Harvest Blessings and Bountiful Thanks ~ A message from the CEO

Fall is here in the Northern Hemisphere, employees across the logistics divisions of the Prime Group are working 24-7 shipping and handling for harvested agricultural products now heading to their retail and wholesale destinations.

Just-picked grapes are transiting to wine production, fruits are in transport to markets and restaurants customers. Plantains and olives are moving to food manufacturing plants, where, presto, they’ll soon be transformed into snack foods and olive oil.  Glass containers, cardboard, and other materials critical in manufacturing are also on the move, under the watchful eye of Prime Group’s dedicated teams of logistics experts around the world.

Whatever the journey, I’m proud of all our employees who are staying on top of the process in every way. You are to be commended for keeping the global pipeline of fresh products flowing to market or production on time and on budget.

Traditional Celebrations Worldwide
Also, as fall is in full swing, I’d like to recognize a few of the many annual events, both secular or religious – and the diverse traditions taking place across the globe in celebration of the bountiful harvest season.

Just weeks ago, for instance, some employees and customers in the United Kingdom and other northern countries participate in Lammas (“loaf mass”) Day to recognize the start of the grain harvesting season. They bake Lammas bread, make corn dollies and put on large feasts with loved ones. Following that, the annual Harvest Festival typically marks the end of the annual growing season in September.

In Canada, the annual Thanksgiving Day was observed on the second Monday of October. Residents – as their ancestors have done over the centuries – give thanks for the harvest and their god’s blessings for the bounty. In the modern era, the Canadian Parliament officially deemed the day a national holiday in 1957.

Just concluded in Israel, the annual Sukkot is a high holy week and celebration of bountiful harvests. In one tradition, residents hold and shake four species of plants – palm, myrtle, willow, and citron. In another, some eat and/or sleep for a week in small temporary huts with a roof open to the sky; that pays homage to Israelites of the past who wandered within the desert for decades and lived in temporary shelters.

In Magione, Italy, over a two-day period in November, the fall Olivagando festival focuses on “la dolce goccia” or the “sweet drop” of high-quality olive oil. Unfolding in the nation’s Umbria region, it’s celebrated in concert with the feast of St. Clement.

Across the globe, Korean families come together to celebrate the three-day Chuseok harvest festival on the 15th day of the lunar calendar’s eighth month. It’s a time for families to share meals and talk about their ancestors.

Within the United States, I know that many of our employees and customers are looking forward to Thanksgiving Day later this month – officially November 24. While President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, the first Thanksgiving celebration took place far earlier. In fall 1621, Pilgrim colonists in Plymouth, Mass., celebrated a successful wheat crop and shared a meal of partridge, wild turkey, and fish with Indigenous Americans.

Southern Hemisphere Celebrations
Of course, in the Southern Hemisphere, harvest comes at a different time of the year. In Mendoza, Argentina, events in the first quarter of the year celebrate the grape harvest, honor centuries of traditions and feature a modern-day wine festival that began in 1936.

In Bali, Indonesia, every May and June, a harvest festival honors the Hindu rice god, Dewi Sri. During this time, farmers place temples to the god in their rice paddies and make offerings of rice-stalk dolls.

Many other countries including India, Swaziland, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines also celebrate harvest season. We appreciate all the traditions and, as we navigate out of the pandemic, it’s an opportune time right now, regardless of where you live, to give thanks for a robust harvest and our many blessings.

I’d also like to again thank the employees representing all the Prime Group companies for their dedication throughout the year in serving our clients. In addition, to our valued clients, I extend heart-felt gratitude for entrusting us with your business. The harvest season signals a hefty ramp-up for our Prime Group divisions as we work to ship your agricultural products and a cornucopia of other goods around the world – on time and on budget. We’re striving to do our best for you as we all navigate through recent global challenges including supply chain issues.

Most of all, wherever you are across the globe, we give thanks for you and wish you a bountiful, happy, and healthy year ahead.

~ Roger Paredes

Better Together: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage, Broadening the Horizon

Here we are in the heart of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the very midpoint of the month-long celebration that got underway Sept. 15 to honor the history, culture, and achievements of Americans whose ancestry can be traced to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

I’m particularly pleased that this year’s chosen theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” It seems fitting given what our entire global community has endured coming out of the pandemic and since. Ily Soares, Supervisory Accountant at Farm Credit Administration submitted that winning theme to the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHPM).

