Growth

As one of Prime Planet’s earliest retail distributors, Publix Supermarkets now features the highly popular chip brand in more than 900 grocery store locations across Florida and five other states in the Southeastern U.S.

 

“Additionally, we’ve been growing distribution and marketing of our product via Central Market in Texas, Safeway stores in Northern California, Burlington Stores in the Northeast U.S., and multiple other independent grocers,” says Gonzalez, noting that Prime Planet also is now the preferred Tostones snack brand in Puerto Rico and The Bahamas.

 

“During 2020 and 2021, our focus also included expanding our presence in e-commerce market through alliances with Amazon, Kroger Marketplace, Walmart Marketplace, and other online services. Tostones are also available from the Prime Planet online store.

 

Looking Ahead

Going forward, Prime Planet as a brand will continue to pursue opportunities to grow partnerships with many of the biggest names in retail food distribution, in order to make its outstanding product available in multiple new markets nationwide.

 

The company is also busy developing new and natural snack products and flavors – ensuring that Prime Planet stays ahead of the wave in the ever-changing and highly complex U.S. snack food market.

 

Prime Planet Roots

Based Prime Planet is the youngest entity among Miami-based Prime Group. As an innovative international food company, Prim Planet’s corporate mission is simply to bring delicious, nutritious, and healthier products to people’s lives.

 

Prime Planet’s roots stem from the formation of its parent company that was founded in 2001, managing the export of fresh-cut flowers from Ecuador to the U.S. Over two decades, the company has grown to become on of the most trusted suppliers of perishables and other retail and wholesale foods, while at the same time establishing its high standards of customer service and quality products all across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

 

Knowledge, expertise, and direct access to leading global logistics and retail/wholesale food distributors are the prime benefits of being affiliated with its sister companies under the Prime Group umbrella, whereby allowing Prime Planet to find the shortest and most efficient commercial routes for ideal product placement.

 

Other successful Prime Group companies include Prime Fresh Handling, PrimeAir, and Prime Logistics.

 

Contact Us

Prime Planet is located at 1301 NW 84th Ave. Suite 127, Miami, FL 33126 USA. For information, visit www.primeplanet.net; or contact Marie Gonzales with Prime Planet Business Development at 305-592-2044; or via email at bdm@primefreshproducts.com.

 

An In-Depth Look at Challenges in Pharmaceutical Logistics

The global market for pharmaceutical logistics was estimated to be worth $69.0 billion in 2019. Market research studies also predicted a compounded annual growth rate of 7.3 percent between 2020 and 2027 for the market.

 

But in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, it should come as no surprise that there has been significant attention paid to this market – as most governments and corporations across the world remain concerned about the efficient delivery of vaccines in the shortest possible time.

While the market has historically been driven by brisk demand for over the counter (OTC) medicines, there are still roadblocks to overcome with regard to delivery logistics. To remove these barriers, the industry needs to have a deep understanding of the intricate operational structure of global pharmaceutical logistics. It is a massive system that involves tens of thousands of people, countless facilities, and more than a fair share of extremely difficult-to-reach transportation destinations.

It is important to understand the challenges such a complex structure presents and the core reasons behind these challenges – and how these challenges actually serve deterrents to achieving desired and much-needed efficiencies.

 

As a key player in global cold-chain logistics, and in support of the burgeoning field of pharmaceutical logistics specifically, Prime Logistics is taking multiple steps to address these challenges by applying efficient innovations coupled with the right kind of thinking.

Case in Point: Through its relationship with the World Cargo Association (WCA), Prime Logistics General Manager Edgar Campana recently became the first logistics professional in all of the U.S. to earn the prestigious “Responsible Person Certification for Logistics (for Good Distribution of Medicinal Products for Human Use).”

 

This important certification signifies to the cargo world that Prime Logistics has a representative on staff with a thorough understanding of the vast regulatory requirements for storage and distribution of materials for medicinal products in the pharmaceutical industry – not just in the U.S., but across the entire freight forwarding community worldwide.

Dependency on Human Resource

Handling the inventory, tracking orders, and managing the dispatches involves significant human interplay. And sometimes, where there’s human involvement, there can be a lack of coordination. As a result, there is the potential that dangerous medicines may reach the wrong recipient.

 

Consumers often receive a cheaper version or counterfeited version of the original product that they had ordered. That’s why reducing the level of human resource dependency to make way for greater automation has long been a concern for pharmaceutical companies. The introduction of the Automatic Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), intends to limit such errors or deliberate faults. As a global logistics leader, Prime Logistics has a keen eye on advancing automation by working with distributors that are deploying advanced digital logistics capabilities.

 

Temperature Control

Pharmaceutical products are extremely temperature-sensitive. While in transit, an imbalance in temperature may often end up rendering the product useless. Suppliers often set the initial temperature during dispatch. The product’s optimal temperature is tracked in real-time and necessary changes are made as and when required. Cold chain logistics must quickly adapt to the growing demands of proper medicinal delivery. The logistics companies should also make investments in procuring refrigerated fleets and transit facilities.

 

A much-diversified delivery route works as a deterrent when it comes to maintaining the temperature of the product up and down the chain. Companies should therefore optimize delivery routes and make sure that their vendors are well equipped for maintaining temperature control when it comes to outsourced deliveries.

Prime Logistics’ recent installation of ColdMax vacuum coolers at its Bogota facility is one such example where investments in temperature control mechanisms proved cost-effective for the company and beneficial for end-users in terms of getting fresh, safe, and longer-lasting products.

 

Damaged Products

Damaged products are much larger a concern for the world of pharmaceuticals than for other types of product. Damage to the overall packing material is considered as full-fledged damage to the entire unit, even though the capsules or bottles or the blister packs are untouched within. Damages are also a matter of grave concern because pharmaceutical products often contain ingredients that may prove harmful if exposed to air. In fact, pharmaceuticals such as cytotoxics are often categorized as hazardous materials.

