A Solid “Talent Stack” Serves to Unveil God-Given Talents – and Passions

Among the worst advice given to young people today is a phrase that enjoys the same reverence as an Eleventh commandment: “Follow your passion.” Sounds good, but truth be told, it ranks right up there with “Go West, young man!” as a vaguely inspiring but rather useless thing to say on your way out the door.

Horace Greeley, the newspaper editor who coined the “Go West” phrase back in 1865, did so while lamenting the horrors of Washington, D.C.: the rent, he said, was too high, the food was awful, and the dust was as disgusting, as the morals were deplorable. So, he advised, “Go West, young man, go West, and grow up with the country.”

Left unsaid, of course, were the particulars.

And for good reason: advice, as it turns out, is easy, life is not; and making the arduous journey out West by wagon was not for the faint of heart. Anyone who has ever played the video game Oregon Trail knows that even in the game, life was nasty, brutish, and short. That’s because well before you reached your destination, you were likely to perish from starvation, Indian attacks, rattlesnakes, and diseases like cholera.

And that brings me to my point: telling someone to follow their passion is like setting them on the Oregon Trail, but without the necessary skills to survive. In other words, it all but guarantees a short game.

Instead, we should tell young people to build their talent stack, or skills that work together to make them more effective and unique in the marketplace. If, for instance, you are a brilliant engineer but lack any networking skills, you’re liable to lose out to someone who does.

A talent stack allows you to take advantage of your God-given talent and yes – your passion – while being multidimensional. And it’s important to note here that you don’t have to be phenomenal at another skill to improve your chances; you need only be competent. (Just like knowing the basics of how to start a fire or build a shelter increases your chances of survival in the wilderness.)

A little knowledge, as they say, goes a long way. And this is true, even in the most savage of places like – Hollywood. There, a triple threat is someone who can sing, dance, and act. That’s an example of a talent stack. Again, you don’t have to be “the best” at these other disciplines, just good enough to make you unique.

Which is to say: being a great actor is fine, but if you are also a reasonably good dancer and singer, that gives you the advantage over someone who is only an actor. Triple threats beat single threats every time.

The legendary investor and billionaire Warren Buffet knows this all too well. His advice is to hone your communication skills, and Richard Branson, British business magnate and founder of VirginGroup, readily agrees. “Today,” he notes, “if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you also have to be a storyteller.”

So, by all means, channel your passion. That passion is kindling for the fire. But if you want to survive in the workplace, real life, or your own metaphorical Oregon Trail, learn to invest in yourself.

And build that talent stack!

Taking Stock, Moving Forward: A Global Economic Outlook:

Positive Indicators and Strategic Measures for the Upcoming Holiday Season

As the months tick away for 2023, businesses are taking stock of global economic conditions, the state of the logistics industry, and supply chain conditions. What’s the status this month, and what can we expect moving into the peak, end-of-year period for holiday shipments?

Of course, there’s no way to predict the exact outcome, because depending on how you balance the short-term and long-term, the myriad and contradicting indicators are a bit more positive than what many economists projected earlier in the year.

On the one hand, you can make case that based on what the Federal Reserve is saying, the U.S. economy is healthy. And it is, by many counts. Or you can track what’s happening in our business specifically, like Craig Fuller does as CEO of FreightWaves, a price-reporting agency focused on the global freight market. He will tell you the overriding theme to the freight market and the overall economy right now is a downcycle – and more than any other moment in time, it is hard to comprehend and draw conclusions where we are going next.

I full-throatedly agree. As you know, we tend to refer to market conditions through rates, and while rates are impacted by many forces, what’s hurting 3PL service providers right now is overcapacity.

In the airfreight market, overcapacity equals lower rates. So will experience greater volumes? The answer is yes, but not necessarily translate in rates at the levels we saw last year.

Long term outlook?

Bolstering our confidence of an ultimate recovery is the fact that the Prime Group of companies are seeing businesses expand in many worldwide markets, reflecting what Benchmark International recently synopsized in its “Global Logistics 2023 Industry Report.” This global M&A firm now projects the global freight and logistics market to grow to $18.69 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4 percent.