Speaking from the heart, “One uniting factor within our Hispanic community is our desire to be included and represented in all aspects of American society,” Soares emphasized. “As has been proven, when different voices are sitting at the metaphorical table and included in key decisions, the entire community benefits from greater solutions that address concerns from all people.”

Certainly, while negativity abounds in society, this year’s theme offers all of us a powerful, uplifting message. Not only does it encourage us to celebrate our heritage, but it also shows how great our tomorrow can be if we simply be united in our resilience – and hope.

The Roots of Our Celebration

Case in point, the Hispanic Heritage observance began in 1968, another challenging time in our nation’s history with the Vietnam War in full swing, racial strife on the rise and violent protests on college campuses. But Hispanic Heritage Week was a positive focus. It began as a weekly celebration under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan to cover a 30-day period; it was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

Personally, I view Hispanic Heritage Month as a great way of honoring cherished ancestors and building on their legacy. Our own company, Prime Logistics is a minority-based Hispanic company and was founded 20 years ago in Quito, Ecuador. But from the outset, the company’s vision was to grow and prosper – becoming a global leader in logistics services and products.

Solid Partnerships and Growth

Thanks to the solid partnerships we’ve established and maintained over the years with the world’s top air cargo carriers including Emirates SkyCargo, Atlas Air, and others, we’ve done just that. Early on, we also moved our headquarters to Miami, and over the years continued to build our expertise and reliability.

So, while we’re now considered the top “go to” provider of air cargo logistics and transport for the flower industry in both Ecuador and Colombia, we’ve also widened our business horizon by handling shipping and transportation for all types of sensitive perishables – from seafood to medications, from meat to fresh produce. In addition, Prime Logistics’ shipments are increasingly headed for more distant destinations across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

I am also happy to note that Prime Planet is also thriving – our Miami-based snack chip company that produces a line of delicious fried green Tostones from fresh plantains harvested in Ecuador, and then manufactured there, too. Talk about a success story, with a “taste” of Hispanic pride and ingenuity in every bite.

I think the overall message is that people of diverse cultures and backgrounds have much to contribute and are also “stronger together.” That message definitely reflects our corporate philosophy and is a key element of our dealings with our employees, our partners, and our customers.

So, if you are Hispanic, let me thank you for your contributions to our country, our world – and our company, of course! For those of other cultures or ethnic backgrounds, thanks too for all you do. Together, “united,” we are stronger, better, and can create greater amazing opportunities for future happiness and success.

Visit Us at Expo Flor Ecuador

On a final note, I am excited to announce we are heading to Quito, where Prime Group got its start 20-plus years ago, to attend Expo Flor Ecuador, Oct. 5-7. We are extremely excited that our entire PrimeAir sales staff from Colombia, Ecuador, and Miami will be there, in full force. As the one of the largest international flower fairs in the industry, this is a huge opportunity for our team, and we want to make the best of it. So if you are in the “neighborhood” this week, at Centro de Convenciones Metropolitano de Quito, please come by Booth M09 for a visit.

The Essential Ingredient in Business-to-Business Communications: Trade Show Connections

In my 20-plus years in global logistics, I’ve come to learn that success in business is all about human connection. In fact, PrimeAir has pinned its entire approach to business on this core principle.

Consistent, timely, and direct interpersonal communication – it’s how we understand customer needs, and expertly match our services to satisfy those demands.

Every day, across our entire system, we use a broad spectrum of communications options to network and make connections that will attract new business, ensure the best in customer satisfaction, and solidify relationships with our existing clients.

But the big news I wish to share is that finally, after a long hiatus, we are back on board with the most impactful method of sales outreach – trade shows. And topping the list is Expo Flor Ecuador.

Prior to the pandemic, major trade shows such as Expo Flor, which is one of the largest international flower fairs in the industry, served as the primary way to meet with key customers, prospects, and peers – all under one roof.

Expo Flor Ecuador

We are extremely excited to announce that we will be back at the show in full force, Oct. 5-7 in Quito. This is a huge opportunity, and we want to make the best of it, which is why our entire PrimeAir sales staff from Colombia, Ecuador, and Miami will be present.

After so many years, this show is a “reunion” opportunity of course, but make no mistake, we are keenly focused on gaining solid sales traction by bolstering relations and expanding business with our existing forwarders, GSAs, and airline customers, while also opening the door to new business.

