Air Cargo Americas Brings Team PrimeAir 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.

Happy Holidays to all, from the Prime Group family

It has been said that feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. With 2019 coming to a close in just a few short weeks, all of us here at Prime Group hope that this holiday season, and the year ahead, hold great things for you and your entire family of friends and loved ones.

The holiday season is a time to spend with the most important people in your life. It is my wish that in the midst of your celebrations, you find a few moments of peace and embrace the spirit of what this time of year is truly about.

There are no hard and fast rules in holiday reflection. The end of one year and the start of another, along with the holiday time off and gatherings, just seems to naturally inspire us to reflect and express gratitude at every turn!

From a business standpoint, the same rings true. ‘This also the season to reflect, be thankful, and eagerly anticipate. Joined by my business partner Omar Zambrano and the entire Prime Group management team, that’s exactly what we’re doing right now. As the year comes to an end, we’re thinking about what was and what will be.

First and foremost, we thank our employees who are the finest group of professionals ever found at one company. They work hard and long – and strive to be better every day. They understand and live our values at work and most likely at home, by espousing “Honesty; Responsibility; Commitment and Integrity.”

We also wish to thank our customers, without whom, everything is irrelevant. We thank them for their loyalty, appreciation, and their receptiveness to our ideas and solutions.

Prime Group had a very good 2019. We grew the business at an astounding rate compared with our peers. And we made tremendous new staff additions and adjustments – all positive moves geared to support our 2019 goal of realigning the business on the commercial side.

In addition, we increased the scope of products and services for our customers, which also allowed us to work with others we previously had not served. In particular, we focused on growing customers in Los Angeles, New York, and Amsterdam, and succeeded in doing so.

We dedicated much of 2019 to the reinforcement of our corporate values, which is what will guide us into the New Year. We know adherence to our values makes us better. They define what we want to be, how we want to act, and how we want to be perceived.

Therefore, for 2020, we pledge to continue to be an organization that provides quality services, that is recognized for its honesty and professionalism, and that has a keen eye on constant innovation and adaptation.

Having just finished our budgeting and forecasts for 2020, I am confident I’ll have more good news to share in the months ahead. The plan is to continue building upon our successes, create new possibilities and customers in all-new service areas, all the while maintaining our historic high levels of service.

So, whatever your plans are for the New Year, Prime Group wishes you the best in reaching your goals, and striving for a brighter future.

After celebrating 20 years with Prime Group, CFO Juan Galarraga banks on at least 20 more

It is said that long-term employees reflect a stable work environment and a great degree of employee satisfaction.

But for Juan Andres Galarraga, Chief Financial Officer of Prime Group Holdings, it’s not just a matter of being happy on the job, working here has become an extension of his family.

Galarraga celebrated his 20th anniversary Oct. 12, in good company, with Prime Group executives and management, sharing stories of the “good old days.” After all, he was just 20 years old when he joined this promising start-up in a tight little office in Quito focusing on the flower trade.

Right in line after the company’s first two employees, founders Roger Paredes and Omar Zambrano, Galarraga got onboard in October of 1999 for the ride of a lifetime, quite literally. Along the way, through the ups and downs of business, they also became great friends.

Family Affair
“But it goes further with me. Over the years, Roger and Omar not only became close friends, they became like a family. And I am so grateful to be a part of it all.”

As a result, Galarraga carries the title “Employee Number 3” – a designation he proudly touts to this day, and plans to hold onto for at least another 20 years.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” he says. “Amazing work and the reassuring feeling of family.

From his long-time perspective, Galarraga sees how most employees also have a great sense of camaraderie, of being part of something big and exciting – as the company expands across the globe with new services and products.

“Their ongoing passion and commitment to this company, something I have witnessed firsthand in Roger and Omar for years, makes a big impression on the employee group every day,” he added.

For Galarraga’s part, he brings great passion to the job, as well. “Don’t get me wrong, I have total commitment to this company, one that comes from dedication to the field of finance – but mostly it’s out of loyalty to the partners.”

