WCA Credential Underscores Prime Logistics’ Commitment to Innovation and Adaptation in Pharmaceutical Logistics

Recognized by the World Cargo Association (WCAworld) – and its nearly 10,000 members in 194 countries – Prime Logistics remains the first-ever U.S. based global logistics company to offer the expertise of a fully credentialed Responsible Person for Logistics.

This highly regarded designation, awarded through London-based WCAworld Academy, signifies that corporate staff has 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.

Such certification comes at a pivotal time for the air cargo industry, as logistics companies across the globe are being called upon to play an ever-increasing role in the crucial worldwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Leader in Global Logistics

Having a WCA-accredited Responsible Person on staff reinforces the company’s commitment to continually expanding its knowledge base through education, innovation, and adaptation. It also reaffirms the company’s position as a trusted leader in the global logistics industry.

Responsible Person (RP) in Logistics course training provides candidates with a thorough understanding of the regulatory requirements for storage and distribution of materials or medicinal products in the pharmaceutical industry. Once certified in “Good Distribution Practice of Medical Products for Human Use,” the provider possesses a practical understanding of the systems and processes required to be implemented worldwide in delivering services in the most safe and efficient manner.

 

 

A key benefit of the certification is being authorized to proudly display the distinctive Responsible Person Certified (RP) seal – and the industry clout that brings.

This important RP designation ensures that customers know that Prime Logistics is highly qualified, knowledgeable, and compliant not only with the rules and regulations for shipping in the U.S., but for the multinational clients and companies that depend on us to properly prepare, package, and document their cargo so that it can be accepted without delay at airports and ship ports all across the world.

Certainly, this achievement puts Prime Logistics in a prime position, competitively. Additionally, this RP certification focuses not only on moving pharmaceuticals like vaccines, but also compliance and needed skills to expertly provide a whole host of medical supply logistics solutions.

 

The Go-To Source

WCAworld training also covers all the requirements of Good Distribution Practice (GDP) and associated responsibilities to ensure that products are exported and imported within the legal supply chain. This makes the “Responsible Person” the go-to source for the company and its customers regarding specific requirements in the proper transportation, storage, and distribution of medicinal products. The designee’s company also must have in place a well-designed Quality Management System (QMS) that focuses on compliance and continual improvement.

Under the umbrella of WCAworld, the largest and most powerful network of independent freight forwarders in the world, the WCA Academy offers both online and classroom-based training and education necessary to achieve and maintain the highest industry standard. Its base of 9,540 members may achieve certifications in a range of areas, from general freight training and problem solving to specialist courses in pharmaceuticals, perishables, and obtaining compliance.

 

About Prime Logistics

Prime Logistics is a division of Prime Group, a Miami-based air cargo and international logistics conglomerate founded in Ecuador in 2001. With offices and refrigerated warehouses in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Quito, Bogota, and Amsterdam, Prime Logistics has hundreds of contacts and representatives around the globe skilled at providing expert logistics solutions. Myriad global industries are supported by our team in the shipping of commodities via air, land, and ocean – to virtually any location worldwide.

Friendly and knowledgeable customer-service and operations agents are available 24/7, by calling +1 305 592 2044 or via email at info@primelogisticsgroup.com. For information, visit www.primelogisticsgrop.com.

Detailed Guide to Cool Chain Logistics

The Perfect Solution For Transporting COVID-19 Vaccines

The main objective of a temperature-controlled logistics system is to ensure that sensitive products are kept at consistent temperatures throughout the entire shipping process, be it via ground, air, or sea – and every step in between.

In a globalized world, top-tier logistics service providers like Miami-based Prime Logistics have become a vital component of the modern-day supply chain mechanism. Transporting large quantities of perishable goods and medical products over great distances and diverse climatic conditions requires precise temperature recording and monitoring services.

Typically referred to as cool-chain or cold-chain logistics, this system involves the safe transportation of a wide variety of items such as fresh fish and produce, flowers, and medical goods such as vaccines and biologics. But highly sensitive chemicals, high-tech electrical and electronics equipment, and many other shipments are also on the list.

A Common Misconception About the Cool-Chain

Since it is called cool- or cold-chain logistics, people naturally confuse it with a system that is meant only to maintain low-temperatures. While it is true that the vast majority of products in this category require consistently cold conditions during transit and short-term storage, not all cool-chain cargo needs to be transported at near or sub-zero temperatures.

