Prime Fresh Handling is casting a bigger net over New York by expanding its perishables business to include the handling of fresh fish – but also by enhancing the customer experience with the rollout of exciting new software.
Since early 2019, when PFH decided to couple its core mission of handling fresh-cut flowers with the import of fresh fish, business has been growing exponentially. And now, a soon-to-be released tracking software is promising to make the company’s service product even more desirable.
“The strategy of introducing fresh fish into our New York service line is definitely paying off,” says Alex Paredes, PFH Sales Manager North America.
“It’s been just four months, but we’re growing at a very fast rate because of course were not only able to take immediate advantage of PFH’s existing cold-chain infrastructure here that supports our established flower business, but our vast know-how in shipping perishables in general. So expanding into fish was the next natural step.”
Not to suggest PFH isn’t facing competition in this enormous metropolitan market. But Paredes says other companies in New York focus predominantly on the trucking service, not on the handling end of the business, as PFH does so well.
“While we do have own dedicated fleet of refrigerated trucks to ship product, our primary focus is expert handling – and of course quality control.”
PFH currently serves most major distribution centers in New York including Fulton Market, and the New Fulton Market in the Bronx, as well as upstate New York and into New Jersey.
Let’s Get Fresh
Although timing is everything in the highly-specialized perishables business, understandably, fish require a lot more care and attention than flowers, for instance.
“Freshness is everything with fish. That’s why our customers demand that their product is recovered within less than three to four hours of landing at the airport, and that we adhere to the strictest standards of quality control all along the way,” says Paredes. “And this is where reliance on real-time technology steps in.”
According to Omar Zambrano, Prime Group’s Chief Operations Officer, the new hand-held units they are deploying utilize similar software to what’s already in use to ship of flowers, dry cargo, and perishables.3
Integrally involved in the development and rollout of the new software and scanners, Zambrano says the officially rollout is on schedule for an August release.
The new software will be deployed in Los Angeles as well, where the company is also enjoying a booming presence in the fresh-fish business.
How it works:
• As soon as the precious cargo arrives at the PFH’s JFK warehouse, expert handlers are standing by to begin preparing the fish immediately, in order to meet strict delivery deadlines throughout the New York area and to connect with flights to down-line cities.
• From that moment of arrival, the imperative is to initiate direct, real-time communications with the end-point customers – the wholesale/retail distributors and restaurants.
• Using a mobile scanner, warehouse staff clicks on the pallet, triggering a message to the customer that their fish is here, it’s been offloaded from the aircraft, and it is now in the warehouse.
• As the process of breaking down the pallets begins, temperatures are continually monitored and the customer is now advised that their delicate cargo is being segregating by fish type.
• Because orders are custom-prepared based on customer need, on their end, they sign for what they want it, their order is boxed and iced, and is quickly dispatched for delivery.
All the while, this custom-designed software is also keeping PFH staff on point in order to minimize delays and eliminate human error.
“It is easy and smart – and benefits everyone,” says Zambrano. “The software was designed to be totally user friendly so all they have to do is click, click, and click – and there is nothing more to think about.”
Except, of course, enjoying amazingly fresh and delicious fresh fish.