From Tuna Farm to Table, PFH Is in the Loop

When Bluefina USA promises to deliver its high-demand Pacific Bluefin Tuna to the world’s best chefs, they can do so with total confidence. That’s because Prime Fresh Handling is in the loop.

Freshly harvested off the idyllic coast of Ensenada, Mexico, PFH at Los Angeles International Airport recently received hundreds of pounds of prized Bluefin Tuna destined for New York’s Fulton Market and high-end restaurants in Miami.

The company’s certified handlers take their responsibility for monitoring freshness and safety very seriously. Upon arrival at PFH’s refrigerated warehouse facility at LAX, the crew quickly stepped in. The temperature of the packed fresh fish needed to be stabilized in a hurry before making outbound connections on scheduled air carriers.

The crates of precious cargo were immediate ushered into one of PFH’s top-of-the-line coolers. Proper staging of these oceanic superfish for the next phase of their journey entailed stabilizing temperatures between 36-38 degrees. If temperatures were to rise above this threshold, the shelf life and quality of the fish would be significantly compromised.

This specialized but necessary step took extra time. The customer was advised. New connecting flights were booked. Promises were kept.

With real-time technology, top-grade facilities, and the most experienced professionals in the perishables business – Bluefina USA not only knows fish, but also knows Prime Fresh Handling is a good catch.

About Prime Fresh Handling

Since 2001, Prime Group, has served as an ally and trusted advisor for trans-global customers across a wide range of industries. One of four companies in the Group, Prime Fresh Products is charged with expertly managing all aspects of the logistics and handling of perishables and other time/temperature-sensitive products

From fresh fish, produce, and cut flowers to pharmaceutical products and vaccines, Prime Fresh Handling is the authority on reliable, timely, and trustworthy delivery of precious commodities.

In addition to Los Angeles, PFH’s global network offices and refrigerated warehouses are located in Miami, New York, Amsterdam, and Bogotá – providing fast and easy access to all of the world’s major markets.

For information, contact PFH Commercial Manager Cristina Moscoso at 323-328-8650, via email at Cristina.Moscoso@primeair.aero, or visit www.prime-fresh.com.

Fishing Boat

Wherever You Are, Prime Group Is Here for You

As the international turmoil of the pandemic continues, Prime Group remains steadfast in its support of our customers as they respond to the global need for essential commodities and healthcare supplies and equipment.

Nowhere near the end of this storm, and still not knowing what the “New Normal” will bring, for the present we will continue to do what we normally do – provide expert logistics support and services for our customers when they need it, where they need it, and get the job done right.

Our long history of service in the perishables business has prepared us well for this inflection point. We’re nimble, ready, and reliable. After all, when dealing with time- and temperature-sensitive commodities, it is all about precision and preparedness – because at any moment anything can go off track. And it usually does, which is why we’ve learned to always be ready with a plan B, C, and D.

World Service

Deemed an “Essential Business” early on, Prime Group companies were immediately front and center serving government agencies, world health organizations, and other customers integral to the global distribution of personal protection equipment (PPE) and crucial medical material. We’re proud of the part we played then and stand ready to continue to serve in this capacity as COVID-19 persists.

Successful missions to date have included managing numerous charters with PPE from Asia to the U.S. and Latin America. In addition, we continue moving multiple containers of needed material by ocean from Asia to the U.S., where we then transfer it to Latin America by air – always with an eye on cost and efficiency.

We also did 18 charters between Quito and Amsterdam with Emirates SkyCargo using B777-300s PFs (passenger freighters) to support the local growers and the flower industry in general.

And with so many people these days in self-isolation – and in need of better-for-you-snacks to help get them through – we successfully managed a doubling of sales of our Prime Planet Tostones, crafted and exported from Ecuador to retail markets all across the U.S.

New Directions

During this heightened period of activity, we also implemented a new marketing strategy that is effectively getting the word out regarding the wide range of new and existing services available through the Prime Group.

This major effort will allow us to build upon our existing strengths, while also moving us in new directions.

As we consider the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we are monitoring market forces that are shaping the future development of multiple industries and regions across the world. With our global network of offices and expert representation, we are continually finding new opportunities to answer the call for service – and to deliver.

Prime Group is eager to play a crucial role in supporting the major industries that today are facing the biggest logistics challenges – with FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) and healthcare products leading the way. However, we are closely eyeing automotive, energy and utilities, industrial machinery and equipment, and other industries that are expecting new growth in the post-pandemic economy.