During winter months, for example, transporters need to keep some fruits and vegetables warm in order for them to maintain their best quality. Different types of product categories demand different types of temperature and ambient conditions. This is the reason why cold or cool-chain logistics is also called temperature-controlled logistics.

Following are some of the instances where cool-chain logistics is useful:

  • Seafood and meat exports require “deep freeze” ambient conditions within the range of -28°C to -30°C.
  • Most fruit and vegetables, and certain types of dairy products require ambient temperature to be maintained between 2°C and 4°C.
  • Unless they are COVID vaccine requiring deep-freeze temperatures, many vaccines, biologics, and other pharmaceutical products require the temperature to be a bit higher, between 2°C and 8°C to be precise.

The average cool-chain logistics services maintain the ambient temperature between 12°C and 14°C. The typical products transported in such types of supply chains include fresh produce, processed food, and over-the-counter drugs.

A Specialized Provider for Cool Chain Logistics

Since transportation in a cool-chain logistics system involves maintaining a wide range of temperatures, it is imperative that specialized providers have the capability to deploy new techniques and technologies along with the basic know-how on putting it all together in the most optimal fashion.

Prime Logistics is one of the leading global players in the supply-chain logistics arena. In fact, the company has invested in vacuum cooling and pre-cooling technologies to further strengthen its fresh delivery supply chain. Very few enterprises can bear such a high capital cost of this type of equipment. But, the investment is paying off due to the sheer volume of merchandise they are handling, which justifies the expense. It even serves as a selling point in attracting customers looking to reap the benefits of longer shelf lives for their perishable products.

Rapid cooling is a crucial step in maintaining the integrity of the cool chain. The ultra-modern ColdMAX vacuum coolers that Prime Logistics utilizes can process 4,000 kg of material in each cycle; sensitive products like perishable fruit, vegetables, and flowers. Equipment such as the ColdMAX can help to ensure optimum temperatures are maintained throughout the entire transit process.

From an economical standpoint, and for efficiency’s sake, it is therefore highly important to choose a provider that utilizes the latest in available technology and possess the know-how in applying it on command. Providers with widespread delivery networks like the Prime Logistics not only ensure safe delivery by leveraging the latest technological innovation, but they also bring down delivery fee structures, which ultimately reduce overall cost.

Cool Chain Delivery Phases & Their Importance During a Pandemic

The importance of cool-chain delivery has increased in the current pandemic-stricken world. Several global leaders in pharmaceuticals, namely Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca have strict temperature requirements to maintain their integrity during transport. For instance, the Pfizer vaccine has to be maintained at ultra-cold temperatures between -70°C and -80°C, and can only be refrigerated for up to five days at point of delivery. Moderna’s vaccine remains stable in a standard refrigerator for 30 days and can also be kept in ordinary freezers for long-term use.

The executing authorities demanded that a distribution network be built consisting of ultra-cold freezers and mobile vaccination clinics. Such specialized logistics require a provider with the capacity and experience to carry out such a job.

A Detailed Guide

How should a cold-chain logistics provider prepare itself for such an uphill task? Prime Logistics offers a detailed outline regarding how the logistics providers and product distributors need to work together to meet the challenges – with a strategy involving synergistic coordination among different phases of the logistics chain:

Transport: Being a global leader in supply-chain logistics, Prime Logistics has well-established collaborations with some of the world’s largest and most reliable air cargo carriers. Combined with Prime Logistics’ time-tested expertise in managing ad-hoc cargo charter operations, it creates an ideal pre-emptive delivery network that can prioritize and expedite the delivery when and where it is needed the most.

Storage & Material Handling: The most crucial phase in the chain is when it comes to the delivery of vaccines. Prime Logistics is seeing this as a combined effort to improve cold storage, material handling, and warehousing facilities together. For a cool-chain logistics provider, the efficient management of this phase starts with the tracking and monitoring of the shipments. Prime Logistics, for example, has invested in world-class inventory management and product monitoring technologies.

Another key area that is under Prime Logistics’ focus is increasing the capacity of the temperature-controlled warehouses, especially for the ones that are at their key transit points. Warehouses in any supply-chain logistics system cannot run without adequate manpower. Therefore, it is required to deploy necessary manpower and services at the anticipated staging locations of the vaccine.

