Doing It All: Our Mission to Serve Clients With Extreme Care for HAZMAT Shipments

Safe, professional, and reliable, shipment of goods via air, sea, or ground is always important – and Prime Logistics has the experience to make that happen for its valued customers. But some cargo, classified by U.S. authorities as “hazardous goods” (HAZMAT) or alternatively, internationally, as “dangerous goods,” requires extreme care and top-of-class expertise at every step of the packaging and shipping process.

Fortunately, Prime Logistics can handle packing and shipping services for multiple types of cargo. When we’re asked to assist a client with a HAZMAT shipment, we work to ensure the safety and protection of our employees, transportation companies, the general public, and the communities we serve.

Complying with Diverse Regulations
Heavily regulated by U.S. and international government agencies as well as industry organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global, and domestic HAZMAT shipments have the potential of a higher-than-normal risk to the public and the environment. As a result, strict rules, regulations and legal requirements for these types of goods are imposed by regulators and can vary from country to country.

Fortunately, Prime Logistics knows the ins and outs of these requirements with “boots on the ground” all around the globe – employees who know local requirements, as well as which airlines or ocean cargo operators will carry specific types of HAZMAT cargo, such as perfume, flammable fuels, or even aircraft engines that by their nature contain oils and other components deemed as dangerous goods (DGs). It’s definitely not a cookie-cutter process.

Expertise on the shipping side, whether it’s domestic or international in nature, is critical. For example, HAZMAT goods can include everything from corrosive goods to explosives, gases, flammable and combustible liquids and solids, oxidizer and organic peroxide, poison, explosives radioactive items, and corrosive goods.

Training, Training, and More Training
“Safely and efficiently transporting HAZMAT boils down to specialized training on an annual basis, emphasizes Edgar Campana, general manager, Prime Logistics. “Training, training and more training – Nothing is more critical.”

In fact, Prime Logistics’ multifaceted training program covers all the basic aspects of all services provided to customers. That includes annual HAZMAT training, during which employees learn how to identify and safely package HAZMAT materials for shipment, critical to the company’s full-service mission of moving all types of cargo for clients.

Why proper packaging is s important
Even the most responsible customers who know the complex rules and regulations for HAZMAT may simply never get close enough to their own products on the shipping side to assure that those goods are packaged properly. In turn, Prime Logistics’ priority is to ensure any dangerous goods presented for shipping by customers are packaged correctly with the correct items.

“That way our employees can advise the transportation company if the package or cargo received is ‘good to fly’ or, alternatively, has issues,” says Campana. If there are problems, Prime Logistics can take the appropriate action to rectify those. It also takes great care to assure its own employees should not be put at risk.

Campana stresses that “we as a company have to know how to properly identify such cargo, learn what we need to clean, contain the material right away, and eliminate risk for employees and the environment.” Among the many steps along the shipping journey, employees must follow varied domestic and international rules and regulations for classifying, identifying, packaging, marking, labeling, documenting, placarding and separating HAZMAT cargo.

Striving for Safe, On-Time Deliveries
It’s a reality that some forwarders that specialize in transportation of cargo simply don’t feel comfortable in dealing with HAZMAT shipments. While handling those certainly isn’t Prime Logistics’ prime business goal, they fall within our full-service approach to serving customers.

HAZMAT is just another element in the shipping process, another way to assist clients. Then, “at the end of the day, it falls on us to help make sure the customer’s shipment makes it to the final destination safely, intact and without a delay at Customs that could be caused by improper packaging or other HAZMAT issues,” he emphasizes.

Keeping People Safe
One facet of Prime Logistics’ HAZMAT service for its shipping clients is unwavering – the safety and protection of employees, customers and the public. It’s also a team approach inside the company. Even Campana has taken the annual HAZMAT training “because the best way to know what people are doing is to know what they are doing day to day, and if they need help, I am ready.”

Beyond HAZMAT certification, Prime Logistics’ employees also offer diverse skill sets and other important certifications. Employees are trained to safely operate forklifts, manage perishables, understand good distribution practices and safely handle specialized products such as vaccines that require lower temperatures. Some also take TSA training to assure they understand Customs requirements.

“As a result, our employees have all the tools they need to safely do their jobs and protect customer shipments,” Campana stresses. For example, if cargo comes to Prime Logistics packed in dry ice, the employee knows how to safely work with it and avoid injury, as dry ice is dangerous to touch and can burn eyes.

“It’s all about having all the expertise needed to assist our clients and handle the shipment with the utmost care,” he points out. “From client to client, cargo always comes in differently and goes out differently, whether it’s fluids, a product that needs to be below zero, dry cargo, or perishables.”

The Right Stuff
Making Another point Campana makes? The supplier may believe “all is okay,” but “if the packaging is not up to our specifications for the transfer to airlines, this is where our expertise comes in – to ensure smooth packing and transport so the customer delivery is not delayed.”