Events of this caliber attract top players in the floral and perishables logistics industries – and in great numbers: this first Expo in four years is expected to feature 125 exhibitors and attract more than 1,650 flower buyers hailing from 42 countries around the world.

The Show Must Go On

Face it, we are social animals, and no advancements in video or telecommunications technology could ever hope to match the effectiveness of direct human connection –

and the business it generates. So, I am so pleased that we are cued up and ready to immediately and confidently step back into the most impactful arena for human connection in the fresh flower industry.

Communication is what brings people together in our business and paves the way for future success. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

TCS: Time Critical Solutions, Your “Hand-Carry” Resource for Fast Shipping by Air

In evaluating shipping challenges in 2022 including the ebb and flow of the supply chain, PrimeAir is constantly evaluating how to assist its customers in doing business more efficiently. That’s why I am excited to share with you that we have launched a new onboard courier service – a ‘hand-carry’ resource – to assist local freight forwarders in Colombia and Ecuador.

This premium business service will help freight forwarders get their time-critical shipments where they need to go quickly and with a personal touch – quite literally. While this onboard courier (OBC) service is a commonly used option in Europe and the U.S., it’s a fairly new concept for some small and mid-sized freight forwarders in other parts of the globe including many regions of South America.

What’s making this possible is an agreement we entered earlier this year with Time Critical Solutions Worldwide (TSC Worldwide), a privately owned, independent Dutch company, based at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. So, we are now offering freight forwarders the onboard courier or “hand carry” services to/from Colombia and Ecuador.

Typically, automotive, transportation, pharmaceutical, oil, and manufacturing businesses may – from time to time – face a broken machine that will cause major production delays at a very high cost. Getting the right spare part to where it needs to go is critical.

PrimeAir, which can now tap into “ready to go” couriers in the U.S., the Netherlands, China, and elsewhere, expects the hand-carry option to be useful for transporting all kinds of spare parts, medical samples and other items into and out of both Colombia and Ecuador.

It doesn’t matter if the final client is an importer or exporter, the onboard courier service will solve the problem in the fastest way possible. It’s important to look at the “big picture” when considering the typically higher cost of the hand-carry service, versus normal shipping options.

Bottom line? We believe this new onboard courier service may be the most cost-effective option for freight forwarders to suggest to their clients in certain circumstances. For example, when the spare part being shipped is desperately needed to fix manufacturing machinery, the time saved in the end – by getting production back up more quickly – will more than make up for the onboard courier service price.

Or, when an airplane is parked on the ground day after day because it needs repairs, that’s a financial drain too. It’s not always about shipping an entire engine – sometimes, it’s about just one specific small component that can fit inside a suitcase, to travel speedily with a logistics courier service, thus getting the plane back in the air quicker.

At times, the decision to use a hand-carry service is also about more than cost. It’s about the value of human life. In a medical setting, if a highly sophisticated MRI unit goes down because it needs a key component replacement, that could impede a prompt life-saving medical diagnosis. Quicker transport via an onboard courier service could get the MRI back in service to help save lives.

In general, with the new service, PrimeAir – using TSC Worldwide’s courier – accepts carry-on, checked in and excess baggage including DGR (dangerous goods) and temperature-controlled items in accordance with airline guidelines.

Our PrimeAir team on the ground is always available to talk with any freight forwarders about this new logistics courier service and how it could help your business. In essence, PrimeAir is TCS Worldwide’s agent on the ground in Ecuador and Colombia, with a liaison office in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Again, the goal, is to provide more options for freight forwarders – helping them to serve their clients during the ebb and flow of 2022 and beyond. For more information or to set up a shipment, contact us via email at ecuador@tcs-worldwide.com or colombia@tcs-worldwide.com.

Roger Paredes

CEO Prime Group

It’s July! Celebrate and Have a Little Fun!

July awaits with national holidays, a chance to look back historically and reasons to celebrate. 

Navigating through 2022, we’ve reached July, the year’s mid-point. The month is certainly symbolic for several cultures as a point of celebration. Prime Group is headquartered in Miami, where July 4th is celebrated as a national holiday. It signifies the important day back in 1776 when 14 American colonies signed their “Declaration of Independence” from foreign rule. So, let me be the first to wish all our employees, partners, and clients in the U.S. “Happy Fourth of July” as they celebrate with fireworks, parades, and concerts.