Packaging: Delivery of vaccines at hospitals, clinics, and other vaccination distribution points is the stage where packaging becomes highly important. The packaging should not only be resilient to normal wear, tear, and damages but should also be sophisticated enough to maintain the required atmospherics of the vaccine. For example, in the case of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Prime Logistics is leveraging its experience of dealing with temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. It includes deploying government-approved procedures and trained staff at the locations of refrigerated warehouses throughout the network that will ensure the integrity of the last-mile delivery.

Information & Control: It is not a separate phase but something that invariably dictates the success rate of each of the phases above. To meet customer demand and the standards of service reliability, cool-chain logistics providers must always be ready to answer questions such as where is the delivery at present, when it will arrive at the location, and what could be the impacts of any delay. Prime Logistics has tackled these issues head on by increasing its global supply chain visibility and strengthening its system of receiving event-notifications on time.

To become more efficient in information monitoring and data tracking, Prime Logistics not only relies on its historical data, it also leverages the services of the global IT companies to redefine and digitize its operation. Companies involved in the supply chain logistics services of such emergency medical goods must use the latest technology available to enhance their efficiency, adaptability, readiness, and performance.

As a leader in this field, Prime Logistics is stepping well beyond traditional applications of information technology – especially to tackle the mammoth task of COVID-19 vaccine delivery. The company is exploring AI-powered augmented analytics to explore and analyze data. An efficiently analyzed dataset is of immense help when it comes to the effective running of the various operational procedures essential for on-time and safe delivery of refrigerated cargo from origin to destination.

Summary
Triggered by the pandemic, the global cold-chain logistics market is expected to witness significant growth in the years to come. Market research estimates suggest that the market may grow from the size of US$160 billion in 2018 to a size of US$585 billion in 2026.

To run a successful cool-chain logistics operation, a company needs to specialize in many aspects together. Like Prime Logistics, it would need robust carrier facilities across all modes of transportation including, air cargo, ocean freight, and roadway trucking. For one company, it might not be possible to excel in every area of transport but it certainly should establish reliable partnerships with third-party carrier companies in that case.

A provider of cool-chain logistics should understand the latest information management software well, and also be aware of the latest refrigeration, warehousing, and transportation technologies available in the market. It’s important to keep on reinventing the process and making it more efficient and cost-effective.

Lastly, the provider’s management and the staff absolutely must have experience in this field. They should have a clear understanding of which intervention points are critical in the chain and the possible areas where the process may go wrong. Deep and holistic knowledge about the stakeholders involved and being ready to respond to bottlenecks would make cool-chain logistics the most efficient supply chain in today’s world.

About Prime Logistics

Prime Logistics is a division of Prime Group, a Miami-based air cargo and international logistics conglomerate founded in Ecuador in 2001. With offices and refrigerated warehouses in Miami, Los Angels, New York, Quito, Bogota, and Amsterdam, Prime Logistics has hundreds of contacts and representatives around the globe skilled at providing expert logistics solutions. Myriad global industries are supported by our team in the shipping of commodities via air, land, and ocean – to virtually any location worldwide.

Friendly and knowledgeable customer-service and operations agents are available 24/7, by calling +1 305 592 2044 or via email at info@primelogisticsgroup.com. For information visit www.primelogisticsgrop.com.

Mother’s Day Flower Charter to Japan Serves as Centerpiece of PrimeAir’s Global Capabilities

You might say that Asia’s recent upsurge in demand for fresh-cut flowers is a sign of the times. Certainly it’s a very good sign for Colombian growers who have an abundance of product available – even as they continue to recover from the pandemic. But what happens when need exceeds capacity in getting these flowers swiftly to market, especially during a peak holiday period?

This exact scenario played out last month, when distributors and forwarders familiar with the typical ebb and flow of the Asian appetite for the world’s finest flowers found themselves struggling with unprecedented market demand leading up to Mother’s Day.

Whether it was a result of pent up consumer demand to finally give the gift of flowers again, or growth in general stemming from heightened expansion of the global flower trade, it is estimated that volume across Asia increased 300 percent year-over-year for Mother’s Day bouquets – with Japan and Korea leading the way.

