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

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

Container 101: Shipping by Land & Sea is More Than Just Another ‘Magic Carpet Ride’

Heading to the supermarket, you may grab a six-pack of soda, bundle of paper towels, and box of cereal. Or, you might pick up fresh raspberries, a slab of ribs, seafood, or even a bouquet of fresh flowers. Despite the diversity, it’s likely all those goods were transported along the grocery supply chain via a “storage container” transported either atop a tractor trailer along the highway or on the deck of a cargo ship at sea.

Globally, estimates for the number of storage containers in use widely vary from five million to 170 million. In reality, the exact number isn’t known. “Clearly, though, the shipping container is front and center when it comes to ease of transport and helping goods get where they need to go,” says Yulieth Onofre, Prime Logistics Group Sales Manager based in Miami.

In the consumers’ eyes, cargo’s seemingly sudden and effortless journey in a storage container is “a bit of a ‘magic carpet ride,’” but in reality, she adds “it’s a precise, carefully orchestrated trip, with a lot of moving parts—all at once. And different cargo requires ‘different strokes’ along the way at every step.”

That’s why tapping an experienced logistics firm with a team of skilled experts to assist is a smart corporate move.

One fact is clear. Shipping containers is big business. According to Allied Market Research, “the global shipping containers market was valued at $8.70 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $12.08 billion by 2027.” That’s a compound annual growth rate of 4.3 percent.

Container 101: By the Numbers

Size-wise, most storage containers are either 20 feet long or 40 feet long. The standard container height is 8.6 feet high. Standard width is 8 feet wide. But this shipping sector isn’t “one size fits all.”

Onofre also cites other options including high cube containers (20HC or 40HC), which are essentially a foot higher. They’re great when transporting light, voluminous, dry cargo. In contrast, a flat-rack container (FR) with collapsible sides is optimum when transporting a boat, machinery. or an automobile. Also, an open-top container (OT) is often used to transport humongous logs, a large piece of industrial machinery, or project cargo.

For perishable goods, special, refrigerated storage containers (reefer containers) keep goods fresh by maintaining a certain temperature and humidity, varying by cargo. That could mean fresh fish, medicines, frozen seafood, vaccines, and delicate temperature-sensitive plants, produce, or flowers – to name a few products. Learn more about reefer container shipping by reading one of our recent blogs:

People in the worldwide cargo industry are familiar, of course, with the term TEU. That’s a standard measurement system for containers and also used to “size” vessels. For instance, one 20-foot container is a “Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit” or 1 TEU. So, if a shipper has two such 20-foot containers filled with a particular cargo, they’re shipping 2 TEUs.

More Container Tidbits

So, who makes shipping containers? China is by far the world’s top producer of shipping containers, and other large manufacturers include the USA (California), Denmark, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and India.

Definitely built to last, most storage containers are made of corten steel (“weathered steel”), adding both strength and anti-corrosive protection. For instance, if an ocean ship sails through rough seas, the top-deck storage containers can weather any saltwater splashing. Marine-grade plywood is also used to build some storage containers.

To ensure that any container is up to snuff for design/construction, look for the container’s CSC plate from the International Convention for Safe Containers. That means it’s safe to use.

Storage containers are built with reinforced “corners, so they can be easily rigged to cranes. Cranes can lift them to and from a truck, flatbed rail car or ocean ship or stack them atop other containers at a pier or warehouse.

Most containers also have handy forklift slots/pockets, so they can be easily moved from one spot to another. At times, containers must be connected to each other for stability. Fortunately, nifty twist locks will help keep them from shifting in transit.

Support-wise, container floors are built with “cross members” – beams and joists that run side to side. To avoid any “critters” or insect visitors, sturdy container floors often are infused with protective coatings including insecticides. And to keep moisture at bay, some containers are built with a small space between the ground and the container’s actual flooring – providing ventilation via air ducts.

“On the security side, rest assured that most containers have color-coded, numbered security seals that – combined with the container’s locking device – assure a strong level of sealed security,” Onofre adds. But if the container arrives and the seal is broken, it’s an alert that the container has been opened.

