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!”
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.
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.
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.