Humble Beginnings
Paredes says he normally would prepare remarks in advance of such an occasion, but because it was more a “family reunion” than a formal affair, he chose to speak directly from the heart.

Reflecting on Galarraga’s humble beginnings, he noted, “We were all just a bunch of very young men… But from the very beginning, through all the good times and tough times, to this very day, we remain grateful for the talent and contributions he brings to our company.”

Starting basically as a messenger, Galarraga signed on during college. And quite soon after, while the ink was still wet on his financial engineering diploma, he moved directly into working full time with their flower-trading venture, all the while taking on more and more responsibilities.

He was there for the launch of PrimeAir, the first of what would become four divisions of the Prime Group. By 2006, Galarraga and his wife transferred from Ecuador to the company’s headquarters in Miami in search of new opportunities, and began a family here.

“With Omar overseeing operations and Roger on the commercial side, my place has always been right in the middle, working directly with both of them, serving as a conduit – and smoothing communications when needed,” he said.

Looking Ahead
“It’s almost too much to fathom, but half of my life has been with this company,” Galarraga shared. “The opportunities they’ve given me are nothing short of amazing. And as the company grows, I also get to grow, both personally and professionally.”

In fact, just last month, Galarraga was appointed CFO for the entire Group, consisting of PrimeAir, Prime Air & Ocean Cargo, Prime Fresh Handling, and Prime Fresh Products.

In his new capacity, Galarraga will not only continue to ensure that all business processes are in place and functioning well, but he will now focus more on the bigger picture – financial strategies that will help Prime Group continue to grow and prosper well into the future.

Says Galarraga, “We work incredibly well together. They trust me entirely and I trust them also. It’s a perfect equation.”

Paredes agrees. “It is so very important to find someone you can totally trust – someone like Juan who fights for us as though it’s his own money. That’s a good thing… Congratulations, Juan!”

Trade Shows are Excellent Forums for Learning, Networking, and Promoting

Being part of the never-ending trade show circuit comes with flying around the globe multiple times a year, racking up millions of miles, jet lag.

Moscow, Berlin, Singapore … It might sound glamorous, but it’s a lot of hard work. Yet important work, because we understand the value of networking at these shows and conferences. They are a powerful and necessary part of doing business in international logistics.

Face-to-face exposure is essential to ensuring that the key decision makers in our industry continue to have a firm grasp of our products, services, and expertise in “carrying the weight of the world,” if you will.

And sometimes we mean that quite literally, as in our recent success in shipping bodybuilding weights all the way to a Pakistani gym. Now there’s an interesting story to share.

But it goes well beyond just show-and-tell. There’s relationship building, brand exposure, and great leads to be had at these events. So allow me to share with you the nine boxes we like to check in claiming success at an industry trade show or conference:

First and foremost, trade shows provide you with an organized stage to advertise your brand to thousands of vendors, prospective customers, and industry leaders.

Keep an eye on your competitors. Prospering in this increasingly competitive environment requires you to know your competitors’ business practices and sales tactics so that you can stay one step ahead of them.

Display your latest products and services. By showcasing your best selling items, such as our new and improved Tostones, you can grow your base of purchasers and give prospective customers the chance to touch and feel your best sellers.

Meet new and existing clients face to face. Trade shows and conferences provide a welcome forum for you to put faces with the names of the customers who you normally only deal with over the phone or via email.

Generate high quality leads. Because many attendees participate in trade shows for the sole purpose of purchasing products or services, you can enjoy a robust collection of high-quality leads.

Evaluate new products. Trade shows are full of companies exhibiting their latest and most innovative products. So, don’t be afraid to take it all in – and learn from what you see and experience from your competitors on the trade show floor.

Close sales. Key decision makers comprise a sizable portion of trade show attendees. With nearly half of these decision makers placing orders during a trade show, you should come prepared to close sales and process payments.

Discover the latest industry trends. Trade shows provide the perfect forum for mingling with industry leaders, pioneers, and business big and small that are experimenting with new ways to make logistics products and services better.

