Holiday Season Offers Good Reason to Smile

Once a year, Prime Group’s hard-working employees turn their attention to the important task of hardly working – for one glorious night – during the company’s annual holiday party.

Last month’s gala holiday party in Downtown Miami offered an opportunity for the staff to let their hair down, as the old expression goes, and have a whole lot of fun together, as captured in these festive photos.

Hosted at the InterContinental Hotel Miami, the party was as a welcome break from the serious commitment the staff puts in all year, on behalf of the many customers of Prime Group’s four divisions: PrimeAir, Prime Logistics, Prime Fresh Products, and Prime Fresh Handling.

Holiday functions traditionally serve as a way to boost team morale and to reward loyalty – and this year’s event was no exception. But such functions are also a way by which company leadership shows genuine gratitude to their team. CEO Roger Paredes did just that, by stepping up to greet employees, their spouses and partners, and other guests as they settled in for an evening of frivolity.

Expressing his pleasure in seeing so many familiar faces and others who have left the company only to return, he noted “This is a sure sign of our success, and that the companies of Prime Group remain an attractive place to work.”

In addition to so many successes over the past year, he noted that there were of course some difficulties, as well. “But together, we were able to overcome those challenges, which were mostly market driven.”

“Our successes in 2019 were made possible by the dedication and resolute commitment of this team – now 100 employees strong – and all the things you do to help us continue to prosper, year after year.

“Without you, none of this would be possible. So, from bottom of our hearts, COO Omar Zambrano and I wish all of you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

  

   

Air Cargo Americas Brings Team Prime Group Together

Nearly 5,000 business managers and executives from more than 50 countries attended the Air Cargo Americas Exhibition in Miami, Oct. 29-31. Chief among them were the major players of the four divisions of Prime Group who came in from all across its global system.

Held at the Miami Airport & Convention Center, the bi-annual trade show is designed to increase cargo growth and international business in the Western Hemisphere.

The Prime Group team kept busy on the exhibition floor, making new connections and catching up with existing customers. As a result, says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes, they came away with solid leads on new and future business.

But they also came away with a greater sense of camaraderie for their fellow team members. Using the trade show as a backdrop, Paredes said this was a rare opportunity for all the members of the commercial side of the company to stage an internal management forum of their own. The team managed to get offsite to for a night of fun and dining in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District.

“It gave our Prime Group folks – who hail from as far away as Amsterdam, South America and the Western U.S. – a forum by which they could collaborate face-to-face, rather than always over the phone or via impersonal e-mails.”

Paredes and his business partner Omar Zambrano have been attending Air Cargo Americas consistently for nearly 20 years. In recent years, they are seeing a shift in the show’s focus from airlines to general sales agents (GSAs) and air-cargo industry service providers.

And despite the fact that this exhibition seems to be diminishing in size and importance, particularly when compared with its Air Cargo Europe counterpart in Munich, this Miami event remains a good show to see – and to be seen at.

“It is interesting to witness its evolution, as the industry has seen more and more consolidation over the years,” he said. “Yet Air Cargo Americas will always be an excellent forum to connect with people from Miami who are focused on the GSA side of the business – basically, the PrimeAir side of the business.”

Connecting with people is the core objective in sales, and having a cohesive, well functioning team makes their job easier – and more rewarding.

ABOUT PRIME GROUP
The four separate divisions of Prime Group Holdings are PrimeAir, Prime Fresh Handling, Prime Logistics, and Prime Fresh Products – all dedicated to offering the best international cargo and logistics products and support, from sales and marketing for cargo airlines, to ground handling and cold storage, and market analysis. For general information, visit https://primegroup.aero/ or call 305-592-2044.

Prime Group Boosts Presence on European Stage

Prime Group’s sales team chalked up a long list of highly productive meetings and promising leads at last month’s Air Cargo Europe 2019, the world’s leading trade fair held in Munich for the air cargo and logistics industry.

While there, says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes, they made it a point to not only buttress relations with current business partners Atlas Air and Emirates SkyCargo, but also to pursue key introductions with several additional cargo airlines. “Because at end of the day we are sharpening our focus on serving other carriers in untapped markets to and from South America.”

For years, Prime Group has had a significant presence at the major trade shows in North and South America, most notably, at Air Cargo Americas in Miami, because it is right in their back yard.

Comprised of four separate divisions, Prime Group is based in Doral, Fla., bordering Miami International Airport. The companies include Prime Air & Ocean Cargo, Prime Fresh Handling, Prime Fresh Products, and PrimeAir.