Although it may take another 18 months for things to “normalize,” whatever form that may take, the Prime Group will remain vigilant to changing customer needs and to delivering on our commitment to excellence in all we do.

The challenges before us are many. The opportunities are wide open. Wherever you are, we are here for you.

PFH Takes an Organic Approach to West Coast Market Expansion

Precision planning, attention to detail and flawless execution is what it takes to succeed in the perishables business. But sometimes it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Such is the case with Prime Fresh Handling’s months-long certification process to work with organic foods in California. Turns out, just as consumer demand is on the rise, PFH at LAX gets the green light to move into this market – with a fresh new seal of approval by the state.

“Our brand was built on expert handling, on-time delivery, and effective quality control of perishables. That’s what Prime Fresh Handling customers demand – and that’s what they get,” says Margarita Duron, PFH Sales Executive.

“But shipping and handling food designated as ‘organic’ requires a heightened degree of care and attention – and regulatory oversight – due to the potential safety issues involved,” she said.

To be allowed to work within this highly regulated segment of California’s fresh food industry, all parties involved, including shippers and handlers like PFH, must be fully compliant with state and federal rules and procedures,” Duron added.

Always looking to expand into untapped segments of the perishables market, PFH recently applied for and received the industry’s foremost certification to handle organics in California – where organic food reigns. With an astounding $2.2 billion in sales (41 percent of the national total), California makes up the biggest slice of the country’s organic food business.

Sign of Approval

After a rigorous inspection of PFH operations and records, the California Department of Food & Agriculture State Organic Program declared in August that PFH meets all the necessary requirements to be a certified handler of organic food.

Signifying this status, PFH may now proudly display the California Certified Organic Farmers certificate (CCOF).

And it’s right on time, because industry reports show that for the first half of 2020, organic fresh produce sales were up 11 percent, despite the general worldwide impact of COVID-19. Similar positive growth is expected into the fall – with organic fruit like grapes, melons, stone fruit, and blueberries leading the way.

“Perhaps the boost in business is because more consumers are cooking at home and trying to eat healthier as they self-isolate, or it’s a facet of the growing number of organic farms that are being certified. Either way it’s a significant target market for PFH to pursue,” said Duron.


Certifications Held by PFH

Prime Fresh Handling has received some of the industry’s most noteworthy certifications, ensuring safe handling of a wide range of perishables, potentially hazardous foods, and time/temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals:

  • California Certified Organic Farmers Certification: The PFH facility in LAX is approved to handle organic produce by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, CCOF certification signifies that PFH complies with federal regulations on the handling of agricultural commodities labeled and sold as “organic.”
  • PrimusGFS Certification: Signifying that PFH meets the highest standards in food safety, the Primus Global Food Safety Certification applies specifically to qualified companies that operate within the fresh food supply chain, from pre- and to post-farm gate production. With this prestigious certification, PFH is one of the world’s top-rated in the perishables industry.
  • Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points Certification: HACCP approval certifies PFH to handle fresh seafood. HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical, and physical hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe for consumption.
  • IATA Temperature Controlled Cargo Operations Certification: IATA’s annual certification in Temperature Controlled Cargo Operations ensures Miami Operations staff complies with complex shipping regulations and standards as they relate to the proper transport of pharmaceuticals.

“These certifications demonstrate PFH strives for and achieves the highest standards in safety and product efficacy. Widespread acknowledgment of these accomplishments also serves to open even more doors for us in the worldwide market,” said Duron.

“It’s all about being a world-class provider of high-caliber services in support of the fresh food industry. We want to corner that market, too!”

About PFH

PFH warehouses and refrigerated handling facilities offer wide-ranging services include crating and package, cold storage and inventory services, as well as document processing, and customs clearance.

In addition to LAX, PFH operates facilities in New York and Miami, as well as Bogota, Quito, and Amsterdam – all key gateways for perishable time-temperature sensitive commodities including fruit, vegetables, fresh fish, pharmaceuticals, and cut flowers.

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

 

fruit

PrimeAir’s handling of oversized cargo is a heavy responsibility

When it comes to handling high-value, oversized cargo there is no margin for error. Especially when it’s a large commercial turbine engine – or an entire helicopter.

As Atlas Air’s general sales and service agent (GSSA) in Bogota, PrimeAir’s expert team on the ground knows well that working with such major payloads is no small task. It is a specialized skill that requires years of experience and knowledge of the critical nature of the cargo.

