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.

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.

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.

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.

Doing It All: Our Mission to Serve Clients With Extreme Care for HAZMAT Shipments

Safe, professional, and reliable, shipment of goods via air, sea, or ground is always important – and Prime Logistics has the experience to make that happen for its valued customers. But some cargo, classified by U.S. authorities as “hazardous goods” (HAZMAT) or alternatively, internationally, as “dangerous goods,” requires extreme care and top-of-class expertise at every step of the packaging and shipping process.

Fortunately, Prime Logistics can handle packing and shipping services for multiple types of cargo. When we’re asked to assist a client with a HAZMAT shipment, we work to ensure the safety and protection of our employees, transportation companies, the general public, and the communities we serve.

Complying with Diverse Regulations
Heavily regulated by U.S. and international government agencies as well as industry organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global, and domestic HAZMAT shipments have the potential of a higher-than-normal risk to the public and the environment. As a result, strict rules, regulations and legal requirements for these types of goods are imposed by regulators and can vary from country to country.

Fortunately, Prime Logistics knows the ins and outs of these requirements with “boots on the ground” all around the globe – employees who know local requirements, as well as which airlines or ocean cargo operators will carry specific types of HAZMAT cargo, such as perfume, flammable fuels, or even aircraft engines that by their nature contain oils and other components deemed as dangerous goods (DGs). It’s definitely not a cookie-cutter process.

Expertise on the shipping side, whether it’s domestic or international in nature, is critical. For example, HAZMAT goods can include everything from corrosive goods to explosives, gases, flammable and combustible liquids and solids, oxidizer and organic peroxide, poison, explosives radioactive items, and corrosive goods.

Training, Training, and More Training
“Safely and efficiently transporting HAZMAT boils down to specialized training on an annual basis, emphasizes Edgar Campana, general manager, Prime Logistics. “Training, training and more training – Nothing is more critical.”

In fact, Prime Logistics’ multifaceted training program covers all the basic aspects of all services provided to customers. That includes annual HAZMAT training, during which employees learn how to identify and safely package HAZMAT materials for shipment, critical to the company’s full-service mission of moving all types of cargo for clients.

Why proper packaging is s important
Even the most responsible customers who know the complex rules and regulations for HAZMAT may simply never get close enough to their own products on the shipping side to assure that those goods are packaged properly. In turn, Prime Logistics’ priority is to ensure any dangerous goods presented for shipping by customers are packaged correctly with the correct items.

“That way our employees can advise the transportation company if the package or cargo received is ‘good to fly’ or, alternatively, has issues,” says Campana. If there are problems, Prime Logistics can take the appropriate action to rectify those. It also takes great care to assure its own employees should not be put at risk.

Campana stresses that “we as a company have to know how to properly identify such cargo, learn what we need to clean, contain the material right away, and eliminate risk for employees and the environment.” Among the many steps along the shipping journey, employees must follow varied domestic and international rules and regulations for classifying, identifying, packaging, marking, labeling, documenting, placarding and separating HAZMAT cargo.

Striving for Safe, On-Time Deliveries
It’s a reality that some forwarders that specialize in transportation of cargo simply don’t feel comfortable in dealing with HAZMAT shipments. While handling those certainly isn’t Prime Logistics’ prime business goal, they fall within our full-service approach to serving customers.

HAZMAT is just another element in the shipping process, another way to assist clients. Then, “at the end of the day, it falls on us to help make sure the customer’s shipment makes it to the final destination safely, intact and without a delay at Customs that could be caused by improper packaging or other HAZMAT issues,” he emphasizes.

Keeping People Safe
One facet of Prime Logistics’ HAZMAT service for its shipping clients is unwavering – the safety and protection of employees, customers and the public. It’s also a team approach inside the company. Even Campana has taken the annual HAZMAT training “because the best way to know what people are doing is to know what they are doing day to day, and if they need help, I am ready.”

Beyond HAZMAT certification, Prime Logistics’ employees also offer diverse skill sets and other important certifications. Employees are trained to safely operate forklifts, manage perishables, understand good distribution practices and safely handle specialized products such as vaccines that require lower temperatures. Some also take TSA training to assure they understand Customs requirements.

“As a result, our employees have all the tools they need to safely do their jobs and protect customer shipments,” Campana stresses. For example, if cargo comes to Prime Logistics packed in dry ice, the employee knows how to safely work with it and avoid injury, as dry ice is dangerous to touch and can burn eyes.

“It’s all about having all the expertise needed to assist our clients and handle the shipment with the utmost care,” he points out. “From client to client, cargo always comes in differently and goes out differently, whether it’s fluids, a product that needs to be below zero, dry cargo, or perishables.”

The Right Stuff
Making Another point Campana makes? The supplier may believe “all is okay,” but “if the packaging is not up to our specifications for the transfer to airlines, this is where our expertise comes in – to ensure smooth packing and transport so the customer delivery is not delayed.”

In some cases, Prime Logistics may have to open a crate and repack it to meet HAZMAT regulations or other specifications. Since Prime Logistics is certificated in the U.S., it obviously follows U.S. regulations, but Campana say the company’s employees across the globe understand the requirements and nuances of government rules outside the U.S.

Knowing those local regulations – whether in Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Singapore, or elsewhere – is a plus for customers. “Otherwise, the shipment will get stuck at Customs if we aren’t on top of what’s regulated – and know the right way to move the cargo through,” he adds. That could mean a loss of time for the customer, as well as a loss of money due to fines or extra taxes.