Bogota-Tokyo Mission Accomplished
Either way, shippers turned to the Prime Group of Companies for last-minute help – and we succeeded. I am proud to share that PrimeAir, our well-known provider General Sales & Service Agent (GSSA) services in Latin America, was able to swiftly resolve the sudden shortfall in air-cargo capacity – by executing a direct B747F charter flight between Bogota and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. And it was an amazing sight to see.

Tapping from our long-term relationships with major air carriers and cargo agents worldwide, this challenging mission went without a hitch, as 95 tons of fresh flowers were moved via operation of the only direct flight of this kind from Colombia Bogota to Japan thus far this year.

We’ve got a long history of offering logical alternatives to our customers that match their increasing requirements for volume with the necessary extra capacity they need – when they need it. But this Japan charter operation truly stands out because it demonstrates PrimeAir’s ability to immediately mobilize and respond to rapid changes in the market – anywhere in the world. It’s what the people of PrimeAir do and do well.

A Banner Moment for PrimeAir
In fact, I wish to thank all the members of our global team – from Colombia to Miami and those dispatched to Japan – who helped to make this operation such a resounding success. It was a banner moment for our company – and one for which our customers are also grateful.

Whether it’s PrimeAir people skillfully conducting a massive long-haul charter operation, or the experts at Prime Fresh Handling and Prime Logistics providing international handling, shipping, and warehousing of perishables, vaccines, and other essential commodities – more and more global industries are turning to the Prime Group of Companies and our distinctive brand of global products and services.

And we stand ready to welcome you aboard!

CEO Headshot

Roger Paredes – CEO

Pandemic Lockdown – and Great Taste – Unlock Strong Demand for Prime Planet Tostones

Better health and wellness are the primary drivers among today’s consumers – an idea that was further amplified during COVID, as people began focusing more than ever on food quality and nutrition.

 

“We all witnessed how the pandemic turned the food industry upside down overnight,” says Prime Planet’s Marie Gonzalez, “but now we are seeing that many of those changes are here to stay.” Gonzalez is head of Business Development for Miami-based Prime Planet, purveyors of all-natural green plantain chips, or Tostones.

 

Several studies are now showing how lockdown measures caused lasting behavioral changes in relation to food selection and consumption – and how consumers continue to choose healthy and sustainable diets. These new habits also include eating more varied foods – especially when it comes to snack products.

 

Prime Planet is way ahead of the curve as its wide variety of “better for you” Tostones snacks have long been a favorite among health-conscious shoppers.

 

“And now, as the brand moves further into the mainstream American snack market, Prime Planet is aligning with a growing number of national distributors and retail food chains looking to meet the new demand for healthier snack options,” she says.

 

“Of course it also helps that our chips are truly delicious – and come in four unique flavors,” stresses Gonzalez, including Original, Sweet Chili, Lime, and Habenaro.

 

Here’s the rundown on the top nutritional qualities of Prime Planet Tostones that stand out most to health-conscious shoppers all across the U.S.

 

No Preservatives

Foods on the market that contain the most preservatives are processed, packaged foods like crackers, cereals, breads, and snacks. Preservatives are added to food to fight spoilage caused by bacteria, molds, fungus, and yeast – whereby keeping food fresher for longer periods of time.

 

Sounds good, right. Well, there’s more to the story. One of the most harmful effects of preservatives in food items is their ability to transform into carcinogen agents. Sustained and excessive consumption of artificial preservatives can also weaken heart tissues, which is especially dangerous for the aged people.

 

No bueno, says Prime Planet. We can live without that!

 

Low Sodium 

Sodium is an important mineral that performs many essential functions in your body. But like many things, too much can bring on too many problems. Excess salt in a diet is often troublesome for people with conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney disease.

 

Many unhealthy foods are extremely high in sodium. Fast food, packaged items, and many popular snack foods are not only loaded with salt but also tend to be high in unhealthy fats and calories.

 

It’s good to have options – and Prime Planet is the healthier one.

 

No Added Sugars

Prime Planet can make the claim that its products have “no added sugars.” In other words, our chips are not processed with any sugar or sugar-containing ingredients.

 

While naturally occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables is part of a healthy diet, added sugar in soft drinks, snacks, and processed foods should be consumed at a minimum. Products without added sugar can of course contain naturally occurring sugar, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s the way we consume it that can be detrimental to our health.