So, presto, let’s assume a company’s container has arrived at its final destination in great shape. How is the cargo removed? Shipping containers usually offer a cargo door structure that’s actually two steel cargo doors, often with locking mechanisms. But there are differences here too. Sometimes the entire side of the container opens for easy removal of cargo.

Transforming Worldwide Shipping

“Cargo shipping via storage containers has been around for more than five decades,” says Onofre. “To say that standardized containers have transformed customer shipping and transport is an understatement. More than $3 trillion in global trade is transacted annually, and shipping containers have played a pivotal role in the sector’s growth.”

While the storage container marketplace continues to evolve, more than 80 percent of all trade goods are shipped by sea, and 60 percent of them are shipped via storage containers. If your business needs storage container assistance, call Prime Logistics to discuss your needs. Experienced shipping and handling experts are ready to assist. We know storage containers inside and out!

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

Navigating the Changing Waters of Shipping via Reefer Containers

While some of our clients have reported improvements in their business for 2021, others are clearly happy the year is over. So, as we begin to navigate through 2022, what’s likely ahead for clients who use “reefer containers” to transport their goods?

First, though, a bit about the terminology for those who don’t deal with this element of our shipping industry day-to-day. So, what exactly is a reefer storage container? In nautical use, a “reefer” is a person who “reefs” such as a midshipman or a commercial fisherman. But in the world of logistics, reefer storage containers are those equipped with a refrigeration device to create the proper temperature, humidity, and atmosphere for perishable goods.

Reefer storage containers can safely transport fresh fish, seafood, meat, vegetables, dairy products, frozen food, flowers, pharmaceuticals, and other perishables. They’re placed on reefer cargo ships, which continue the goods’ comfortable, temperature-controlled journey across oceans and between continents.

Trends in 2022 and Beyond

So, examining that “reefer storage container marketplace,” here are trends that Prime Logistics sees for 2022 and beyond:

Certainly, the market is growing. In 2019, the reefer container market was estimated at 3,169.2 thousand TEUs and by 2030, it’s projected to be 7063.3 thousand TEUs, according to a Prescient Strategic Intelligence report. A TEU is a 20-foot equivalent unit of cargo capacity for container ships. Each TEU is based on one 20-foot-long intermodal container.

Given the 2020-2021 shortages of reefer shipping containers, it’s also good news that shipping container manufacturers in the U.S., Europe, China, Taiwan, and elsewhere are now producing more new reefer containers than pre-pandemic. That’s helped reduce the length of shipping backlogs and improve availability in some regions.

The Perfect Storm

That said, the reality early in 2022 is that reefer containers are still scarce in many spots. So, continuing shipping delays are likely in 2022, particularly from certain regions. “People often ask us why the increased production of new reefer containers isn’t doing the trick to balance supply and demand,” notes Yulieth Onofre, Prime Logistics Group Sales Manager based in Miami. “Well, it’s a combination of factors that have created ‘the perfect storm.’”

For example, businesses stung by delays in shipping the past two years due to container shortages have increased their orders in a big way. “Many of our clients are shipping many more goods than in the past as they work to rebuild their inventories,” she emphasizes. Clients fearful of shipping delays are also ordering on a longer lead-time.

While Prime Logistics saw evidence late last summer that supply and demand were inching closer together, then the rise and spread of the Delta and Omicron variants of the COVID-19 virus reversed that dynamic. During this pandemic era, increased pharmaceutical transport of biologics, vaccines, cellular therapies, and blood products – all requiring temperature-controlled containers – is increasing.

Early in 2022, reefer cargo ships, both large and small, are fully utilized and in short supply in some regions. Separately, some vessels previously designated for reefer container business have been shifted by their owners to carry dry cargo instead.

Most notably, though, is that pandemic-weary consumers are in a “buy, buy, buy” mode.” Many retail establishments have reopened, and e-commerce is strong. Consumers are ordering “at will” on a day-to-day basis to reward themselves, often from the comfort of their living rooms. Product import levels, as a result, are record setting.

After more than a year of those record imports, month after month, the system is stressed to the max. “We’ve seen delays in port terminal access, ship schedules, rail services, truck transport, and also a shortage of equipment availability,” says Onofre. New ocean trade routes are also putting a strain on ocean reefer container ship availability.