Learn about changes in industry regulations. Many trade shows and conferences include seminars and training opportunities that are designed to educate participants about key changes in related laws and regulations.

Clearly, trade shows, and conferences are excellent forums for learning, networking, and promoting the Prime Group companies – and perhaps yours, too. Ramping up your trade show participation is one of the most effective means of expanding your business.

I’m glad we had this opportunity to connect!

Prime Fresh Handling Casts a Big Net Over New York

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.”

New Technology
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.

For details, contact Alex Paredes, PFH Sales Manager-North America, via email at salesjfk@primegroup.aero or call PFH New York at 516-837-9777. For more information, visit www.primegroup.aero.

Celebrating 18 Years of Prime Group Success

While flipping through some old photo albums in preparation for our company’s 18th anniversary this month, a great rush of nostalgia came over me. It was just so satisfying to look back at the myriad milestones we achieved over the years and the amazing growth we’ve experienced.

There we were in dozens of pictures with bright smiling faces accepting corporate awards, rolling out new services in new markets, working major trade shows… Some things never change.

But then again, some things change a lot – and I’m not just referring to how young I looked! As I sat there looking down memory lane, it suddenly hit me that all those faces looking back at me were on glossy color-photo paper pasted into a faux leather-bound book. That’s how we use to do it! Using a “technology” that is now considered totally out of date in today’s digital world.

Who could have foreseen the avalanche of impending advancements that would not only revolutionize how we capture and share images, but in the process, deal a deathblow to major corporate giants like Kodak and Polaroid. I am sure they wish they were better prepared for what was coming.

Lessons Learned
So, lessons learned. But also lessons applied – which is why I can say with great confidence that as we celebrate 18 years in business, I firmly believe Prime Group is extremely well positioned to survive the unknown unknowns. Because we have a strategy in place that keeps our companies open to all possibilities. We are not only nimble, but entirely deliberate in the way we are diversifying our business lines.

Who would have thought 18 years ago we would be here today using cutting-edge communications technology to track and monitor the status of thousands of pounds of fresh fish arriving at LAX and JFK, real-time, for a whole new base of customers. That’s what’s happening right now at Prime Fresh Products.

Who would have thought we’d have created a line of snack-foods, Tostones harvested and packaged in Ecuador for distribution among major retail supermarkets all across the U.S. That’s what is happening now at Prime Fresh Products.

Well Positioned
And all this upon a backdrop of aggressive sales and marketing efforts geared toward boosting awareness of the Prime Group brand in a way that will position us for long-term growth in new and emerging markets around the globe.

They say the only constant in business is change. With that in mind, we are continually monitoring our alignment with defined organizational challenges and objectives. We are also keenly aware that our business can be influenced by:

• Increased diversity and globalization in the workforce, customers, suppliers, and competitors;
• New technologies that have resulted in faster pace and larger scale;
• A more complex communications environment with more channels; and
• Changes in business situations and strategy.

So in 18 years, when I look back at our bright smiling faces, the moments, and milestones – stored on an antiquated USB drive – I will know that right there in the background, there were smart and strategic efforts taking place to ensure the long-term success of our company.

Thank you for being with us on this journey.

Prime Group Salutes Quito Airport

I recently came across a quote by Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos that really resonated with me: “You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

With those few words, I realized he was describing the very thing that has forged our own company’s reputation since starting operations in Quito 18 years ago.

Prime Group knows how to do hard things well. Period.

In fact, we’ve mastered the handling of time-sensitive perishables and specialty cargo to such a degree that when someone in logistics thinks “Quito,” they instantly think “Prime Group.”

Our reputation for providing best-in-class service here is also why we’re the go-to GSSA for the biggest names in air cargo, like Atlas Air and Emirates SkyCargo.

And now we’re seeing a clear sign that success breeds success: the combination of top-quality airlines and Prime Group’s unmatched brand of service is playing a significant role in the success of the overall cargo operation at Quito airport.