 

The benefit of less added sugar is that it may help stop weight gain and fat buildup linked to heart disease. The benefit also is our chips taste great without it.

 

No Dairy

Flavored chips – the flavoring that is often added to chips – can contain lactose and other milk ingredients including lactose, casein, and whey. Prime Planet chips do not.

 

Our delicious chips are a perfect choice for snackers who have made the decision to eliminate or reduce dairy from their diets. We don’t actually need dairy – it’s not the magical answer to strong bones. In fact, less dairy can actually help people achieve weight loss, clear up their skin, and help digestion.

 

We’re not saying you shouldn’t drink milk, of course.  We’re simply suggesting if you’re trying to stay away from dairy, now you have more reason to eat more of our chips!

 

No nuts

Avoiding nuts means more than just not eating them. It also means not eating any foods that might contain tree nuts or peanuts as ingredients. What’s the best way to be sure a food is nut free? Read the label!

 

Food labels can help consumers with food allergies to avoid foods or ingredients that they or their family members are allergic to. In fact, federal law requires that the labels of most packaged foods marketed in the U.S. disclose – in simple-to-understand terms – when they are made with a “major food allergen.”

 

So here’s something else that’s simple-to-understand: Tostones are nut free! Period.

 

No cholesterol

Since the ‘90s, food manufacturers have been required to provide information on certain nutrients of greatest public concern. As a result, cholesterol is required under the Nutrition Facts panel of food labels, so you can make informed decisions on the snack products you consume.

 

Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can cause the development of fatty deposits in your blood vessels making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Hello heart disease!

 

Some people can handle more cholesterol than others. Some have trouble with it. Prime Planet plays it safe – with no cholesterol at all. Hello healthier chip!

 

0g Trans Fat

Trans fat is considered the worst type of fat you can eat. Also called trans-fatty acids, it can raise your “bad” cholesterol while also lowering your “good” cholesterol. Sounds like a formula for trouble, especially since a diet laden with trans fat increases your risk of heart disease, the leading killer of adults.

 

The most commonly eaten form of trans fat is in processed foods like crackers, cookies, cakes, and other baked goods – and some snack foods. Count Prime Planet among the growing list of responsible manufacturers that have voluntarily reduced or removed trans-fat from their products.

 

We’ve got the right formula: 0g Trans Fat.

 

Kosher

The K, circled K, and the circled U are all meant to indicate a product is kosher. You’ll see on the front of every package of Prime Planet Tostones that we’ve met the standards to carry the circled U.

 

That’s a big deal because this registered mark can only be used with the permission of its owner, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the undisputed heavyweight of kosher-certifying organizations.

 

A product is “kosher” if a rabbi determines and certifies that it meets the requirements of Jewish dietary law. A snack chip is “great” if it’s made by Prime Planet.

 

Certified Delicious

In the snack world, food safety and hygiene are also more important than ever. Prime Planet Fresh is way ahead of the curve here too, holding multiple U.S. State and Federal certifications that ensure customer satisfaction. For more on this front, please view our previous blog entitled, Prime Planet Tostones are Certified to Make you Feel Good About Snacking.”  

Prime Logistics Team Throttles Up to Ship Oversized Engines

There are two things people in the industry know about “AOGs.” They come with little notice and a lot of angst. For Prime Logistics, however, they also come with a huge rush of adrenaline.

 

Whether it’s a matter of responding to a frantic call a continent away to quickly ship out a replacement engine for a stranded aircraft on ground (AOG), or even managing shipment of parts for scheduled maintenance at an international overhaul center, Prime Logistics is the expert at providing shipping solutions for aerospace and aviation.

 

But more than that, the Miami-based Operations team actually feeds off the inherent challenges that come with expediting a 6,000 kg engine or other essential parts.

 

“When we get an AOG call, we immediately go into ‘emergency responder’ mode,” says Prime Logistics General Manager Edgar Campana. “Time is money – and in this case, big money – so we literally jump into action, pull our team together, and don’t stop until the job is done.”

 

Campana says AOG missions are also challenging because of the sheer weight of the need to succeed. “That’s because there is absolutely no margin for error when handling such high-value equipment – and airline operators and MROs are totally depending on us,” he added.

 

Aircraft are going to experience maintenance issues from time to time. It’s the nature of the business. “But these AOG incidents have to be remedied fast, because the ripple effect they create can be crippling to a carrier’s entire operation.