“Yet, despite those supply chain issues beyond our control, our Prime Logistics team works around the clock to assist our clients,” she points out.  “We’re creative and solution-focused, and while we obviously can’t ‘fix’ the world’s supply chain issues, we’re committed to ensuring that our clients know all their options and keeping them informed.”

Demand is Off the Chart

Unfortunately, the cost of transporting goods continues to zoom higher as imports reach record levels and demand is “off the chart.” Thus, reefer container operators continue to raise prices for transport. In the December 2021 edition of “Drewry’s Container Forecaster” report, Drewry Maritime Financial Research (DMFR) projected higher freight rates in 2022 for businesses using reefer containers.

Trend-wise, Prime Logistics is seeing a bit less price inflation (although it’s still happening, for sure) on North-South trade routes for ocean transport of reefer containers; that’s particularly the case for export transport from some regions of South America and Central America. In contrast, East-West routes such as those between the U.S. and Asia are increasingly experiencing a bit higher price inflation.

Globally, Asia-Pacific (APAC) accounts for the largest share in the global reefer container market, and that’s expected to continue, according to a recent Prescient Strategic Intelligence report. But with rapid urbanization, Latin America (LATAM) is expected to post the highest growth rate in the market moving forward. Look for the most growth in the 40-foot reefer container category.

Supply Chain Challenges

Between 2020-2030, Prescient also projects global reefer container market growth at 8 percent. But can customers expect those pesky supply chain issues to disappear? Previously, Drewry had projected that ongoing supply-chain issues within the reefer container marketplace would begin easing by mid-2022. Now, it’s adjusted that projection to sometime in 2023.

“While we’re hoping that conditions will improve as the year progresses, this year is still likely to deliver many challenges for businesses,” acknowledges Onofre. “Definitely, give us a call if we can assist your business. We’re a solid, proactive asset to have on your side. We’ll assure you’re doing all possible to navigate successfully through the volatile reefer shipping marketplace in 2022.”

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

As New Year Blossoms, Prime Logistics Readies for Busy Flower Season Ahead

Are you rested and ready for the New Year? You better be, as the floral transport industry is about to enter its busiest time of year – with the one-two-three punch of Valentine’s Day, International Women’s Day, and Mother’s Day upon us. You can rest assured, the experts at Prime Logistics are ready. We’ve been managing the shipment of international perishables and non-perishables for our customers for more than 20 years now!

Valentines Day Planning Underway

For this day of lovers, which is different than most other holidays, consumers generally stick with long-stem reds, pinks, and sometimes whites – millions of them. With a roughly 24-day period from the grower to the end customer, the first round of activity leading up to Valentine’s Day on February 14 is here. In fact, many wholesalers forward their price lists to retailers as soon as the day after Christmas. Next step, in about mid-January, is to send their supply lists to the South American flower growers, to ensure arrival starting the first few days of February. This is where Prime Logistics steps in.

With the official shipping window for this first major flower-giving period of the year being Jan. 20 to about Feb. 8, Prime Logistics and sister company Prime Fresh Handling project they’ll be managing nearly 8 million kg of flower shipments each month out of both Colombia and Ecuador during the first two months of 2022. Using our dedicated air cargo partners Atlas Air and Emirates SkyCargo, the successful handling of such an immense volume of product is a reflection of the deep dedication we have in bringing South America’s finest fresh flowers to U.S. wholesalers and retailers this time of year — and in fact to multiple customers around the world all throughout the year.

International Women’s Day

Following Valentine’s Day, our logistics teams basically have one week to recover before getting busy again. Next up is the peak period of production and distribution supporting International Women’s Day. With Ecuador serving as the primary source of flowers for this March 8 holiday each year, the efforts of our team in Quito and Amsterdam are crucial to advancing our shipping company’s winning strategies at meeting the demand of its valued customers.

In fact, the Ecuadorian flower market supplies more than 70 countries around the world with floriculture products. But when it comes to Women’s Day, Russia is the number one market.