At this year’s Air Cargo Excellence Awards (ACE), presented by Air Cargo World magazine, Mariscal Sucre International Airport was recognized with the prestigious Diamond Award.

The award considers the performance, facilities, and value delivered – through the eyes of freight forwarders, cargo agents, and third-party logistics providers. In all these areas, Quito has achieved the highest grades for excellence among airports handling under 400,000 tonnes annually.

To me, this affirms the notion that no matter where we operate, Prime Group companies continually excel, improve, and set new standards. Of course there are many factors that play a part in Quito’s excellence, but certainly we have left an indelible and positive mark on the overall operation – and continue to do so every day here.

So on behalf of our dedicated team of flight dispatchers, administrative and accounting agents, operations and traffic supervisors and agents, and sales representatives in Quito, we congratulate Mariscal Sucre International Airport on this well deserved honor.

And we humbly promise to continue to do our part to ensure that together we may celebrate this important honor year after year, long into the future.

Lastly, allow me also to congratulate one of our most important customers, Emirates SkyCargo, for winning the ACE Diamond Award as the top carrier for 2019 in the airline competition.

Well done, team!

Dragon fruit signals shift in focus for Prime Fresh Handling

It seems the world is catching on to the power of the pitahaya. Also known as the dragon fruit, this delicious tropical superfood from Ecuador is now growing in popularity from Hong Kong to the U.S. and many points between.

And that’s a good thing for Prime Group. Because as the market’s appetite grows, two of its divisions stand to benefit most: PrimeAir as the GSSA for air carriers transporting the product worldwide; and Prime Fresh Handling (PHF) as the agent that takes care of such sensitive perishables on the ground.

In fact, it was the PFH team at LAX that was ready and waiting when the first-ever U.S. import of organic pitahaya was accepted here last month.

Leading up to this historic flight, the Ecuadorean Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock worked long and hard with in-country fruit producers dedicated to this crop. And it is now paying off as the agency recently announced that dozens of international markets are currently open for the export of organic dragon fruit – spanning China, North America, Southeast Asia, Russia, and 28 countries of the European Community.

The Ecuadorean pitahaya is the most highly sought variety not just because it’s so plump and enticing, with hardy yellow skin and unique seed-speckled flesh, but because it can do a lot for your health, too.

In fact, benefits include anti-aging, immune system boosting, and sugar stabilization. And pitahaya tastes great too, like a mix between a kiwi and pear with a slight crunchiness.

 

Growing Presence
The seeds to success in being selected to handle Ecuador’s first inbound shipment of organic pitahaya actually were planted over a year ago, says PFH’s Commercial Manager Cristina Moscoso.

That’s when she and her team launched a big commercial push to grow the division’s U.S. West Coast presence. This move was timed to follow an expansion of the PFH facility at LAX, which now features more than 21,000-square-feet of cooler and freezer space for product staging and storage.

“We obviously know a lot about handling fresh flowers, our core business. But lately, we’ve made impressive strides into serving clients who deal in other perishables, such as fish and produce,” said Moscoso.

With PFH facilities also in Bogota, Quito, Miami, New York, Amsterdam, the division offers a complete menu of logistics services from crating and packaging, to cold storage and inventory services – even document processing and customs clearance.

“So that’s why we’re so pleased to be working with organic pitahaya – it’s is exactly what we have been aiming for.”

 

Well-Timed Fruit

Not only is the pitahaya good for you and good for business, it’s amazingly well timed. Just as the annual flower season cycles down, dragon fruit is ready to fill the open capacity out of Quito.

It’s where produce meets productivity.

“March was always the low point of the year in terms of kilos handled, but now, due especially to the pitahaya, the number of shipments and tonnes of fruit has been on a major upswing,” says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes.

In fact, this year they didn’t really feel the low season at all following Russian Women’s Day, the traditional end of the busy flower season.

Paredes also notes that while dragon fruit demand is high all across the world, the majority of output right now is going to China, via connecting Emirates SkyCargo flights from Quito.

