Better Together: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage, Broadening the Horizon

As we enter fall 2021, it’s time to celebrate “National Hispanic Heritage Month,” which kicks off September 15 and runs through October 15. It’s a great way to reflect upon and honor the contributions and importance of Hispanics and Latinos to the U.S., as well as the achievements of those American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

I’m particularly pleased that this year’s chosen theme is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.” It seems fitting given what our entire global community has endured the past year and a half with the pandemic. Victor Anthony Zertuche, Attorney-Advisor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, submitted that winning theme to the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHPM).

Speaking from the heart, “the past year has been one unlike any in recent memory,” Zertuche emphasized. “For so many of us our lives have changed; we’ve celebrated life’s milestones at home or spent holidays alone. But despite how our world has changed, we’ve kept our eyes on the horizon – we’ve held onto our hope.”

Certainly, while negativity abounds in society, this year’s theme offers all of us a powerful, uplifting message. Not only does it encourage us to celebrate our heritage, but it also shows how great our tomorrow can be if we simply hold onto our resilience and hope.

Case in point? The Hispanic Heritage observance began in 1968, another challenging time in our nation’s history with the Vietnam War in full swing, racial strife on the rise and violent protests on college campuses. But Hispanic Heritage Week was a positive focus. It began as a weekly celebration under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan to cover a 30-day period; it was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

Personally, I view Hispanic Heritage Month as a great way of honoring cherished ancestors and building on their legacy. Our own company, Prime Group is a minority-based Hispanic enterprise founded 20 years ago in Quito, Ecuador. But from the outset, the fledgling company’s vision was to grow and prosper – becoming a global leader in our field of expertise.

Thanks to the solid partnerships we’ve established and maintained over the years with the world’s top air cargo carriers including Emirates SkyCargo, Atlas Air, and others, we’ve done just that. We also moved our headquarters to Miami, and over the years, have continued to strengthen and expand our international portfolio of services and products.

So, while we’re now considered the top “go to” provider of air cargo logistics and transport for the flower industry in both Ecuador and Colombia, we’ve also widened our business horizon by handling shipping and transportation for all types of sensitive perishables – from seafood to medications, from meat to fresh produce. In addition, Prime Logistics’ shipments are increasingly headed for more distant destinations across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

I think the overall message is that people of diverse cultures and backgrounds have much to contribute and are also “stronger together.” That message definitely reflects our corporate philosophy and is a key element of our dealings with our employees, our partners, and our customers.

So, if you are Hispanic, let me thank you for your contributions to our country, our world – and our company, of course! For those of other cultures or ethnic backgrounds, thanks too for all you do. Together, we are stronger, better, and can create greater “shared” opportunities for future happiness and success.

Prime Group’s Promising Position on the Global Map

When the Prime Group relocated in 2019 to an all-new headquarters complex, it was a bold step forward that served as the capstone of a well planned launch into a new era for the company.

Little did we know, we were also entering an all-new era for the logistics industry – as the global economy was about to be slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.

In this business timing is everything – and it turns out, this move was right on time. We didn’t know it then, but the staged lead up to our corporate realignment effectively put us in a most fortuitous position to better endure the coming crisis.

The long-awaited relocation within the city of Doral, Fla., was just one component of the overall strategic plan to energize our organization from top to bottom. We focused on streamlining internal systems, recruiting top qualified talent, and launching multiple new management and marketing initiatives. In the process, we were bolstering the very resilience and capacity that would permit us to withstand the enormous pressures that we along with the entire logistics industry were about to bear.

So today we look back at the past three years in our new home, and while the world has shifted and the industry has persisted, we are in a much more promising place on the world map than ever before in our 20-year history.

Prime Group has truly emerged as a  global leader with diverse services and products – and our corporate base of operations says just that. At the same time it signals that we are right-placed for continued growth and expansion of our worldwide brand.

As we enter what appears to be an all-new and very serious phase of the pandemic, Prime Group’s ability to survive and thrive goes well beyond the strength of bricks and mortar. It goes to the core of our values, integrity, and commitment to remain strong for our customers, employees, and the industry overall.

Please stay safe.

~ Roger Paredes – CEO

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.

  

   

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.”