On this day, people celebrate by delivering flowers to powerful women in their life, historically with the mimosa flower, a symbol of strength, sensibility, and sensitivity. White roses are also very popular.

Mother’s Day

And finally, it’s Mother’s Day on May 8, another hugely popular flower-giving holiday around the world. The peak period of activity preceding mum’s day is mid-April through about May 1. Accounting for one-fourth of the floral purchases made on any holiday, some call it the Super Bowl of flowers.

We call it another day at the office.

Well in excess of 20 million flowers from Colombia and Ecuador are planned to be cut, gathered, and shipped during the 2022 Valentine’s Day/Women’s Day season. We’re still assessing anticipated volume for Mother’s Day, so as soon as we catch our collective breath, we’ll get back to you on that!

Frantically filling back-to-back freighters from nose to tail, day after day, it’s a pressure-packed experience that’s exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. We are fortunate at the Prime Logistics to boast some of the best-qualified and seasoned experts in the flower industry. They work hard to keep our ground game running smoothly for our customers, year after year.

So ‘tis the season for flowers, flowers, and more flowers. Prime Logistics is your service and we wish you all the best.

Women in Supply Chain Management: Tracking Progress, Championing Opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Prime Logistics

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

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

For information, call 305-592-2044 or visit

Managing New Normal Pressures to Perform in Global Logistics

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

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

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

How Stress Manifests

Symptoms of stress in the workplace include:

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

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

Individual Strategies for Managing Stress

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

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

Impact on “Deskless” Employees

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

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

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

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

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

Organizational Strategies for Managing Stress

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

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

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


The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

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

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

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

Let’s Get On the Road with Technology’s Influence on the Cold Chain

The future of the cold chain looks like it will be technologically advanced from not just sourcing to warehousing, but all the way out to delivery. So let’s take a look at the emerging technologies impacting ground transport and warehousing – because there is a lot of ground to cover in between the air and ocean stages of international cargo handling and transport.

No matter whether the pandemic will end soon, the picking and delivery of food along the cold chain remains key. And it is here, in food logistics, where a wide variety of opportunity for new technologies is emerging, as digital innovation became even more widespread due to the continued impact COVID-19 on the industry.

Cutting across multiple global cold supply chains, emerging technologies make a difference on the industry as well as individuals’ jobs. While some may be more inclined to adapt and shift than others, there will still always be change.

It’s About Time, It’s About Place

One of the more prolific technologies is visibility and traceability solutions, as the perishable element makes location and time of delivery even more important than shelf-stable goods. In addition, as food has become less and less local throughout the past few decades, the pendulum of consumer demand has swung the other way.

Consumers now want more transparency on where their food is coming from, and with severe outbreaks of foodborne illnesses happening in the United States, traceability has become a necessity. Not to mention the ease of operation that can exist when every partner knows exactly where a shipment is and has come from in real-time.

There has been a continued focus on providing proof of chain of custody. Technology that clearly shows end-to-end movements (from pick-up, transit, cross-docking, and final mile delivery) is becoming a necessary feature in the cold chain sector. Having the ability to show such data points in real-time along with a predictive delivery time is of great value to all stakeholders.

Sophisticated barcodes, RFID sensors and block chain are a variety of technologies that help bring visibility to life. Adding that together with a user-friendly, easy-to-read dashboard, for instance, can make a real impact on warehousing and transportation operations along cold supply chains.

In addition to these technologies, telematics (the use of GPS and diagnosis technology to optimize routes) is becoming important in the food chain. Utilizing a comprehensive telematics system is crucial to gathering the data required to visualize improvements and optimize an organization to meet increased demand.

Mapping Out Foodborne Illness

Advanced technological solutions can also help stop the effects of a foodborne illness outbreak faster by tracing the contaminated shipment as well as preventing food waste by pinpointing the exact pallet or group of food that needs to be disposed. Past outbreaks such as deadly salmonella and E. coli outbreaks and massive food product recalls may not have had as severe consequences thanks to traceability technology.