When looking solely at logistics, the market is expected to reach $6.55 trillion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.7 percent between 2022 and 2027. The report also says that the Asia-Pacific region is the largest in the freight and logistics market, with North America looking to be the fastest-growing region between now and 2027.

“Many economic analysts are increasingly optimistic about the economy because some inflation data has improved and key economic data points like GDP growth, consumer spending, and job creation have been stronger than expected,” the report explains.

In late July 2023, the U.S. Federal Reserve, citing elevated inflation, hiked the target range for the federal funds rate to as much as 5.5 percent. The nation’s central bank also acknowledged that U.S. economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace, job gains have been robust in recent months, the unemployment rate has remained low, and the U.S. banking system is sound and resilient.

So, can it be best of time and the worst of time all at once? The answer is in the eye of the beholder.

At both Prime Logistics and Prime Fresh Handling, we’re doing our part to smooth supply chain issues by integrating new technology, developing a more diverse portfolio of vendors, adding more close-to-home logistics solutions for customers, enhancing our forecasting, and proactively communicating with customers. We know that safe, smart supply chain access and on-time delivery of your goods to market is paramount for your business.

Advance planning remains critical too. As we enter this lead-up period to the 2023 holiday shopping season, the time is now – in September and October – for our customers to be solidifying shipping preparations for holiday season goods. As we await further progress on the global economic front, let’s get moving to ensure that this year’s peak season sales have every opportunity for success – and good bottom-line performance for your business.

What’s good for your business is good for ours. We are in this together.

~Roger Paredes

CEO Prime Group



Time to Get Moving on Boosting Wellness into the Workplace

Employees who chose a career in logistics are undoubtedly resilient. Operating in our world is extremely challenging – you have to be quick on your feet, flexible, and be prepared to resolve any and all problems – now! Quite simply, our industry doesn’t stop – delays that happen in one time zone often cause a domino effect and we have to be on top of our game 24/7.

This level of nonstop responsibility create stress; and stress can lead to illness. According to research by LinkedIn, in 2021, 28 percent more supply chain managers left their jobs due to burnout compared to the previous year. Granted 2020-21 was the height of the hyper intense period for our industry due to the continued impact of COVID-19 on our industry, but turnout remains a very real problem in our industry. We must recognize how important it is to take care of our employees. We must repay their loyalty and dedication. And, we must give our employees the support they need and deserve.

Programs that encourage healthy habits not only benefit our employees, but also assist us by reducing healthcare costs and increasing productivity. A recent Harvard study looked at the return on investment of wellness programs and the results showed that for every dollar spent on wellness programs, the employer saves $2.73 and experience significantly reduced absenteeism. And, obviously, healthy and happy employees will undoubtedly give us their best work.

Where do we start? First and foremost: Lead by example. Take the stairs, incorporate walking meetings into your workday, and go for a quick walk or run at the end of the day – ask your management staff to join you. Instead of pastries in the conference room, serve fruit. Not only will you feel better, but your employees will be more willing to participate in wellness activities if they see that you are interested in health, too. Inspiring our employees is one of the easiest things we can do to encourage a healthier workforce!

Next, provide employees with tools they need to live a healthier life. Have your HR team invite a nutritionist to visit once a month who can counsel employees on healthy eating habits. Also, have them post “eat this, not that” information in the break rooms. Some of the simplest steps can make for significant incremental change.

Wellness programs can be fun, too! Whether you organize an employee versus management soccer game or a weekly Wellness Wednesday where employees are given healthy snacks and recipes, it is incumbent on us to keep our workforce running, perhaps… literally, in the case of joining 14,000 other participants each year in what’s billed as South Florida’s largest “office party,” the Lexus Corporate Run in Miami.

Maintaining our workforce is crucial to our continued success. Working in the logistics field is absolutely challenging, but we can make it easier – and healthier –  by encouraging our employees to focus on wellness. Our greatest asset is our people. Let’s make sure our employees know this. Get moving!

~  Roger Paredes, CEO Prime Group