A message from the CEO
As we approach this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, let’s take time to reflect and give thanks for the many blessings the year has brought us, despite the seemingly unending pandemic-era challenges. Certainly, for many of us, the biggest thing to be thankful for is the progress made on the medical front across the world in the battle against COVID-19.
It’s easy to forget that last year at this time there was no viable vaccine, in contract to today as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting that nearly 200 million Americans have been fully vaccinated. And worldwide, 2.9 billion people are fully vaccinated. That’s fabulous progress. So, while the global fight to keep people safe still continues in earnest – and much remains to be done for sure – what a positive difference a year has meant!
On the Home Front
Here at home in Miami, we’re also thankful, of course, for our dedicated clients who were able to hunker down, pivot, adapt, and take aggressive steps over the past year to keep their goods flowing and their customers happy, even in the midst of these anything-but-normal business times. The Prime Group family also has been appreciative of their patience and ability to “go with the flow,” as together we’ve faced unprecedented logistical and operational challenges – most beyond our collective control.
In addition, I’m deeply appreciative of our employees across all four corporate divisions whose can-do attitude has helped us assist our valued clients despite global shortages in shipping containers, limited air capacity, shortages in ground handling resources, and other challenges.
I’m proud to say that even under immense pressure, our operations, sales, and support teams have all performed admirably in achieving our prime task – creating strong customer satisfaction and keeping their everyday products and essential goods flowing.
Troubling Times for Turkey Day
It’s not been an easy time, finding and securing cargo space at affordable rates, due to the ongoing supply chain disruptions – and now it’s even started impacting core grocery items for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. As a result of the lack of availability, some of our down-line customers at the retail and wholesale level are already warning of rising out-of-stock rates and higher prices on big demand items like canned pumpkin, stuffing, liquid gravy, bakery pies, and even whipped cream… Now there’s a crisis!
But the beat goes on. This year our Prime Fresh Handling employees have succeeded in shipping everything from fresh produce, fish, fresh-cut flowers, and myriad other time-sensitive perishables, to handling COVID-19 supplies, masks, antigen test kits, vaccines, and a wide range of pharmaceutical products to customers all across the globe.
Bouncing Back Better
We’re also thankful that in spite of COVID 19-era pressures put upon the logistics industry that we were able to bounce back bigger and stronger in 2021. In fact, we are actually well on our way to reporting our highest ever volume of kilos of cargo in company history. This was also our biggest year ever for sales, and as a result we’ve expanded our employee group by 25 percent, to help us serve customers better and assure we are meeting and exceeding client expectations.
Nowhere else is this success better seen than in our LAX Station. It’s actually the youngest field operation in our worldwide system, but now our fastest growing. Granted, we’re also expanding our facilities at JFK, AMS, and MIA, but Los Angeles has emerged as the year’s biggest and busiest station.
So, as you sit down to the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal – albeit with perhaps a couple side dishes missing – to enjoy a day with family, friends, and football, let’s take time to examine the year, its challenges, and successes, as well as the opportunities yet-to-be-discovered ahead.
Please stay safe – and get stuffed!
~ Roger Paredes, CEO