“As we continue to put greater emphasis on global expansion, it is vitally important that we make our name known among potential customers all across the world,” said Paredes.

Air Cargo Europe is an international exhibition with an accompanying high-profile conference offering opportunities for prominent industry representatives to discuss the latest trends and topics.

Reflecting the major growth of the cargo industry overall, this year’s show, June 4 to 7, saw a 10 percent increase in exhibitors (to 2,400), as well as a jump in visitors to the show – with more than 64,000 in attendance for 2019.

Top topics included status of the trade war between the USA and China, discussion of the “New Silk Road,” and how artificial intelligence will help the industry in the long term by making logistics chains more transparent and efficient.

Most impressive for the Prime Group team was the sharp increase in the number of Chinese attending the show, as Chinese firms are increasingly looking for cooperation partners in Europe. With Prime Group’s strong and growing presence in Amsterdam and multiple service connections to and from South America, this came as very good news. After all, sparking new growth in capacity between Europe and the Asia market is one of the company’s prime objectives – especially during peak seasons for fresh flowers and other perishables.

Despite the fact that current relations between the governments of the U.S. and China are not conducive at the moment, says Paredes, “We have to be open to options and think in the long term.”

With an exhibition covering 10 halls, the top 10 exhibitor countries after Germany were: Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France, Poland, China, Austria, Spain, U.K., and the Czech Republic. New exhibitors this year included Fercam, Neutral Air Cargo, Hong Kong COSCO Shipping Lines, China Asia Shipping, and Yuxinou Logistics.

Paredes said there are significant benefits to participation in trade shows – and this show in particular allowed his team to check many boxes. First and foremost:
• The ability to effectively advertise their brand to thousands of vendors, prospective customers, and industry leaders;
• To see familiar faces and build upon existing relationships; and
• To generate high-quality leads and close sales.

“It’s also a great way to display our latest products and services, while keeping an eye on your competitors” he added.

“We’ll definitely be back, as Air Cargo Europe is the perfect networking platform thanks to its massive global appeal.”

A view from the window seat

They say, when you’re 18 years old, everything is possible and tomorrow looks friendly.

Like humans, businesses have lifecycles, too. In 2019, as Prime Group celebrates its 18th year in operation, it is moving from what industry experts call the “Growth and Establishment” phase into “Expansion” – an exciting time indeed.

So, in order get a good view of where Prime Group and its four divisions are going in the year ahead, let’s take a look at where they have come from.

Over the past couple years, as Prime Group has continued to take on new customers, it’s been busy managing increasing levels of revenue, staying ahead of the competition, and expanding its workforce.

More recently, Co-Founders Roger Paredes and Omar Zambrano also took a bold step to start establishing real order and cohesion by mobilizing each divisional team according to clearly defined and communicated goals. This was achieved with the help of internationally renowned London Consulting Group.

“We signed on to work closely with the London consultants to enhance operational efficiencies that will ensure Prime Group is able to adapt to changes precipitated by our anticipated growth,” said Roger Paredes.

After months of studying the company inside and out, a broad range of action steps got underway to restructure and streamline operations. Starting in 2018, they ranged from expanding Prime Group’s space in Miami and at stations all across its system, to instituting new internal processes to make the company more agile and efficient.

New Headquarters

In August 2018, the company pulled up stakes and relocated the international headquarters in Doral. The new and significantly larger office-warehouse complex, within close proximity to MIA, offers a promising platform for continued success.

“We now boast more than 4,000 square feet of office space in the new building and doubled the size of our warehouse to 20,000 sqft,” said Zambrano.

 

A Push for PAOC

Multiple initiatives now being realized also include the start of a commercial push for Prime Air & Ocean Cargo, the freight-forwarding side of the business. Based here in Miami, PAOC’s expanded warehouse and storage facility at the new Doral headquarters will not only fuel its progress, but also position PAOC for greater diversification in 2019.

Says Zambrano, “We are looking forward to a very good year. Brazil in particular will become a more significant player in 2019, along with several other principal countries in South America.”

PrimeAir on the Move

Over the past year, PrimeAir saw an enhancement of business relationships with partners that share the company’s goals – particularly Emirates SkyCargo and Atlas Air.

This summer, the division that serves as an integrated General Sales and Services Agent around the world, was appointed as SkyCargo’s new GSSA in the Colombian market, following Emirate’s launch of international cargo service into Bogota. This supplements an existing separate schedule of daily flights in neighboring Quito.