In one recent study,  measuring consumer sentiment toward food safety – more than 50 percent of the respondents reporting that safety was their main concern when buying food. The data also showed that while only about 20 percent of consumers use QR codes displayed on food packaging right now, that number would increase to 65 percent if the code led to information regarding traceability.

Transforming Technologies

While traceability is an important part of technology in the food chain, it is not the only emerging technology making a difference. Other technologies include picking, sorting and storage automation, electric lift and high-capacity forklifts, augmented reality and camera systems, and temperature control solutions.

In the warehousing sector, challenges within the cold supply chain are driving innovative electric lift truck offerings and integrated technologies designed to meet the industry’s evolving needs and harsh temperatures. As the labor gap widens and in a world that wants things now, these innovations will continue to be instrumental in shaping the way facilities operate and stay competitive – especially for the food and beverage industries.

The industry has become more vertical rather than horizontal in the physical warehouse space, with companies building up rather than out, requiring forklifts and reach-trucks to handle heavier capacities at increasingly higher heights. These systems also need to be able to maneuver extremely well, as the warehouse increases capacity and optimizes its space.

In addition, facilities in cold storage and transportation are home to harsh temperatures that can be uncomfortable for human workers. Several tech providers have started introducing heated wearables and equipment to make working in these cold temperatures more comfortable for its employees. This equipment also has batteries that last longer in cold environments, where in the past, the temperature would affect battery life.

Camera systems also help avoid mishaps, injuries, and accidents within the warehouse and on the road by providing more visibility for operators to better see their surroundings, also pushing efficiency. Augmented reality wearables help efficiency by assisting workers through the integration of technology into their actual field of vision.

A Pandemic’s Impact on Technology

As new technologies emerge, the solutions they provide will continue to impact the food supply chain as well as consumer demand. COVID-19’s swift effect on the food industry also influenced what technology is growing fastest and how it is implemented, as social distancing and food safety became a top priority.

Robotics and automation helped those in the cold chain who were plagued with sick employees and had to adjust to social distancing guidelines. Those who did not have these solutions in place have since turned a keen eye toward these technologies for the future to help in similar situations.

While restaurants and eateries were forced to close or provide limited service, consumers started ordering a wide variety of food and beverage products online – and expecting they be delivered fast. Consequently, warehouse inventory expanded at an overwhelming rate, causing space constraints, picking errors and stocking inefficiencies. Additionally, with social distancing regulations in place, it became increasingly important for operations to understand human movement throughout a facility. And in this environment, crucial lessons were learned.

As companies competed to meet demands, automated vehicles were introduced at an accelerated rate to help with lane stacking, horizontal towing, and conveyor interfacing to increase efficiency and accuracy. These trucks are ideal for repetitive and time-consuming tasks — allowing plant managers to re-allocate operators’ time to more value-added jobs.

Additionally, semi-automated solutions began making production and distribution processes quicker while helping operators reach higher proficiency levels faster and making operations run more effectively.

Automation and telematics solutions such as real-time location systems allow companies to better understand and monitor the movement of people and products throughout a facility.

The future of the cold chain looks like it will be technologically advanced from sourcing to warehousing and delivery. These technologies will remain important in the picking and delivery of food along the cold chain long after this pandemic passes ends.

The Super Human Element in Supply Chain Logistics

The Super Human Element in Supply Chain Logistics

While a logistics manager has responsibilities that vary from one organization to the next, one thing is for sure, it’s not an easy task – especially in the age of COVID. That’s because they have the crucial role of ensuring things go smoothly no matter what, and often under the most challenging conditions imaginable.

From healthcare to manufacturing to food and beverage sectors, every industry is feeling the effects of the pandemic, most notably in getting products to where they need to go. Transportation is the glue that brings these products to distribution centers, stores, warehouses, and consumers’ doorsteps. Logistics mangers ensure grocery stores have food on shelves; retail outlets have the stock needed to satisfy their customers; and pharmacies and health centers have the critical medicines and supplies that keep us alive.

