A Message from the CEO…By the Light of a New Dawn

As countries around the world slowly recover from the long battle against COVID-19, I am reminded of a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. – “We are always on the threshold of a new dawn.”

And by the light of this new day, we’ve seen something quite profound happen, particularly within the global logistics industry. There has emerged a heightened sense of “community” among our peers and customers.

The notion that “we are all in this together” has given rise to the realization that only by having our own house in order can we better support each other now and over the long term. After all, the world relies on logistics professionals like you and I to aptly manage the supply chains that bring needed products to distribution centers, warehouses, and ultimately the consumer’s doorstep.

We ensure markets have food on shelves, retail outlets have ample stock, businesses get essential parts and equipment, and that hospitals and health care centers have fast access to the critical medicines and supplies that keep us alive. All eyes are on us and there is pressure to perform.

So Perform We Must

On the business side, uncertainties in worldwide logistics this past year have certainly created enormous challenges for Prime Group, but also myriad opportunities to “be there” for our customers and the industry in general. We’ve weathered the COVID-19 storm together, yet still clouds remain – in the form of pervasive interruptions along global supply chains, equipment and capacity shortages, and higher shipping costs, among other significant market pressures.

If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that resiliency is how you play the long game – and not to just survive, but to thrive. Along this line, Prime Group is continually strengthening and expanding its four business units by introducing new services and products, by adding new talent in specific and measured ways, and by building up the company to ensure an overall smoother operation over the long haul.

Enhanced Communications

Bolstering relationships across all industries is also a winning strategy that will ensure success through resilience in 2022. The continued development of our marketing communications program is now paying dividends by attracting new business and by strengthening existing customer loyalties.

We will stay focused on growing the presence of each division by continually “refreshing” our digital presence in the marketplace via enhancements to our corporate web sites; and aggressive, sustained social-mail and enews campaigns. These efforts are of course geared to support the planned expansion of our global sales and marketing staff so that they may convert and nurture all the new business we are stirring.

Four Prime Companies

On the retail food side, our Prime Planet team we will continue to seek innovative and unique product lines not just in response to customer demand, but also in anticipation of their needs and desires for high quality better-for-you snacks.

On the Prime Logistics side of the house, we will continue to seek out globally recognized trade certifications for the transport of pharmaceuticals and other sensitive commodities. This is key to giving Prime Logistics the competitive edge it needs to grow.

We will cotinine to respond to the growing customer demand for charter operations through our PrimeAir division. In addition, we will focus on building up our Prime Fresh Handling service readiness at our gateway hubs – like at LAX, which emerged in 2021 as the largest and busiest field station in our entire global network.

Growing Through Technology

Overhauling software systems in-house with the latest technology and refining business processes will allow Prime Group to become even more operationally efficient and “customer centered” in 2022. We are engaging with a specialized firm at present to head up a program to unify all of our business units via one overarching system. This in turn will make way for the next natural step in the evolution of our global service excellence – artificial intelligence.

The prime objective here is to heighten the entire customer experience by providing fast and easy access to our wide-ranging service offerings, so that they can directly perform their own bookings, tracking, and more – whenever they need to, 24/7.

This will also serve to free up our Operations, Sales, and Customer Service people to focus on what they do best – expertly manage the safe, efficient, and cost-effective international shipment and handling of our clients’ commodities.

At the same time, we will be adding a news sales director for the Group and other key support staff to support the much more robust commercial structure we are building out in the coming year.

External Opportunities

Although our four companies have realized steady organic growth, in 2022 we will be adjusting course to more aggressively pursue opportunities through acquisitions that will positively impact our business growth plan in a swift and well-planned fashion.

By diversifying revenue, acquiring new customers, and expanding business among existing customers, Prime Group will be in a much stronger position to compete on the global stage – and in the process enhance the value of each company.

This “inorganic growth” will take the form of buying other businesses, opening new locations, and expanding global service lines.

For instance, in addition to the international freight services we currently offer via scheduled carriers, we are now identifying a wider range of air cargo transport options for our customers – such as going from only providing ad hoc charters to operating comprehensive and customized long-term charter programs. So stay tuned for exciting news on this front!

Doing Our Part

The year 2022 is presenting the global community with new challenges. Going forward, Prime Group will continue to proudly do its part shipping medical supplies, vaccines, and test kits internationally. We remain committed to doing more of these missions for as long the world needs us.

There is truly one thing that unites us – it is the basic human spirit that tomorrow will be a new day. And we are united in the belief that 2022 will be just that.


~ Roger Paredes, Prime Group CEO

Women in Supply Chain Management: Tracking Progress, Championing Opportunity

Millions of women have “vacated the premises” – that is, they left their business-workplace jobs since this pandemic began. Not the case, however in the global supply chain management business. Fortunately, over this same period, we’re seeing female representation in this sector trending upward.