“We are all hopeful this will be more than just a ‘year of the dragon,’” he quipped.

“But seriously, if the voracious Chinese market is leading the way in the consumption of pitahaya, all of us supporting its distribution should plan to be busy over the long haul.”

 

For more information, visit primefresh.eu or email Commercial Manager Cristina Moscoso at Cristina.Moscoso@primeair.aero.

Flying High with Atlas Air

PrimeAir recently celebrated its second year of direct operations with Atlas Air in Bogota, with six frequencies per week between BOG and MIA.

One of the premier carriers in PrimeAir’s portfolio, Atlas Air is not only one of the most important and reliable cargo airlines in the world, it is the company’s longest lasting customer.

When Prime Group’s founding company started operations in 2001, the first flight they ever serviced was between Quito and Miami – an Atlas Air 747 freighter, full of flowers, of course.

All these years later, says Commercial Manager for Colombia José Luis Vargas, “We are still boasting about our GSA relationship with Atlas Air, because they truly epitomize what a professionally run and reliability air carrier operation should be.”

Due to the fact that Atlas Air is a top choice among shippers and freight forwarders worldwide, Vargas continued, “In turn, we are considered to have the best service and the best integrity in the markets where we represent Atlas Air.”

As one of four companies that comprise the Prime Group, today, it is PrimeAir that represents and services Atlas Air’s cargo operation in Colombia and Ecuador.

 

Atlas Air recently coordinated a quick video shoot of their freight operation at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport to capture ramp action that takes place as part of PrimeAir’s role in providing ground operations here.

The Story of Atlas

So let’s get on board with what Atlas Air is all about – by starting in the beginning.

The word Atlas comes from the Titan god in Greek mythology that bore the sky aloft. He personified the quality of endurance because he carried the heavens upon his shoulders.

Flash forward about 2,700 years to the early 1990s, when Atlas Air founder Michael Chowdry saw an opportunity in the air cargo sector and founded his company. He began by leasing freighter aircraft to other airlines on an aircraft-, crew-, maintenance-, and insurance-contract basis (ACMI). Operations began with one aircraft, a Boeing 747-200.

Today, Atlas Air is setting higher standards for value and excellence by providing a wide range of long- and short-term cargo and passenger solutions, from shipping precious perishables and heavy construction equipment, to arranging passenger charters for celebrities or dignitaries.

Specifically, along its cargo spectrum of services, shippers, freight forwarders, manufacturers, sporting groups, and other organizations rely on Atlas Air to safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively carry their commercial cargo.

The demands of globalization require freight and passenger charter solutions from a company with the aircraft, technology, and infrastructure that helps its customers create their own global footprint.

Atlas Air has all this and more – including the traffic rights, regulatory expertise, in-country sales, and support and a 24-hour global control center needed to expand their customer operations.

In February 2001, Atlas Air Worldwide formed its current holding company structure with Atlas Air as a wholly owned subsidiary. Other subsidiaries include:

  • Polar Air Cargo, Inc., all-cargo, scheduled-service
  • Titan Aviation, dry leasing
  • Southern Air, intercontinental and domestic ACMI and CMI services

For the past several years, Atlas was voted “Leasing Provider of the Year” in an industry survey by the Payload Asia magazine. The survey added Atlas as “Charter Operator of the Year,” as well.

In May 2016, Atlas announced a strategic, long-term relationship with Amazon to provide and operate 20 Boeing 767-300 converted freighters in support of the continuing expansion of Amazon’s e-commerce business and the enhancement of its customer delivery capabilities.

Today, Atlas Air Worldwide is the leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services. They are proud to be the world’s largest operator of B747 freighter aircraft and the only outsource provider of Boeing’s 747-8F.

They are also proud to provide customers the broadest array of B747, 777, 767, 757 and 737 freighter and passenger aircraft for domestic, regional, and international ACMI, CMI, charter, and dry lease applications.

 

For information about Atlas Air, visit www.atlasair.com e-mail info@atlastair.com, or call or call 914-701-8000.

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.”