Also celebrating this July are many of our friends, employees, and clients around the world, such as those in Canada and France. Canada Day on July 1 symbolizes the anniversary that started Canadian confederation in 1867; while France’s “La Fete Nationale” or Bastille Day on July 14, commemorates the storming of that Paris fortress and the unity of the French people in 1790. Around the globe, other nations also celebrate anniversaries this summer and we send our best thoughts to them.

Hail Caesar

Wondering how July got its name? That’s an interesting tale. Let’s “rewind” our thoughts back more than 2,000 years to ancient Rome. Within the lunar-based Roman calendar, July didn’t exist. Rather, it was called “Quintilis,” Latin for “fifth month.” Why fifth and not seventh? That’s because the old Roman calendar counted only 10 months (not two winter months), so the month didn’t fall at the same time of the year as it does today. March was the year’s first month. Let’s just say that calendar was confusing.

Fortunately, Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor, reformed it – taking inspiration from the ancient Egyptians and switching to a solar-based system that tracked the time needed for Earth to revolve around the sun. And so created was a calendar of 365.25 days. An extra day was added in February every four years to make up for that extra quarter day. After the two winter months were added in, Quintilis became the seventh month – positioned mid-year.

Then in 44 BC, after Caesar’s death, Rome changed the month of Quintilis to Julius (or July) in honor of the late ruler’s birth month. The new calendar was appropriately named the Julian Calendar. It was used until the late 16th century when the Gregorian Calendar emerged. But today, thanks to the Romans, July remains firmly rooted mid-year.

Dog Days of Summer

Weatherwise, our employees often see July as a month of extremes. For those in the southern hemisphere, July falls in winter; while for Europe, much of Asia, and North America, we have extreme summer heat and humidity. It’s often, as the Romans would say, “the dog days of summer.” So, I’d like to personally thank all our employees, partners, and clients for their dedicated work during July’s most challenging weather days, whether hot or cold.

Relax, Refresh, Reconnect

On a personal level, though, July brings a great opportunity for everyone to relax, refresh, and reconnect with friends and family. If you have a sweet tooth, perhaps ask friends over to share treats during July’s National Ice Cream Month, Chocolate Day in July, or Pecan Pie Day on July 12.

In addition, July is National Hot Dog Month so it’s the perfect timing for a backyard party. If you’re seeking to put on a fancier soiree, consider National Caviar Day on July 18. Also, for those with a health bent, July is National Watermelon Month and National Blueberry Month, plus Fresh Spinach Day arrives July 16, and World Tofu Day is July 26.

Frankly, I’m amazed at July’s array of fun or quirky celebratory days. Just pick your passion and host a get-together. National Country Music Day is July 4, Video Games Day arrives July 8, Embrace Your Geekness Day is July 13, World Emoji Day is July 17, and National Lipstick Day is July 29. Other days honor relatives or pay tribute to house plants, cowboys, lollipops, sharks, ugly trucks and alas, even snakes.

So, heading into July, let’s take stock of the month, appreciate its historic context – and remember to celebrate and have a little fun. Most of all, have a safe summer!

Roger Paredes

CEO Prime Group

Happy Mother’s Day Proudly Delivering the Flowers and Plants that Honor our Moms

With an estimated $2.6 billion spent in 2021 alone, Mother’s Day in the U.S. absolutely “rules” as the top occasion each year for floral spending here. In fact, the volume of gifts of fresh flowers and plants purchased for Mother’s Day even exceeds what’s spent on floral and fresh plant purchases for Valentine’s Day.

This year, Mother’s Day in the U.S. will be celebrated on Sunday, May 8. It’s certainly a fabulous way for spouses to honor their wives who are moms, and for grateful sons and daughters to say thanks to their moms, grandmothers, and great grandmas.

Personally, I also believe it’s a wonderful opportunity to recognize “other moms” – special women who may have influenced our lives in positive, supportive ways. So, this Mother’s Day, why not honor a favorite mentor who’s also a mom or perhaps a special family friend, mother-in-law, teacher, parent’s spouse, or other special person.

 

Saying it with Flowers

 Everyone knows that flowers are a perfect way to show love and appreciation – certainly all our busy customers do! Research gleaned from the Society of American Florists’ website shows that 65 percent of Americans “feel special” when receiving flowers. In addition, 60 percent believe a gift of flowers has a special meaning unlike any other gift, and 77 percent perceive those who give flowers to be “thoughtful.”