So, while often a customer’s prime concern is that Prime Logistics succeeds in getting their product from Point A to Point B on time and in good shape, Campana emphasizes that “we must handle everything in between, whether a normal shipment or HAZMAT goods.” Fortunately, Prime Logistics has both the experience and expertise to accomplish that in a safe, timely and efficient manner” whatever is being shipped.

Prime Logistics First in U.S. to Receive WCA’s ‘Responsible Person for Logistics’ Certification

General Manager Edgar Campana now recognized by World Cargo Association for compliance with ‘Good Distribution of Medicinal Products for Human Use’

Prime Logistics is now recognized by the World Cargo Association (WCAworld) – and its nearly 10,000 members in 194 countries – as 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 General Manger Edgar Campana 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.

“We are extremely proud to be the first logistics firm in the U.S. to receive this certification,” says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes. “Having a WCA-accredited Responsible Person on staff not only reinforces our commitment to continually expanding our knowledge base through education, innovation, and adaptation, but also reaffirms Prime Group’s position as a trusted leader in the global logistics industry.”

Prime Group’s four enterprises, Prime Logistics, PrimeAir, Prime Planet, and Prime Fresh Handling combined serve a wide range of industries by providing professional sales and marketing services, ground handling and cold storage, market analysis and yield management, and retail food distribution.

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.

Along with General Manager Edgar Campana’s certification, the company is now entitled to proudly display the distinctive Responsible Person Certified seal.

Says Campana, “This important RP designation ensures that our customers know Prime Logistics is highly qualified, knowledgeable, and compliant with not only the rules and regulations for shipping in the United States, but for multinational clients and companies depending 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.”

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 vaccine.

“Certainly, this achievement puts Prime Logistics in prime position, competitively,” Campana said, adding that RP certification is not just focused on moving pharmaceuticals like vaccines, but also covers compliance and needed skills in correctly transporting all types of medicines and medical equipment.

“And though it is very rare, if and when called into service, we are now able to handle the shipment of human organs and tissue for transplant, for customers anywhere in the world,” he added.

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 an RP 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 a well-designed Quality Management System (QMS) with a focus 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.

This announcement comes on the heels of announcement of Campana and one other member of the Prime Logistics staff, Cristina Moscoso receiving WCA’s Certification for Good Distribution Practices. Additionally, eight members of the company recently received Anti-Bribery & Corruption Certifications, also issued by WCAworld Academy.

About Prime Logistics

Prime Logistics is a division of Prime Group, a Miami-based air cargo and international logistics conglomerate founded in 2001. Prime Logistics has hundreds of contacts and representatives around the globe, who are skilled at providing expert logistics solutions. Many industries are supported in shipping commodities via air and ocean to virtually any destination.

Prime Group Aligns with Big Names in the Business

Many are right here among our ranks

Smart and innovative firms often surround themselves with other smart and innovative players. The Prime Group has been painstakingly diligent over its 20-year history to align itself with the most prominent air-cargo carriers in the business along with highly reputable vendors, distributors, and global trade organizations.

The caliber of external relationships is a strong indicator of the type of company you are known to be. In other words, you are the company you keep – an extremely telling standard by which a company’s reputation is measured.

There is another important gauge that accurately reflects your business acumen, philosophy, and practices, one that is perpetuated internally – Prime Group’s highly qualified and skilled workforce.

We recognize that our employees also are a clear reflection of the company and our core values: honesty and professionalism, and constant innovation and adaptation. So similarly, we have worked very hard at maintaining – and improving – our place in the industry by selecting, cultivating, and retaining the best possible talent.

As the true face of the company, Prime Group people represent a huge investment, one that deserves the greatest care and attention. One way to gain and retain the best talent is to continually offer opportunities for professional growth.

Education never ends – nor should it. There is always room for growth and knowledge, especially in the form of professional certifications. Investing in employee skills training not only bolsters employee expertise and knowledge, but having certified specialists on staff positively impacts the entire corporation.

In light of this, we keep a keen eye on ways to expand and enhance the skills and aptitude of our team specifically within the area of perishables and pharmaceuticals logistics. Through our relationship the World Cargo Association (WCA), the Prime Group of companies may now boast three new levels of certification among staff in several areas.

Awarded by WCAworld Academy within the last two months, they include:

  • Responsible Person Certification for Good Distribution Practices;
  • Anti-Bribery & Corruption Certifications; and
  • Responsible Person Certification for Logistics (for Good Distribution of Medicinal Products for Human Use).

This third honor, issued to Prime Logistics General Manger Edgar Campana, is most impressive as it makes us the first logistics firm in the U.S. to receive this level of certification. It signifies to the cargo world we have 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.

This announcement truly is a feather in our cap. It reinforces the fact among our many stakeholders and business prospects that we are not only well positioned to do our part in the vital distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, but going forward, in to support the ongoing seasonal distribution of other biologics and pharmaceutical equipment worldwide.

I couldn’t be more proud of our staff and their dedication to elevating their professional skills and abilities while showing the world that Prime Group is succeeding in our pursuit to not only do the best, but be the best. Congratulations, team!

Prime Group looks forward to continuing to align itself with the greatest names in the business – and they are right here among our ranks.