 

“Everything is urgent, urgent, urgent – but that’s what makes it so exhilarating!”

 

AOG 101
Campana explains that any failure in delivering spare parts or an entire engine to an aircraft can lead to a situation called “Aircraft On Ground,” a term used when a problem is serious enough to prevent the plane from flying.

 

“Generally, to get the aircraft back into revenue service, the air carrier needs to get the part ‘yesterday’, otherwise it will lose its profits – and perhaps even its reputation.” In operational costs alone, including passenger, crew, ground services, and catering costs, the tab for an AOG can be as much $25,000 per day for the airline.

 

Case Study

This is where Prime Logistics comes in. Whether it’s in the middle of the night or for shipment to a remote island a world away, the company’s expert team of certified personnel are standing by to manage all aspects of the dispatch, handling, and shipment of all types of aviation and aerospace equipment – from a Triple-Seven engine to the smallest of avionics components.

 

The typical scenario for this crucial door-to-door service goes as follows:

 

  • As soon as the estimate to do the work is approved by the customer and Prime Logistics gets the green light to go, the clock starts ticking.
  • The first step is to dispatched a driver for immediate pick up and transport of the engine from the supplier for storing overnight in one of PL’s secure facilities
  • This is done using a special air-ride suspension truck to avoid any impact damage.
  • Next step is for staff to inspect the engine, ensure it is in good condition to be transported, and double check that all the necessary Hazardous-Material documentation and labeling is in place. After all, by its nature, an aircraft engine contains oils and other fluids that must be properly contained during transit.
  • Simultaneously, the PL team secures an airline that accepts Dangerous Goods bookings.
  • Once those arrangements are promptly solidified, the client is advised of the ETA for delivery and gets real-time updates at every possible stage of the trip.
  • Upon arrival at the destination airport, Prime Logistics then manages offloading for last-mile shipping.
  • Often times, this entire process is conducted with 72 hours of the first alert.

 

Mission accomplished.

 

Of course, not all AOG are emergencies. According to Campana, often times an aircraft is purposely rotated out of services for regularly scheduled maintenance. Even still, a qualified network of AOG professionals is required to ensure safe and reliable transport of crucial replacement parts according to the customer’s rigid timeline.

 

We Can Ship It

“We have a saying around here that goes, ‘If you can ship flowers, you can pretty much ship anything’,” says Campana. “But let’s face it, AOGs are even more critical than flowers. Because not only do we have to be unquestionably reliable and fast, we have to be responsive at a moment’s notice.”

 

Prime Logistics offers domestic U.S. and international logistics services in multiple industries beyond aerospace and aviation. They also provide freight logistics for the pharmaceutical companies as well freight services for perishables like seafood, produce, and flowers.

 

But when it comes to high-value jet engines and sensitive electronics equipment, only the most seasoned international logistics provider can be depended on to do the job right. Everything thing has to be perfect and every minute counts. And on that, Prime Logistics delivers.

A Message From Our CEO: Honoring Our Mothers All Across the Planet

As Mother’s Day approaches in many countries worldwide, I’d like to wish all the mothers out there a happy day, as well as a heartfelt “thank you” for all that you do, day in and day out. You love us, nurture us, support, and counsel us through good times and bad – and are to a great extent, responsible for the people we ultimately become as adults.

Your influence in our lives is priceless. Or, as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently put it: “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”

Each year, thankful daughters, sons, and spouses express their love and appreciation to their moms or spouses with fresh flower deliveries of roses and other popular flowers. In fact, last year U.S. consumers alone spent $2.6 billion on Mother’s Day flowers.

As a side note, numbers like that are of particular importance to Prime Planet’s parent company, the Prime Group. After all, it was in the field of fresh flowers more than 20 years ago that the groundwork was laid in our expert handing of fresh and natural products – and production of our own line of all-natural green plantain Tostones starting in 2016!

A Look Back in History

Since we’re talking history, let’s take a look at how Mothers Day began. Celebrated in more than 50 countries worldwide, in the U.S., the holiday originated from the tireless efforts of Anna Jarvis, who in 1908 organized the observance to honor her late mother. It then became an official holiday in 1914.

But throughout history, many civilizations and countries have honored the concept of motherhood. The ancient Greeks and Romans created festivals to honor the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, for example.