Speaking of Quito, the company boosted staffing in 2018 to accommodate a shift in focus from a purely PrimeAir office to a fully diversified Prime Group operation, offering entire spectrum of brands under one roof.

Similarly, BOG is following suit, so that the parent company’s multiple divisions are on track to become the top provider of air cargo logistics and services in that region, as well.

Prime Fresh Handling

Prime Fresh Handling is handling its operation well. Over past year, there was a continued emphasis on boosting PFH’s services at both LAX and at JFK , two of the newest and most successful station operations in the Prime Group system.

Amsterdam, too, is emerging as a key player for the company. A primary gateway to the entire European market, the new Schiphol operation is today recognized as a prime location for opportunity – and success.

Ready for Prime Time

This is a real success story: Prime Fresh Products, specializing in working in-country to take perishable, shelf-stable products to market in one integrated path, is taking the snack world by storm – in the form of unique new lines of snacks under the Prime Planet name.

After seeing great success with Prime Planet Tostones – and their 2018 foray into big South Florida supermarkets like Publix – the company realized it was a perfect time to grow this division and will continue to do so through 2019.

In concert with the launch of Prime Planet Parsnip Chips and Cassava Chips, PFP is also set to gain greater exposure in 2019 with the recent launch of its new slogan, “A Natural World of Flavor.”

 

Looking Ahead

The next phase in the business lifecycle is “Expansion.” To get there, Prime Group plans to focus on 2019 as a launch pad to propel the company into 2020 and beyond. Paredes says that stabilizing the ship, so to speak, for a smooth journey ahead is what 2019 will be all about.

He also notes that in 2019, Prime Group will continue to enhance the portfolio of airlines they work with in order to expand into more markets in South America, Asia, and other U.S. cities and states. “And there’s some promising surprises in store, too.”

Many entrepreneurs agree, if you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards.

“I agree,” says Paredes, “and with careful planning in 2019 and constant vigilance to the quality of service we provide, Prime Group will be better positioned for success than every before in our history.”

Investing in an Upgrade – and in Prime Group’s Future

They say what often drives someone to make a major move is the notion that the grass is greener on the other side. But sometimes, it doesn’t matter what the color of the grass is – or the flowers, for that matter!

Such is the case leading up to the recent move of Prime Group’s international headquarters in Miami. It just had to be done.

So last month, we pulled up stakes and moved to a new office-warehouse complex just a couple miles away in Doral, Fla., that offers a promising path for continued growth.

Companies commonly cite multiple reasons for moving, but for us, the clear driver was the need to upgrade to a larger space that will facilitate that growth. Business is good, we are expanding services, boosting staff – and simply stated, we outgrew our previous outmoded, undersized facility.

But this action was driven by more than just physical-space limitations. The Miami expansion is part and parcel of an overarching strategy to which company partner Omar Zambrano and I have committed over the past year – to restructure and streamline Prime Group in a way that will ensure its long-term success.

The multiple companies under the Prime Group umbrella presently employ about 40 headquarters staff, assigned to the following functions: Administration, Finance, Operations, Sales, and Marketing.

We now boast more than 4,000 square feet of office space in the new facility, compared with just 2,000 sqft in the previous facility. And the same stands true with our new adjoining warehouse, which is double the size of the former warehouse – now at 20,000 sqft.

We may even find it easier to recruit workers because of the new, more modern and attractive location.

 

Making the Move

Although deciding to move is tough, it’s nothing compared to actually making the move. Psychologists will agree that on a personal level, no move is easy. In fact it ranks as one of life’s toughest transitions whether it’s your home or business. I may actually have grown a few gray hairs in the process.

And it’s not without short-term heartburn, as we had to figure in the cost of business interruption. But this move was expertly planned by our professional staff to be swift and well staged. As a result, we’ll see only a minor dip in business productivity over a period of just a few days. I am certain the investment is well worth it.

In business, you have to look closely at the reasons for moving – which we did. You also have to make sure the chosen spot addresses your needs – which it does.

These smart steps, coupled with a strong willingness and ability to shape our own future, guarantee that the grass truly will be greener at our new location and will prove to be one of the best moves in our company’s history.

We look forward to serving you even better from our new facility and invite you to come by for a visit us at 1301 NW 84th Ave, Suite 127, Doral, Florida 33126.