PrimeAir benefits from being part of Miami-based Prime Group Companies, a global logistics conglomerate with 20 years of experience in working with such heavy and oversized items. Ensuring the safe and reliable handling of aerospace equipment is just one of many services they provide as the GSSA for Atlas Air, but it certainly ranks among the highest in importance.

With a price tag for one single engine exceeding $20 million, and $3 million for a new rotorcraft off the line, it is critical that the operation goes perfectly.

Last month, Atlas Air was contracted to transport a 13-ton General Electric LM6000 engine from Los Angeles to Bogota (BOG), where PrimeAir’s crew would offload it. A gas-turbine derivative of the CF6 engine family that’s been the cornerstone of the widebody aircraft business, this particular version is used for marine propulsion of cruise ships and fast ferries… A big engine with big work ahead.

Upon arrival at BOG, the PrimeAir team used a ramp-side crane to delicately move the 26,000 lb. behemoth to a nearby trucking area where a wheeled flatbed trailer took over, by providing final delivery to the customer’s warehouse.

“Special cargo like this needs definitely gets special attention,” said José Luis Vargas, PrimeAir’s Commercial Manager at BOG. In fact, both the engine and the helicopter that was delivered in a separate operation were designated Dangerous Goods (DG). This meant that expert handlers were required at each of the points of origin to carefully inspect the outbound shipments to ensure their acceptance and transport on Atlas Air aircraft.

Point of origin of the helicopter was YQB, the Canadian airport serving Québec City – not far from where Bell manufactured this Bell 407 GXi rotorcraft destined for Colombia.

With a chargeable weight of approximately 10 tons, the seven-seat four-blade helicopter was disassembled for transport and shipped BOG where it was accepted ramp-side by PrimeAir. Once off the Atlas Air freighter, the payload was transported using a normal dolly to a trucking area for the continuation of its journey to the customer.

“Our customers know we’re the go-to experts for big logistics challenges like these. That’s because we’ve been doing specialized heavy-cargo work for decades – and not just for the aerospace industry. We also manage logistics for the transport of oil-industry equipment, construction equipment, and automotive parts and equipment.”

One of the premier carriers in PrimeAir’s portfolio, Atlas Air is not only one of the most important and reliable cargo airlines in the world, it is the company’s longest lasting customer. PrimeAir also offers sales and marketing, cargo services, operations, handling, and accounting.

While PrimeAir has been Atlas Air’s designated agent in BOG for three and a half years, the relationship between the two companies began 20 years ago, in support of Atlas Air’s freighter operations between Quito and Miami, which continues today.

For information, visit www.primeair.aero.

Emirates SkyCargo is flying high again in Quito offering scheduled freighter service worldwide

After a slowdown in service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo is once again on course at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, with three scheduled weekly frequencies to Amsterdam and Dubai – and plans to add one more.

According to José Luis Suárez, PrimeAir’s South America Regional Sales Director based in Quito (UIO), this come back is welcome news for local shippers, freight forwarders, and his other customers in the region.

Before the pandemic hit, PrimeAir was supporting the operation of four regular flights from UIO to Amsterdam (AMS) and Dubai (DXB), Emirates’ main hub with connections across the entire Emirates SkyCargo network.

As its general sales and service agent (GSSA) in Ecuador, PrimeAir and Emirates SkyCargo (EK) have been working closely together since EK first entered the market in 2013. PrimeAir provides in-country sales, marketing, and accounting for Emirates SkyCargo, in addition to specialized airport services such as warehouse supervision and ULD control.

PANDEMIC RESPONSE

But, according to Suárez, as the coronavirus crisis grew, so did demand for service to transport medical equipment and supplies. In March and April, regularly scheduled service in multiple markets was interrupted – and not just for Emirates SkyCargo. Nearly all cargo carriers worldwide were re-allocating their capacity – and humanitarian commitment – to countries hardest hit by the virus.

Flash forward to August, and only now are service patterns getting back to normal, which Suárez says is very good news for shippers of non-medical material – especially among Ecuador’s vast floriculture industry.

“Even as the impact of the virus was hitting markets hard, there was still a demand for fresh-cut flowers, and product was available. But there were only limited options available to move it.”

UNIQUE SOLUTIONS

To help meet the capacity challenge at UIO, PrimeAir stepped up with unique solutions to support its customers throughout Ecuador – first by successfully arranging interline shipments with AtlasAir to AMS through April.