There is a lot resting on the logistics managers of the world. So how is it some people are naturally a good fit to excel in the supply chain environment? What remarkable qualities they possess? Let’s take a look:

The Role of the Logistics Manager 

A logistics manager, or supply chain manager, supervises the entire supply chain purchasing and distribution process for his or her respective operation. So number one, strong leadership skills are essential. They handle the entire delivery process of products by scheduling both inbound and outbound shipments and constantly monitor them to ensure each product arrives on time. They constantly collaborate with product carriers to determine and negotiate shipping rates for materials. They also typically manage the inventory of products stored within the warehouse. And in the process they build strong and long-lasting relationships with product suppliers and clients. The list goes on…

Experience also counts, big time. There’s a certain insider knowledge one can only gain from hands-on experience in the world of logistics. Extensive knowledge of what’s going on in the industry – in the here and now – is also a must. Being equipped with information on the latest happenings and trends in supply chain management is essential to succeeding in this field. It also doesn’t hurt to take time to do research on other companies’ processes, and benchmark on their best supply chain practices

 What Makes A Great Logistics Manager?

Among the skills listed by Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as the most important in supply chain careers is “a broad knowledge of logistics, IT and database experience, customer service abilities, and critical-thinking skills.” So let’s start there.

In terms of problem-solving and critical thinking, a logistics manager has to handle unexpected challenges that may occur, like shipping restrictions or limited capacity. Creative thinking skills are also a must. So they often have to go outside the box to achieve the desired best outcome – and know when and how to do so.

Excellent time and task management skills are also important for logistics managers to have as they must prioritize and complete several duties – often all at the same time and with varying deadlines.

Quick Follow-Through

The most successful logistics professionals have two things in common: They’re organized and they’re detail-oriented. The supply chain has numerous moving parts, so by mastering the art of being organized, they are adept at following up with even the smallest component of the supply chain to ensure an important delivery gets to where it needs to be. They are involved in the process from the start right until the very end and have a way of reviewing and keeping tabs on things super efficiently and quickly.

In a position that requires coordination with a number of different teams and people, every detail must be accounted for. Incoming products must meet certain standards and must be delivered according to a specific schedule, with the supply chain manager effectively navigating elements like timing and cost. Teamwork within logistics is an essential skill for every professional in the field, especially when speed and quality are of the essence.

Ability to See the Big Picture

Logistics managers need to be able to see the bigger picture of the supply chain they are working within and visualize processes from start to finish. They’ve got to anticipate what could go wrong with everything from packaging to shipping and delivery – and even formulate contingency plans on top of their contingency plans in order to make the supply chain flow continuously. Planning ahead is a major component of logistics. Which brings us to the next important quality.

Forward Thinking

As a logistics manager, they not only must have a holistic understanding of supply chain management, but also have the ability to make accurate predictions of the possible needs of their company, as well as outcomes of actions made across the entire supply chain. They always think and plan ahead – and live by the maxim, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Adaptability & Problem Solving

Problems and last-minute changes are inevitable in logistics, making adaptability and flexibility crucial. Well honed problem-solving skills that involve analysis, business development knowledge, operational information, and even psychology are an absolute necessity for a supply chain professional to make it this business.

Sound Decision-Making

Because the supply chain work environment is very fast-paced and fraught with disruptions, there exists a considerable amount of pressure. A manufacturing facility that shuts down unexpectedly, or bad weather, accidents, and civil unrest can all cause major delays – resulting in significant losses in revenue in a short amount of time.

In a world where so many products are in record high demand, and the customers themselves are becoming more demanding, logisticians who thrive in this environment do so by learning and mastering how to handle stress, stay calm, and make sound decisions – fast!

Interpersonal Skills and Honesty

Since their work requires interacting with people from all walks of life, it is imperative that a logistics manager maintains good connections with everyone in their realm. There is no room for miscommunication in this industry – nor is there room for dishonesty. It’s not uncommon for some people to attempt to cover their mistakes, such as a late shipment. But a seasoned logistics manager understands that by being fully accountable and transparent with customers, it may actually strengthen the relationship with the customer.

Continually Seeking Improvement

A hyper-focus in continuous improvement expertise is, and will continue to be, key to a company’s logistics success. Professionals in this field use information gathered from various systems to monitor, analyze, and adjust processes accordingly. Those who have developed the ability to identify ways to continually streamline work processes are critical to their organization’s continued success.