Many nations celebrate Mother’s Day on or around the second Sunday in May, but the timing can vary globally. For example, in Russia, it is celebrated on the last Sunday in November, while in Thailand, Mother’s Day is meant to promote the royal family, so it falls on August 12 – the birthday of Queen Sirikit, the Queen Mother of Thailand. Customs too vary.

In Mexico, Mother’s Day is celebrated with church masses and colorful parties and parades; while in Japan, where carnations reign on Mother’s Day, children there also draw pictures of their mothers as gifts or to display at a local art show.

Wherever and whatever the celebration, Mother’s Day is a great time to show our mothers or spouses just how important they are and how much we love and thank them. So, let me take this opportunity to say, “Happy Mother’s Day to moms everywhere!”

And of course to my own! Happy Mother’s Day, mom!

CEO Headshot

Roger Paredes – CEO

Prime Planet Tostones are Certified to Make you Feel Good About Snacking

Health conscious consumers these days are hungry for snack options that don’t just taste great but stand out for a variety of other important reasons – with personal health and wellbeing topping the list.

 

According to Marie Gonzalez, Business Development Manager for Miami-based Prime Planet brands, consumers have never been more vigilant about what is in their food, and the impact of food production on the environment, animals, and people.

 

“Parents especially want snacks they can feel good about feeding their families – and the assurance they made the right choice.”

 

As the prevalence of third-party certifications surrounding food production and sourcing grows, Prime Planet sees food certifications as a valuable tool to provide increased transparency to business practices and standards – ideals that more and more wholesalers, distributors, and retailers also appreciate.

 

Prime Planet’s all-natural Tostones are made with care from premium green plantains harvested under the highest quality standards and technology to offer not only delicious flavor, but are a healthier alternative to traditional snacks like corn and potato chips.

 

“Food quality and safety certifications convey to consumers and the marketplace, as well as to key stakeholders, that Prime Planet has successfully met the requirements of a national or internationally recognized best practice approach,” says Gonzalez, “It’s what responsible shoppers want to know!”

 

And apparently she’s right! A recent study shows that three-fourths of consumers see one or more food certifications on a package are important when it comes to choosing which products to buy. What’s more, they are even willing to pay a premium for a product with a certification.

 

So here’s the rundown on top-tier food certifications that Prime Planet has achieved to date:

 

Gluten-Free (GF)

National Celiac Association Certified

With Prime Planet’s displays of this Recognition Seal, customers are assured they are choosing a product that has undergone the most stringent third-party gluten-free certification available for product, processing, and packaging. Excluding gluten for non-medical reasons is not necessarily recommended – but no matter the motivation, Prime Planet Gluten-Free chips are highly recommended for their great taste. Dig in!

 

Vegan Certified

No animal products in our Tostones

By carrying the Certified Vegan Logo on every bag, Prime Planet guarantees its Tostones are 100% vegan. That’s because documentation on each ingredient had to be provided to show our chips are neither animal derived nor tested on animals. Going onto and all plant-based diet can significantly minimize a whole host of illnesses and health concerns. But for vegans, it’s also a matter of principles and conviction.

 

Non-GMO NSF

National Sanitation Foundation Certified

When shoppers put a bag of Non-GMO NSF-Certified Prime Planet Tostones into their cart, they can be assured they’re buying a product uses only FDA-approved raw materials. This key quality of our chips means our products are produced without genetic engineering and its ingredients are not derived from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). It’s also proof we are compliant with the most stringent provisions for testing, traceability, and segregation.

 

HACCP Certified

Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point

Food safety and hygiene are more important than ever to post-pandemic consumers – and by adopting HACCP’s proactive plan, we can ensure consumers that the products they consume are as safe as science and technology allow. By monitoring and detecting potential problems throughout the entire process, from growing and harvesting, to manufacturing and distribution, Prime Planet can significantly reduced the likelihood of harmful microbiological and chemical exposures.

 

WCA Certified

Workplace Condition Assessment

WCA is a social system certification program that ensures alignment with legal, ethical, and secure manufacturing processes that secure and maintain safe workplace conditions. A globally accepted standard among international customers and retail stores, Prime Planet participation in WCA audits tells the world food-provider community that the overall workplace conditions are monitored, audited, and consistently meet the WCA stringent compliance codes.

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.