As available capacity started to come back on line, PrimeAir received its first offering of Emirates SkyCargo service at UIO with Boeing 777ER passenger aircraft, also called PFs (Passenger Freighters). Interline and PF service continued weekly until early June when pure B-777F freighters were reintroduced and added to this mix of service on SkyCargo’s standard routes.

Presently, three freighters flights (B777F) operate weekly, departing UIO on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays with direct flight to AMS.

Looking forward to returning to pre-pandemic levels of service, Suárez is hopeful that by mid-August a fourth frequency departing Fridays will be added.

“It has been a time of ups and downs, but I know that our clients are grateful for the unconditional support of both Emirates SkyCargo and PrimeAir in the Ecuadorian market,” he added. 

“We understand that the investment in bringing empty flights to UIO was high, but the effort was not in vain because our goal is to preserve the long-term relationship with our customers.” PrimeAir also has served as the designated GSSA for Emirates SkyCargo in Colombia, since Summer 2018.

ABOUT EMIRATES

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, is the largest international airline cargo operator in the world. With an unrivalled route network, the carrier connects cargo customers to 155 cities across six continents and operates in many of the world’s fastest developing markets.

Besides supporting the floriculture sector, Emirates SkyCargo exports other perishables such as mangoes and baby bananas from Ecuador to markets such as Germany, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Emirates SkyCargo’s modern fleet of extended-range widebody freighters have controlled temperature zones set up inside the aircraft ensuring that perishable shipments travel at the right temperature.

For more on Emirates SkyCargo, visit https://www.skycargo.com/network/air/

ABOUT PRIMEAIR

PrimeAir benefits from being part of Miami-based Prime Group, a network of coordinated logistics specialists with offices and representatives worldwide.

For information, call 305-592-2044, email info@primeair.aero, or visit www.primeair.aero

 

The New Normal Cost of 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, the Prime Group of Companies has pinned its entire approach to business on this core principal.

 

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

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 maintain long-lasting relationships with clients.

But in recent months, one of the most impactful of those efforts has ceased to exist.

The Fallout

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed sudden changes on our industry, to say the least. Most notably, in the form of an immediate interruption of the global trade-show circuit, a necessary step to ensure public safety and to help stop the spread of the virus.

But the fallout has been the loss of dozens of crucial once-yearly meetings we would be now be conducting with so many of our key customers, prospects, and peers – all under one roof.

Events like the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit and Bogota’s Proflora that attract top players in the fresh-food and floral industries. And huge exhibitions like Air Cargo Europe with 65,000 logistics professionals in Munich last year, where we made great strides in moving into untapped markets across Europe and beyond.

With attendance numbers like that, it’s no wonder mass gatherings are totally off the table for the remainder of 2020. Can’t argue with that!

The Show Must Go On

While no one can see into the future with certainty, when these major business conventions and exhibitions make a come back – and they most certainly will – they’ll need to be changed, forever.

Face it, we are social animals, and no advancements in video or telecommunications technology can ever match the effectiveness of direct human connection, and the business it generates.

Of course, there will have to be an entire revamping of the trade-show industry’s delivery of mass meetings. It is imperative that they make these gatherings safe and responsible from a public-health standpoint, so when the time is right, we will be able to immediately and confidently step back into the most impactful means of  human connection.

Necessary Enhancements

Beyond the introduction of lots of sanitizer dispensers on convention floors, major changes at trade-show venues will need to include wellness checkpoints, increased ventilation filtering capacity, greatly expanded presentation spaces and controlled traffic-flow lanes to ensure social distancing – and perhaps even extending the length of shows by an extra day or two, and/or limiting daily attendance.

Such measures will no doubt be pricey. Significantly higher participation fees will need to be imposed to offset the high cost of supplying enhanced safety and security measures. And at first, there will likely be fewer participants than we’re used to. But this will be the new normal price of doing business in the post-coronavirus period.

Communication is what brings people together in our business and paves the way for future success. That will never change – just the means by which we achieve it.

I look forward to connecting with you soon. Until then, please stay well.

Stay informed, think global, act local

Every day, PrimeAir keeps close track of the trends and rapid changes now facing the air logistics services industry. This allows us to analyze, anticipate, and mobilize on behalf of our customers – and to ensure they get the best possible service.

One way we stay on top of our game is by constantly monitoring what’s being reported by the biggest and most reliable sources for trade news worldwide.