Prime Logistics Celebrates MIA’s Winning Achievements

The recent release of Miami Dade Aviation Department’s annual report on “U.S. and Worldwide Airport Rankings” serves to underscore that it truly is all about “location-location-location” in the world of logistics. It also reaffirms Prime Logistics’ right choice to establish its base of operations here 17 years ago, from which it could grow and prosper on the global stage. 

The big news is, for the year 2020, Miami International Airport (MIA) continued to be the Number 1 airport in the U.S. for international freight (followed by Chicago O’Hare and Los Angeles). The report also highlights that MIA ranks 4th in total cargo (freight plus mail). In addition, MIA is Number 3 in total freight in the U.S., behind Memphis and Louisville, the hubs for FedEx and UPS, respectively. Miami Dade Aviation Department’s Marketing Division issued the report in August 2021.

On the global operations front, MIA came in at Number 9 in total cargo (freight plus mail), Number 8 in total freight, and Number 9 in international freight. Wow, three cheers for MIA!

Yet Another Powerful Report

Not coincidentally, following in the footsteps of this report was the release of the annual ranking by JD Power of the “Top 10 Mega Airports in North America,” with Miami international leading the pack here as well, at Number 2 in international passengers. This achievement reflects that over 100 airlines at MIA contribute to the year-round, two-way cargo traffic linking the Americas with high growth markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and beyond.

“We congratulate Miami Dade County leadership for its continued role in managing this world-class airport facility in a fashion that best serves the powerhouse of trade and commerce in the region,” said Omar Zambrano, COO of Prime Group, under which Prime Logistics operates.

It is also worth noting that the continued growth and success of MIA by default fuels the growth and success of the bordering City of Doral, the 11th fastest growing city in the entire country – and home of Prime Logistics’ global headquarters.

In the Shadow of MIA

Just minutes from the company’s Doral-based headquarters and warehouse is the MIA Cargo Hub. It serves as the world’s largest gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, and controls the north/south cargo flows in the Western Hemisphere. Handling 79 percent of all air imports and 74 percent of all exports from the Latin America Caribbean region, MIA serves as the hub for distribution of perishable products like fresh flowers and produce, high-tech and telecommunications equipment, textiles, industrial machinery, and pharmaceuticals such as vaccines and medical supplies.

“Not surprisingly these are the very commodities that Prime Logistics has specialized in transporting over its 20 year history, the last 17 of which from Doral following the company’s move here from Quito in 2004,” says Zambrano. “As one of Prime Logistics’ most logical decisions ever, it is certainly paying off!”

At Home in Doral

Initially, Prime Logistics set up shop in a small warehouse of just 2,500 sqft. But as business grew, they continued to double their warehouse and office space over the years until moving into our current 20,000 sqft facility in 2018, just three miles from the MIA cargo zone. According to Zambrano, “In the warehouse, we offer 500 positions on rack, which is the right way to keep the cargo in good condition, as well as ample freezer capacity, and lot space designed to accommodate 53-foot trailers.”

Situated within the city limits of Doral, this light industrial area flanked by two major interstate highways and the western line of the airport also serves the company’s needs well due to the fact that so many of their local customers are likewise located here. “And obviously not all are in need of air cargo services alone – as such, Prime Logistics offers expert transport of a multitude of goods for customers worldwide via its ocean freight department,” he added.

It helps that the company’s Doral facility is also within just a half hour drive to PortMiami – another strong selling point for customers in the Southeast regional market.

Zambrano points out anther important fact mentioned in the Aviation Department report, one of key importance to the company’s international pharmaceutical industry customers: “MIA is the first airport in the Western Hemisphere and only the second in the world to be designated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as a pharmaceutical freight hub and a trusted industry leader in the transport of pharmaceuticals.”

Since the company’s founding in 2001, Zambrano says that Prime Logistics’ goal has been to provide direct access to all of the world’s major markets for commerce and trade – “and MIA has been key to putting us on a pathway to doing just that.”

Read the entire Miami Dade Aviation Department Report.


About Prime Logistics

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

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

For information, call 305-592-2044 or visit