A 2021 “Women in Supply Chain” survey conducted by Gartner and Awesome revealed that women now make up 41 percent of the supply chain management workforce. That’s the highest percentage ever in that survey’s history.

In past decades, the supply chain management industry was traditionally male-dominated, and that’s shifting. But Prime Logistics has long been ahead of the curve, proudly championing female representation and diversity in the workplace.

“Simply put, we believe that diverse employee teams are our company’s best resource for reimagining new strategies and solving age-old problems with creative and unique solutions,” says Omar Zambrano, COO-Prime Group, who oversees operations for the company’s Miami-based Prime Logistics division. “These are critical skills that all businesses need during good times but especially during challenging times.”

Industry-wide, the number of supply chain companies who say they desire to attract, hire, develop, and retain female employees has soared. In fact, that’s zoomed upward by double digits –from 46 percent of supply chain industry respondents in 2020 to 68 percent in 2021, according to a survey by Gartner and ASCM.

“Right now, we’re seeing more women not only seeking jobs in supply chain management but also viewing our industry as an ‘in demand’ career choice with potential for job progression,” says Zambrano. “That’s a big plus on the diversity side.”

A past stumbling block was pay parity within many companies, but that too has progressed. According to the Association for Supply Chain Management, results from its recent “Supply Chain Salary and Career Report” shows the previous pay gap between what men and women under 40 years of age can earn for supply chain jobs is now close to parity. “It’s hopeful that this trend will continue industry-wide as those same female employees age and move into the next phase of their supply chain management careers,” Zambrano added.

The overarching goal of Prime Logistics, along with all companies under the Prime Group umbrella, is to create a climate of inclusion, a pathway to career fulfillment, equal opportunities for all, and the absolute best-employee team it can build to assist its entire global base of clientele. Daily, customers all around the world interact with highly qualified women in management positions across the multiple divisions – everyone from Prime Logistics Group Sales Manager Yulieth Onofre to Christina Moscoso, general manager of Prime Fresh Handling at LAX; to Prime Planet Business Development Manager Marie Gonzalez and Elizabeth Suarez, General Manager of PrimeAir-Ecuador/Colombia/Peru.

A diverse workforce adds one “secret sauce” element for employers as well. It tends to foster a culture of empathy for others, which directly impacts any company’s ability to best serve all its customers. That’s the right thing to do. Plus, it’s a positive factor that can lead to greater business success. So, as we move into an all new year, let’s champion the progress of women in supply chain management but also pledge to keep moving the needle forward for diversity in 2022 and beyond.

About Prime Logistics

One of the four divisions of Prime Group, an international logistics services conglomerate founded in Ecuador in 2001, Prime Logistics serves to streamline, optimize, and expedite freight to and from the U.S. for a wide range of major industries.

With offices in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Bogota, Quito, and Amsterdam, Prime Logistics capitalizes on its long-time relationships with the major air carriers and ocean lines, to offer competitive rates in securing ample space to destinations all around the world.

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

Managing New Normal Pressures to Perform in Global Logistics

People working in cargo logistics and transport are under more pressure right now than during any other period in the history of the industry. The pressure to perform on the job, and the feeling that we’ve always got to “be there” for the team and dare not “drop the ball,” creates stressors that can be counterproductive and troubling on multiple levels. That’s why it is crucial that to consider the many tried-and-true ways available to manage pressure at work during this high anxiety time.

COVID is placing huge internal pressures on workers, from the front line to the head office. Ironically this added stress is more likely to make us even less efficient in what we do. And keep in mind, stress is not always negative. At times, it may also bring out the best in individuals – by inducing us to discover innovative and smarter ways of doing things. This positive dimension of stress is referred to as “enstress.” But let’s face it, usually the term “stress” has a negative implication – and this negative aspect of stress is termed as distress.

So what is stress and how does it rear its often-ugly head? As described by Manufacturing & Logistics IT Magazine, “stress can be defined as a lively circumstance in which people face constraints, opportunities, or loss of something they desire and for which the consequence is both unpredictable as well as crucial. Stress is the response of people to the unreasonable/excessive pressure or demands placed on them.”

How Stress Manifests

Symptoms of stress in the workplace include:

  • Absenteeism, escaping from work responsibilities, arriving late, leaving early, etc.
  • Deterioration in work performance, more error prone work, memory loss, etc.
  • Cribbing (nonstop complaining), overreacting, arguing, getting irritated, anxiety, etc.
  • Deteriorating health, accidents, etc.
  • Improper eating habits (overeating or undereating), excessive smoking and drinking, sleeplessness, etc.

It is thus essential to have effective stress management strategies in an organization so that the potentially detrimental repercussions on the employees as well as their performance can be minimized.