So here’s the inside scoop on how you, too, can get fast access to some of the same breaking news and info we rely on – it’s right here on the PrimeAir website

So join us as we kick-start your morning and help prep you for the rest of your workday by visiting our scrolling news ticker. Stick with us and stay in the know.

About PrimeAir

PrimeAir is a Miami-based global service that combines extensive experience with local knowledge to ensure the best in cargo services, operations, handling, and accounting easy and reliable for airlines working across the globe.

Since 2001, PrimeAir has been providing the Generals Sales & Service Agent (GSSA) services to the biggest players in the air cargo industry – like Atlas Air and Emirates SkyCargo, just to name a few.

PrimeAir also benefits from being part of the Prime Group, a network of coordinated cargo and logistics specialists with offices and representatives worldwide.

For information about the entire family of Prime Group companies, visit www.primegroup.aero.

HQ Move Signifies New Place on Global Stage

When the Prime Group moved to its new headquarters complex in 2019, we said goodbye to our former place in the landscape of shipping companies just west of MIA – to land a much more promising position on the map.

In making the move, we made a significant investment in what we want to convey about the vision, business strategy, values, customer service, and the environment where the Prime Group of companies operate.

Granted, our new home office and expanded warehouse component in Doral, Fla., is still within proximity to Miami International Airport – which is of key importance to the historic core of our operation as a worldwide air cargo logistics firm.

But as the Prime Group becomes more widely recognized as a sophisticated global player with diverse services and products, we needed a corporate base of operations that signals we are right-placed for continued growth and expansion of our worldwide brand.

Simply stated, we want our headquarters to represent what the company is going to achieve.

A Big Move

Choosing a new location is an extremely important decision for any business. The workspace needs to capture the essence of your brand personality and identity – the emotional connections that customers have with your business and how its competitors perceive you.

In the global logistics business, with customers scattered across the world, the reality is, the vast majority of our clients may never step foot in our Doral offices.

But for those who do, we want to present them with a space that not only represents us well, but affirms they made the right decision in working with the Prime Group. How they are greeted, what technology they see us using, and where we are located, are all strong indicators of what our business stands for and how successful it is.

Internally, the new office environment communicates to our employees the way we want our business to operate. By choosing this workplace, we have created comfortable and collaborative environment where productivity is key.


None of which is to suggest this shift was easy – it wasn’t. At times, the lengthy process of moving and settling in threatened to disrupt daily operations. Nonetheless, staff remained patient and focused on the task at hand – like the professionals they are. For that I am grateful and thank each and every one of them.

We took the time to do it the right way – after all, that’s what we. So please come by for a visit soon, to see what we mean when we say, “the difference is in the details.”

Emirates SkyCargo Route Network June 18th

PrimeAir takes pride in working with Emirates SkyCargo, a world-class cargo airline serving Quito with flights around the globe via Passenger Freight (PF) aircraft and Main-Deck Full Freighters (FF). Get a detailed look at the latest update to Emirates SkyCargo’s expansive worldwide network map.

Click to view full image:

 

Prime Group advances digital logistics capabilities with Salesforce

As a global logistics leader, The Prime Group has arrived at a point in its evolution where advanced automation is needed to integrate marketing tactics, determine how efficiently marketing tactics and sales teams work, quantify the level of service customers receive and ultimately hold itself accountable for business growth objectives while maintaining customer focus. For this reason, Prime Group is now deploying Salesforce – creating more effective customer-focused marketing initiatives and increasing sales capabilities.

Salesforce is the global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), bringing companies closer to their customers in the digital age. Salesforce’s cloud-based technologies are built to integrate data from the siloed parts of a company that interact with customers, and by giving teams a shared view, help improve response rates and revenues from marketing efforts, including advertising and social media.

To maximize customer support at scale, Prime Group will now leverage improved efficiency and effectiveness at each stage of the sales process – from setting strategy and implementing initiatives to taking action and measuring results. With a goal of improving customer communications and increasing new business opportunities, the custom-designed implementation for Prime Group began June 1.

“Today, we are stepping in a new direction by investing in a major technology upgrade, data-driven sales and marketing, and aggressive prospecting. This will position us extremely well for success in the pandemic period and well beyond,” said Roger Paredes, CEO of Miami-based Prime Group.

“Prime Group is on the cusp of something exciting,” Paredes continued. “At a time when logistics companies worldwide are struggling to get traction due to COVID-19, we’re already moving ahead by reaching outside the box to yield new types of partnerships and businesses that have not historically been part of the Prime Group portfolio.”