In some cases, Prime Logistics may have to open a crate and repack it to meet HAZMAT regulations or other specifications. Since Prime Logistics is certificated in the U.S., it obviously follows U.S. regulations, but Campana say the company’s employees across the globe understand the requirements and nuances of government rules outside the U.S.

Knowing those local regulations – whether in Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Singapore, or elsewhere – is a plus for customers. “Otherwise, the shipment will get stuck at Customs if we aren’t on top of what’s regulated – and know the right way to move the cargo through,” he adds. That could mean a loss of time for the customer, as well as a loss of money due to fines or extra taxes.

So, while often a customer’s prime concern is that Prime Logistics succeeds in getting their product from Point A to Point B on time and in good shape, Campana emphasizes that “we must handle everything in between, whether a normal shipment or HAZMAT goods.” Fortunately, Prime Logistics has both the experience and expertise to accomplish that in a safe, timely and efficient manner” whatever is being shipped.

Nurturing Community Spirit is a Prime Quality

Having a heart – by “giving back” to the local community, diving into volunteerism, or working directly with charitable organizations – is a positive way to show employees and customers that what’s important in business is more than just dollars and cents.

As Helen Keller said, “Alone, we can do so little, together, we can do so much.”

At Prime Group, we strongly believe that any company – big or small – with a sense of social responsibility and a volunteerism-friendly culture for their employees can truly make a difference. That’s why we strongly encourage all businesses to improve the quality of life in their communities through local projects and volunteerism.

It Takes a Planet

“Over the holidays, most of us had the blessings of food on the table and a home from which our families celebrated,” Marie Gonzalez, manager of Prime Planet Business Development. “But at the same time, so many others were not so fortunate.”

To help, Prime Group provided a Prime Planet Donation for the Miami Global Colombian Lions Club project to feed homeless residents.

“Our employees took to the streets of Miami and provided goodie bags with a sandwich, beverage, and snacks that homeless residents could later enjoy,” Gonzalez notes. “It was a small, but meaningful food donation. Not only was it the right thing to do, but it helped these less fortunate people know that we care.”

On the Frontline for Kids

Individual employees who pick a personal passion for their community service also can enrich their own personal lives, which often makes for a happier employee in general, as well. For example, in the past, Igor Vilas Boas, operations manager at Prime Logistics and his wife Diana have volunteered their time on weekends at His House Children’s Home of North Miami, a frontline provider of residential and foster-care services dedicated to restoring the lives of children.

In addition to helping the kids and teens, the couple soon discovered that volunteering was a great way to disconnect from work after a busy day and foster a good work-life balance. Studies show that the act of giving to others can help employees enhance both mental and physical health.

More Than Just Chipping In

For example, over the past several months, Prime Group’s global headquarters in Miami, served as the local arrival point for Girl Scout Cookies in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. More than 60,000 boxes of cookies were warehoused at Prime Group’s Doral warehouse facility, and our company partnered with the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida for the launch of the 2021 cookie season.

Over several weeks, employees worked side by side with the Girl Scouts to prepare for the launch of the cookie distribution phase of the program from the warehouse.

“It was so much more than just another successful logistics operation,” says Edgar Campana, general manager-Prime Logistics. “It was also our way of being a good corporate citizen and helping to foster the development of future female leaders.” He also points out that volunteering and working on community projects can benefit business too.

According to a recent global study on corporate social responsibility, 93 percent of consumers polled by Cone Communications said they’d have a more positive image of a company that’s socially responsible. Ninety percent of those surveyed also said they’d be more likely to trust that company, while 88 percent would be “more loyal” and continue using that firm’s products or services.

We’ve discovered that when we support our local communities, our business has higher local visibility, more robust networking opportunities, a team-focused sense of accomplishment among our employees, and an enhanced business reputation.

Prime Group encourages all companies to pick their passion – by finding projects that can make their community a better place to live and work. It can change lives.

So why not set up a volunteer action plan within your company? Encourage employees to pick a charity or community project and volunteer. As a business, look for corporate projects that improve the lives of local residents, and in some cases, even save lives.

As the 19th century playwright and theater director Henrik Ibsen said: “Community is like a ship. Everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.”

Prime Logistics First in U.S. to Receive WCA’s ‘Responsible Person for Logistics’ Certification

General Manager Edgar Campana now recognized by World Cargo Association for compliance with ‘Good Distribution of Medicinal Products for Human Use’

Prime Logistics is now recognized by the World Cargo Association (WCAworld) – and its nearly 10,000 members in 194 countries – as the first-ever U.S. based global logistics company to offer the expertise of a fully credentialed Responsible Person for Logistics.

This highly regarded designation, awarded through London-based WCAworld Academy, signifies that General Manger Edgar Campana has a thorough understanding of the vast regulatory requirements for storage and distribution of materials for medicinal products in the pharmaceutical industry – not just in the U.S. but across the entire freight forwarding community worldwide.