 

Oftentimes, an improper pallet also is a root cause of pharmaceutical products being damaged. If the structure of the box is loose and the pallets are inconsistent in size, it may lead to gradual damage in the entire batch along the edges and corners of the stack. Wooden boxes also suffer from the issue of protruding nails that frequently come loose and cause damage. It is recommended plastic pallets are used, as they have much higher consistency of size – and no menacing wood-nails that can cause punctures.

 

Be it a box or a pallet, Prime Logistics’ industry-leading technology guarantees consistent, safe, and fresh delivery of any type of perishable goods, right through the last-mile to the delivery point.

 

Storage Shortage

Pharmaceutical products are prone to contamination, expiration, and theft. Many times, the correct amount of supply ends up falling short of the anticipated number of delivery units. The last mile participants, such as doctors and healthcare workers, frequently suffer from this issue.

This problem can be solved by maintaining excess inventory, but to do so requires space. Therefore, to improve the resilience of pharmaceutical logistics, facilities should invest in additional storage space that is secure, well guarded, and adequately temperature controlled. Prime Logistics’ wide network of delivery locations includes top quality in-house services and warehouse management. Additionally, it also boasts its own cold-storage facilities at strategic delivery locations around the world.

 

Sanitation

Sanitation is a factor that plays an important role throughout the supply chain. The initial inventory, the delivery vehicles and fleets, and the storage before delivery should maintain the required level of sanitation. Lack of sanitized spaces, especially in the delivery fleets of vehicles, often ends up contaminating the products. Surfaces that absorb moisture, or can be prone to the growth of bacteria or fungi are strictly prohibited in medicinal delivery. The agents of the supply chain should also be mindful of the type of sanitizer they use.

Overall, when it comes to cleanliness and sanitation, Prime Logistics, as a market leader, ensures their customer products are not subject to contamination before making it to market. The company’s reputation rests on its high standard of care and attention in the storage and transit of medicines so that they maintain their intended shelf-life.

 

Security

Life-saving high-cost drugs or technologically sophisticated biologics are often the target of miscreants. International cartels often attempt to steal these products during delivery to sell them at cheaper prices or to counterfeit them. Logistics companies and manufacturing firms must invest appropriately in making these deliveries secure.

Each transit point should have appropriate security deployments in place. These transits include those between the manufacturing location and the warehouse, the warehouse, and the delivery fleets, and the delivery fleets and delivery-location storage. It is also important to have a security framework in place in the last-mile delivery phase. There should be a robust mechanism to ensure that products reach the intended recipient – and not get diverted to unlisted wholesalers or suppliers.

As a distinct service offer to its customers, Prime Logistics has invested in employee skills specifically within the area of perishables and pharmaceuticals logistics. Through our relationship with the World Cargo Association (WCA), multiple staff members among the Prime Group companies now boast “Anti-Bribery & Corruption Certifications,” ensuring that key security measures are in place that protect the material they have been entrusted to handle. They also have high-tech and efficient systems in place to track and trace cargo at any given point in time.

 

Regulations

Although governments and pharmaceutical regulatory bodies across the globe have been trying their best to create uniform guidelines of delivery, there are still multiple imbalances across many nations when it comes to specialized drugs. Countries have different standards of operating procedure that affect international deliveries and/or internal deliveries.

Variations in weather between two countries also drives differences between the delivery mechanisms of the two countries. Addressing these separate regulatory guidelines is often a considerable challenge. Pharmaceutical and logistics companies need to make necessary technological investments so that these transitions in regulatory conditions can be done in a hassle-free and paperless fashion. Some concerted efforts have been made to bring improvements in this area.

 

The guidelines of Goods Distribution Practice for medicinal products have helped to extend the coverage for over-the-counter drugs and do in fact endeavor to regulate temperature requirements to achieve greater homogeneity. Appropriate knowledge of the regulations and strict adherence to rules may seem cumbersome, but serves all parties well in the long run by limiting rejection costs or penalty fees.

With its global network of strategic offices and warehouses across the U.S., Latin America, and Europe, Prime Group is well positioned with a hands-on understanding and ability to manage these international differences smoothly, to minimize any unnecessary delays.

 

Cost of Technology

Many of these issues related to the intricate operational structure of global pharmaceutical logistics have one commonality. Addressing most of these challenges will require investments in enhanced technology. Starting with the handling of inventory in the warehouse to successful last-mile delivery, and along the entire span of the cold chain, there are multiple opportunities for respective technological intervention.

 

At a minimum, warehouses, delivery fleets, and delivery-area storage facilities must have appropriate temperature-control mechanisms in place, load-tested, and with little chance of failure under any conditions. The cold supply chain needs investment in software technology to meet any given demand-supply scenario at any given time. It also needs investment in tracking technology that enables a manufacturer or the procurer to track the temperature, humidity, and such necessary conditions at any point along the way, from point A to B.

 

Manufacturers and logistics vendors that are holding back on making such investments, are doing so at their own risk – with only short-term gains in mind. The problem is, a lack of such investment ultimately weakens the elements of the supply chain over time. They start performing below their intended capacity, which results in increases the overall cost of operations.

Prime Logistics approaches technological efficiency with the utmost seriousness. The company consistently pursues technological solutions and makes the investment where it must at each key phase of the cold supply chain. These phases include facilities of pre-cooling, temperature monitoring, refrigerated trucking, and more.

 

Prime Logistics’ top-tier logistics services and expertise stand as testimony that the best approach to ensuring mitigation of all the potential challenges in pharmaceutical delivery, is a proper understanding of the bottlenecks and a strong resolve to address them in time – every time.