Most notably, 92 percent of women say the best reason to receive flowers is “just because.” In addition, it’s just as good to give as to receive, as 80 percent of Americans say receiving flowers makes them feel happy, while 88 percent say the act of giving flowers makes them happy.

 

Expressing My Appreciation

 What all this means to those of us supporting the fresh-cut flower industry, including the employees of the Prime Group of companies, is that it is one of our busiest times of year. I’m deeply appreciative of all our skilled, professional logistics and perishables experts for their care in handling the entire perishables shipping and transport process for our customers – forwarders, retailers, wholesalers, and the like.

Their important role in this highly specialized cold supply chain starts with arranging for the bulk fresh-cut flower shipments to be picked up by refrigerated trucks from producers in Ecuador and Colombia and swiftly transporting the blooms and plants all the way from the airport of export to U.S. markets, coast to coast. There are myriad steps in between, as you might imagine, but suffice to say our Prime Group people know precisely what they’re doing – as we’ve been in the fresh-flower and perishables business for more than 20 years. We also transfer many flowers into and out of at Amsterdam, our major European gateway for floral shipments and other commodities. So we’ve pretty much got the world covered.

Business aside, though, I’d like to wish all our valued customers and employees a wonderful Mother’s Day. And if you’re a mom, thank you for all you do, day in and day out. You inspire, you motivate, you bring out the best in us – and help mold the next great generation.

Wishing my own mom and yours too, a very “Happy Mother’s Day.”

 

~ Roger Paredes, CEO

Spring Brings Rebirth and Remembrance

Flowers blooming in spring symbolize a rebirth and, for so many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the end of dreary wintertime. Across the globe, cultures celebrate in different ways. In the Netherlands, tens of thousands line up to watch the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek, a famous – and lengthy – floral spectacle and parade. Traveling between Noordwijk and Haarlem during April 20-24, 2022, the parade will feature elaborate floats constructed with tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths.

In Japan, the country’s cherry blossoms annually are the focus of an internationally known spring festival, Hanami, unfolding between late March and early May. Japanese residents host parties under the cherry trees, a centuries-old tradition. In Washington, D.C., too, these blooms as well as the friendship between the U.S. and Japan are celebrated during the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, thus year slated for March 20 to April 17. 

Busy Floral Season

Late winter and spring is certainly Prime Group’s busiest business period as fresh flowers and plants make the perfect gift. On a daily basis, we’re handling and transporting over 200,000 kilos of fresh flowers between destinations within Latin America, Europe, Asia, and North America.

But whether it be now or throughout the entire year, I’m proud of the employees of Prime Air, Prime Fresh Handling, Prime Logistics, and for that matter, our snack food division Prime Planet. I commend them for working diligently day after day to assure our clients’ shipments make it from Point A to Point B on time and arrive fresh and ready for sale.

Religious Observances

Separately, I’d also like to acknowledge that spring is the time of year when the members of our multinational team with differing religious backgrounds observe sacred occasions, holy events, and rituals – many of which are rooted in ancient times. I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the diversity of our workforce and our strong belief in inclusivity as they join with our clients around the world in observing these or other holy occasions this spring.

  • Passover: The Jewish Passover 2022, also called Pesach in Hebrew, will begin the evening of April 15, during the Hebrew month of Nisan, and end on April 23 at nightfall. This major Jewish holiday celebrates God’s liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
  • Ramadan: As the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Ramadan is observed by Muslims across the globe via a month of fasting, reflection, and prayer. In 2022, it will begin on April 2 and end May 1. Commemorating Muhammad’s first revelation, this annual celebration is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
  • Easter: On April 17, 2022 – Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, as described in the Bible’s New Testament. That occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary (in modern day Israel) in 30 A.D.

Spring Symbolizes Rebirth

While spring often brings a plethora of floral gift giving – often fresh tulips, roses, hyacinths, and lilies, as well as other flowers – whatever the occasion or celebration, whatever the religious observation, one fact emerges: Spring is an important time of rebirth.

Simply put, the advent of spring reminds us that we can begin anew, try a new path, and reenergize ourselves for a greater good. We wish that for all people across the globe in 2022.