Individual Strategies for Managing Stress

It is generally understood that persistent worrying is not good for your mind or body. Therefore, it is important to be aware of stress at work and manage it efficiently. Consider these 16 anti-stress tips:

  1. While it may seem like everything coming at you must be addressed “right this minute,” it’s just not possible. Pay heed to basic time-management skills – take a moment to prioritize and do the most important things first. Then step back, reassess, and do the next most important thing.
  2. Make a “to-do” list daily, prioritize the acts on the list, and plan the acts accordingly. Achieving short-term targets in a timely fashion beats down work pressures and, thus, allows you to better avoid stress.
  3. Strive to achieve your longer-term goals but do not do it at the expense of family, health, or peers.
  4. Remember to take regular breaks to relax. And know that working through lunch makes you less effective in the afternoon, meaning you will achieve less overall.
  5. Listen more: The answers may be elusive, but are often right there in front of you – you just need to listen for them instead of arguing your point.
  6. Indulging in physical exercises helps in effective blood circulation, keeps you fit, and diverts mind from work pressures.
  7. Promote relaxation techniques such as yoga, listening to music, and meditation.
  8. Have plenty of water and actively engage in healthy eating habits. This takes planning, but it is so important.
  9. Encourage a healthy lifestyle and get more sleep: A well-rested body makes it easier to put proper perspective on your problems – and your client’s problems.
  10. Laughter is nature’s stress reliever. So crack jokes and try to laugh more. Having fun is a proven way to release stress.
  11. Also, engage in office banter – a bit of this throughout the day can actually create a better workplace overall.
  12. Strive to have an optimistic approach to your work. It helps to avoid connections with negative-approach employees.
  13. Another way is to cultivate close connections with trustworthy peers who can listen to your problems and boost your confidence. Such a social network will help you to overcome stress when and if it becomes acute.
  14. Employee counseling is a very good strategy to overcome stress. It allows you to become aware of your strengths and how to better develop those strengths; your weaknesses and how to eliminate them; and to develop strategies for changing your behavior.
  15. Do not remain pre-occupied with yourself. Turn your focus outwards. Help others. This is often a fail-safe way to release some stress.
  16. And keep in mind that, although predictions are that the problems facing the logistics industry may be here for the long haul, always remember this too shall pass.

Impact on “Deskless” Employees

While the pandemic has sometimes been a catalyst for some positive change across office-based industries, such as widespread acceptance of working-from-home and use of virtual meetings technology, not so much for employees outside traditional office settings – as in in many cases they are experiencing a higher prevalence of pressure-packed and stressful conditions.

That’s according to findings of an annual international State of the Deskless Workforce study exploring the attitudes and habits of non-office-based employees – everyone from truck drivers and warehouse operatives to care managers, cashiers, and restaurant staff.

Administered by Workforce Management Solutions provider Quinyx, their survey of 10,000 people in the Health and Social Care, Fashion, Transportation and Warehousing, Shipping & Distribution, Retail and Hospitality sectors shows that working conditions among “deskless” workers are being significantly negatively impacted by the continuation of COVID – as is their work performance.

Other key findings: A staggering 55 percent of the 1,500 respondents say they have gone to work when sick because they believe they can’t afford to stay home; and 53 percent didn’t attend social events and holiday celebrations, while nearly one-third missed major family and friend milestones – such as weddings, births and funerals – due to scheduled work or extra requests from their employer.

The same 16 steps above could certainly benefit those remote and/or “frontline” workers so that all employees within the overburdened logistics industry might achieve the job satisfaction that they so deserve.

Organizational Strategies for Managing Stress

Rule Number One: Put employees first. The pandemic and its impact on the workforce have reminded management teams that employees are not a cost item that can be optimized during a crisis. Instead, they are a major—if not the major—asset of an organization.

Since the beginning of the crisis, those companies that prioritized employee well-being and engagement during the pandemic sent a clear message to their workers and as a result-built loyalty.

  1. Encouraging more of organizational communication with the employees so that there is no role ambiguity/conflict.
  2. Effective communication can also change employee views. Managers can use better signs and symbols that are not misinterpreted by the employees.
  3. Encourage employee participation in decision-making. This will reduce role stress.
  4. Grant the employees greater independence, and meaningful and timely feedback.
  5. Remember that organizational goals should be realistic, stimulating, and particular. The employees must be given feedback on how well they are heading towards these goals.
  6. Appreciate the employees on accomplishing and over-exceeding their targets.


The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

These are interesting times to say the least. The growing demand for service in an ever-changing environment requires constant communications with clients to diffuse their angst and puts pressure on logistics employees to put their best face forward – while trying to manage a higher degree of personal and organizational pressure.

It was conventionally perceived that reasonable levels of stress would boost the employees and improve their work performance. But this perception no longer holds true. According to Management Study Guide, a certified education provider of tutorials for management students, today it is believed that even a little bit of stress will inhibit employees’ work performance.