~ Roger Paredes, Prime Group CEO

A Message from the CEO: Prime Group Proudly Celebrates Women’s History Month

During the month of March, please join us as the Prime Group gives some well-deserved attention to all of the amazing accomplishments of strong, determined women. Since 1987, the United States has formally recognized March as National Women’s History Month. Every woman has a story to tell and gifts to share with the world. So get ready, because this month is about honoring magnificent ladies, and we are ready to celebrate it to the fullest.

A Rich and Proud History

Women’s History Month heralds the often-overlooked contributions of women in history, society, and culture. It has been annually observed in the U.S. and other countries, including the U.K. and Australia, every March since 1987. The month is observed in October in Canada. March is selected as the month for observing Women’s History Month to correspond with International Women’s Day on March 8, and Canada observes it in October in correspondence with Persons Day on October 18.

The month-long commemoration started with Women’s History Day in 1978, organized by the school district of Sonoma, Calif. Hundreds of students participated in the essay competitions, many presentations were given, and a parade was held in Santa Rosa, Calif.

The idea caught on and, a few years later, school districts, communities, and organizations all over the country were celebrating the day. In 1980, the National Women’s History Alliance championed for the holiday to be observed as a national week, and this was backed by President Jimmy Carter, who issued the first proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week.

The following year, Congress forwarded a resolution establishing a national observance. Six years later, the expansion of the event to the whole month of March was successfully petitioned by the National Women’s History Project.

International Women’s Day

I also want to call attention to International Women’s Day 2022 and its campaign theme: #ChooseToChallenge. A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.

~ CEO Roger Paredes

Recognizing Women’s Achievements: How Flowers Play a Vital Role in the IWD Global Celebration

Hats off to all the incredible women across the globe who are making such a difference in our lives – with invaluable contributions at home, at work and in their communities. In recognition of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, Prime Logistics would like to take a moment to reflect on how we can celebrate these women of distinction and their accomplishments.

Historically, civilization has celebrated powerful women with a gift of flowers. While the flower-giving tradition had roots in ancient Greece and Egypt, it really came into its own in the 1800s Victorian era. At a time when public displays of emotions were frowned upon, giving flowers was a creative, acceptable way to show feelings, affection or admiration. In fact, the Victorians even wrote books about the “specific meanings” associated with the specific types of flowers or floral bouquets created and presented.

Over the centuries, fragrant lotus flowers were popular with the ancients, while in 1946, Italian feminists chose the mimosa flower as a symbol of strength, sensibility and sensitivity in honor of IWD.  Today, white roses are extremely popular, although people love giving and receiving just about every other type of flower. Whatever the species of blooms, though, Prime Logistics and its sister company Prime Fresh Handling play a vital role in assuring the flowers are carefully handled and transported from farm to market on time and in superb condition for our floral industry clients.

Did you know that Ecuador serves as the primary source of flowers for this March 8 holiday each year? It’s true. In fact, that South American nation supplies more than 70 countries around the world with floriculture products. So, our team’s efforts on the ground in Quito and Amsterdam are crucial to advancing the company’s winning strategies at meeting the needs of our valued floral industry customers. When it comes to IWD deliveries, Europe is the number one market.

So, as soon as the Valentine Day floral frenzy is over, our employees have barely a week to recover and get some sleep, before they jump back in and tackle the handling and shipping of fresh flowers for IWD.  That way, on March 8, a woman may be honored with a lovely floral gift presented in appreciation by a loved one, friend or business colleague.

Celebrated for more than a century in both Europe and America, International Women’s Day is a United Nations-sanctioned global holiday that honors women for their cultural, political and socioeconomic achievements. It’s also proven an important call-to-action for achievement of gender equality. IWD doesn’t belong to any specific country, region or group. It’s designed as a global event and each year has a theme. In 2021, that was #ChooseToChallenge, while in 2022, it’s #BreakTheBias.

As the big day approaches, it’s certainly a great time to recognize the achievements of the world’s most powerful women, but it’s also a good time to show support and solidarity for the women we know and love on a personal level. Let’s show our appreciation for what they do day-after-day for our families, communities and society. Most of all, on March 8, let’s recognize these women for serving as role models and inspiring young girls who will ultimately become future leaders.

 

About Prime Logistics

One of 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.

On International Women’s Day and Success: A Discussion with Prime Logistics’ Yulieth Onofre

Prime Logistics is busier than ever right now, responding to the onslaught of fresh-cut flowers used the world over to celebrate International Women’s Day. Nonetheless, we were able to snip out a moment to meet with one woman in business that has not only made significant contributions to the company’s success, but to the global logistics industry as well.

By her example, Prime Logistics Sales Manager Yulieth Onofre is paving the way for emerging female leaders in air cargo and international import/export – fields that up until only recently have been dominated by men.

Having joined the Miami-based sales team in March 2020, Yulieth was initially brought on due to her many years of experience – and solid contacts – within the ocean-freight side of the business. As a result, Prime Logistics has significantly expanded in this important niche in recent years, while also depending on her to help bolster all other commercial efforts on the freight forwarding side of the operation.

It is fitting that we talk with Yulieth in the days leading up to International Women’s Day, an annual worldwide event that serves as the anchor for Women’s History Month on March 8. This is the time of year countries all across the world take pause to celebrate the accomplishments of women and to recognize their strengths in business, at home, and in every aspect of society.

Here’s what we learned:

Q. Do you plan to acknowledge International Women’s Day?

A. Well of course I will. Granted, International Women’s Day isn’t as widely celebrated here in the U.S. as it is elsewhere, but I definitively recognize it in the office. In fact I believe everyone does at Prime Group. We consider it a big deal – but honestly, it is an especially important thing between the women in the office… It’s a happy day, for sure.

Q. What do you see as the biggest strengths that a woman brings to the work-setting?

A. I feel the most obvious quality we bring to any setting, work or otherwise, is our strength of character. Women are independent, sensitive, aware, and quite creative… And just like a mother often is, we are resourceful, responsible, caring, and dependable, too. These qualities combined are the right formula for success in the logistics business.

Q: So what specifically are you proud to contribute to Prime Logistics?

A: I’ve got 22 years of experience in ocean freight – more years than I want to admit! As a result, I am able to serve as the perfect ally for our customers because I have a clear understanding of the business and the processes involved. I am always able to find the right balance between service quality, cost components, and reliability of the service provider.

To be truly effective, it’s important to know the market, as well as how to ensure the customer doesn’t incur unnecessary expenses due to improper or untimely documentation. I optimize routing, match the customer with the best mode of shipment, and due to long-term professional relationships with service providers, I get to pass on the best freight rates.

Q. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing women in logistics?

A. The need to pay constant attention to detail – I mean every single detail, all the time, day or night – is very challenging. And there’s a lot of paper work involved, too, so you’ve got to be super organized… In some ways, it is like hosting a huge social function, where you’ve got to deal with each and every aspect of planning and execution, big and small – and the outcome is all riding on your ability to think ahead and make all the right decisions. Except this is no party, because you’ve got the success – or failure – of your client’s business in your hands. Any mistake can be truly disastrous, financially.

Ocean cargo, freight forwarding, and logistics in general is certainly not for everyone. But for those of us in the biz, and have been for years, I compare it to an addiction: You might want to get out at some point, but you like the high of the nonstop challenges far too much. And I absolutely love ocean cargo especially.

Q. So, who is your female role model, personally and professionally?

A. I have to say, my mother and my grandmother definitively – and so many of the confident, qualified, and professional women that I’ve been honored to work with along the way… I’ve been in business so long, I can spot a leader, and that’s who I admire and who I want to emulate.

Q. What advice do you have for rising businesswomen?

A. To be successful in business, you can never be afraid to push the envelope. Treat everyone fairly, because when you do good things you get good things back. Also don’t forget to always be networking and learning from the established female peers in your industry. Lastly, know that integrity and transparency are essential to your success; you need to “own” every decision you make, good or bad. Face the consequences, learn, be humble, and move on.

Q. Have you achieved what you have wanted to in business?

A. I would certainly call 22 years in the industry an achievement! But to be honest, I didn’t plan to be in logistics. Obviously, you have to have a plan, like I did when I started in university in Colombia. My hopes and dreams all pointed to becoming successful, so I set my sights on the United States to fulfill my goal. Ultimately, what I found out is that sometimes you can plan too much, and that things don’t always turn out exactly the way you expected.

It’s like that Rolling Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” well, the next line is, “but if you try sometime, you’ll find you get what you need.”

Be open to change and see what happens. You might just find your passion.

 

About Prime Logistics

One of 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.