And so, we must be cognizant of the realities that the new normal in the world of logistics presents. The price of continuous unmanaged pressure on employees is lost creativity and innovativeness – and these have long been the very hallmarks of success in this industry.

CEO Message: Holiday Well Wishes – People Matter

As we head into the end-of-year holidays, the world is far different and our world more uncertain than it was just 22 months ago. Yet, during this season, it’s also an excellent time to remember that it’s the faces of life – our cherished families, good friends, helpful colleagues, and valued customers – that truly matter.

And we’re certainly all yearning for more social contact, right? In fact, according to Mintel’s summer 2021 survey about  “COVID-19’s Impact on U.S. Consumers,” 56 percent of people say the pandemic has made them want to spend more time with family, while 41 percent also want to spend more time with friends.

Why? It’s simple. These people can provide a solid foundation for our lives. They make us smile and laugh. They bring the joy of life. They help us cope with ever-changing uncertainties in both our personal and professional worlds.

This year hasn’t been easy on many fronts. From a personal perspective, we’ve seen the rise of new variants in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but we’ve also seen that vaccination rates are climbing, booster shots are now available, and protocols are – in many cases – working to help stem the spread of the virus.

On the business side, uncertainties in logistics this past year have certainly created mind-boggling issues for the Prime Group of companies as well as our customers. Together we’ve weathered the storm, though, as we’ve worked through shortages of containers and air/ocean/truck/train shipping capacity, higher shipping costs, pervasive labor shortages, a shortage of popular manufactured goods, and a litany of other supply chain challenges.

When Life Gives You Lemons

But one of the only constants in worldwide logistics – and in life too – is the need to adapt to changing circumstances. Yes, marketplace ripples and shortages of most goods are certainly being felt by retailers and consumers alike during this traditional gift-giving period. At the end of the day, though, it’s about doing our best, packing an added dose of patience and “going with the flow.”

It’s also about celebrating and living one’s faith, as well as counting one’s blessings. If you’re able, please join me in giving back and assisting the communities in which you live and work. Even if you only have an hour or two of time to contribute, it could mean a lot. Separately, during this holiday period, help your families but also your neighbors or others who are still struggling. So many people this year have lost cherished friends or beloved family members to this terrible virus. Let’s all pull together to assist each other in weathering the storm.

Getting Down to Business

From a business perspective, I’m happy to report that all of the Prime Group business units expanded this past year with new services and new products. Successes through our major expansion of marketing communications efforts are paying off. We’ve grown the presence of each division through “refreshing” corporate Web sites. We’ve unveiled an aggressive, sustained social-mail campaign, and we’ve introduced a robust, e-news program for three divisions.

On the product side, our Prime Planet division, the hot news is we introduced a new Tostones BBQ flavor, and we’re getting ready to roll out a new product (still under wraps!). We also made packaging enhancements so our snack chips stand out better on often-crowded supermarket shelves.

Our Prime Logistics division posted the highest volume ever in company history for kilos of shipped cargo, plus it earned the World Cargo Association’s (WCA) first “Responsible Person” certification in all of North America.

Our PrimeAir division celebrated a first-ever charter flight between South America and Tokyo. Also, after months of work establishing required qualifications, that division’s Bogota station also has been awarded the “CEIV Certification for Pharmaceutical Transport” issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

And even with global logistics capacity restraints, I’m happy to report that in 2021 Prime Fresh Handling at LAX emerged as our fastest growing, largest, and busiest field station throughout our entire global network. All these steps combined across the various divisions helped make 2021 our biggest sales year ever.

Warm-felt Thanks to Our Team

Thanks to all our employees including the new team members who’ve joined us this year. Across all divisions, we increased headcount by 25 percent to accommodate our strong growth. Also, we want to thank our employees’ families too. Without their support during Prime Group’s busiest time of the year, our employee team couldn’t do what’s needed for our customers.

As the year winds down and we all get into the holiday season of gift giving, yes, we may not have the holiday season’s usual full bounty of goods and gifts to purchase. But we’ll have what matters most – the human touch. It’s a great month to give thanks for friends, families, work colleagues and customers and tell them how much they mean in your life.

Most of all, celebrate the concrete steps taken in 2021 by societies across the globe to begin controlling and preventing this challenging virus. We’re doing our part – shipping medical supplies, temperature sensitive vaccines and 50,000 COVID-19 test kits weekly. And hope to continue to do more of these missions going forward.

So, as we trim the Christmas tree, light the Hanukkah menorah, enjoy Kwanzaa, or celebrate other holiday or faith traditions, stay positive. Think good thoughts, and take time to breathe, relax, reflect, and enjoy life.

~ Roger Paredes, CEO