“We are extremely proud to be the first logistics firm in the U.S. to receive this certification,” says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes. “Having a WCA-accredited Responsible Person on staff not only reinforces our commitment to continually expanding our knowledge base through education, innovation, and adaptation, but also reaffirms Prime Group’s position as a trusted leader in the global logistics industry.”

Prime Group’s four enterprises, Prime Logistics, PrimeAir, Prime Planet, and Prime Fresh Handling combined serve a wide range of industries by providing professional sales and marketing services, ground handling and cold storage, market analysis and yield management, and retail food distribution.

Responsible Person (RP) in Logistics course training provides candidates with a thorough understanding of the regulatory requirements for storage and distribution of materials or medicinal products in the pharmaceutical industry. Once certified in “Good Distribution Practice of Medical Products for Human Use,” the provider possesses a practical understanding of the systems and processes required to be implemented worldwide in delivering services in the most safe and efficient manner.

Along with General Manager Edgar Campana’s certification, the company is now entitled to proudly display the distinctive Responsible Person Certified seal.

Says Campana, “This important RP designation ensures that our customers know Prime Logistics is highly qualified, knowledgeable, and compliant with not only the rules and regulations for shipping in the United States, but for multinational clients and companies depending on us to properly prepare, package, and document their cargo so that it can be accepted without delay at airports and ship ports all across the world.”

Such certification comes at a pivotal time for the air cargo industry, in particular, as logistics companies across the globe are maneuvering into position to support the crucial worldwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.

“Certainly, this achievement puts Prime Logistics in prime position, competitively,” Campana said, adding that RP certification is not just focused on moving pharmaceuticals like vaccines, but also covers compliance and needed skills in correctly transporting all types of medicines and medical equipment.

“And though it is very rare, if and when called into service, we are now able to handle the shipment of human organs and tissue for transplant, for customers anywhere in the world,” he added.

WCAworld training also covers all the requirements of Good Distribution Practice (GDP) and associated responsibilities to ensure that products are exported and imported within the legal supply chain. This makes an RP the go-to source for the company and its customers regarding specific requirements in the proper transportation, storage, and distribution of medicinal products. The designee’s company also must have a well-designed Quality Management System (QMS) with a focus on compliance and continual improvement.

Under the umbrella of WCAworld, the largest and most powerful network of independent freight forwarders in the world, the WCA Academy offers both online and classroom-based training and education necessary to achieve and maintain the highest industry standard. Its base of 9,540 members may achieve certifications in a range of areas, from general freight training and problem solving to specialist courses in pharmaceuticals, perishables, and obtaining compliance.

This announcement comes on the heels of announcement of Campana and one other member of the Prime Logistics staff, Cristina Moscoso receiving WCA’s Certification for Good Distribution Practices. Additionally, eight members of the company recently received Anti-Bribery & Corruption Certifications, also issued by WCAworld Academy.

About Prime Logistics

Prime Logistics is a division of Prime Group, a Miami-based air cargo and international logistics conglomerate founded in 2001. Prime Logistics has hundreds of contacts and representatives around the globe, who are skilled at providing expert logistics solutions. Many industries are supported in shipping commodities via air and ocean to virtually any destination.

Change of Name to ‘Prime Logistics’ Affirms Emergence of a Major Global Player

There’s something new in the air, and on the ocean, and in the warehouses, and on the highways, and at the brokerage houses.

When it comes to a corporate name, it’s probably a good idea that it incorporates all that the company does. But in the case of Prime Air & Ocean Cargo, the list got so long it couldn’t even fit across company letterhead!

“New Years is all about new beginnings, so what better time to formally announce the new name of one of our biggest divisions – to Prime Logistics,” says Roger Paredes, CEO of Prime Group Holdings. “And in the process, it effectively affirms our emergence as a major global leader in the worldwide logistics market.”

The transition started slowly late last year, showing up first in email addresses, on stationery, and then in the logo on the company web page. But all along, it’s been business as usual at Miami-based Prime Logistics.

With offices and warehouse facilities in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles, Prime Logistics has a unique ability to streamline, optimize, and expedite freight to and from the U.S. for a wide range of major industries. They do so by capitalizing on long-time relationships with major air carriers and ocean lines, in order to offer competitive rates and ample space to destinations all around the world.

Under it’s new name, Prime Logistics will continue to support the shipping needs of multiple trans-global companies including makers of electronics, hospital equipment, automotive parts, fresh-cut flowers, and even vaccines – just to name a few.

Founded in Ecuador, the company was originally named PrimeAir because it focused solely on GSSA services between Quito and Miami. But soon after setting up shop in Miami in the early 2000s, customers and flower importers here started requesting freight forwarding services to other Latin American destinations.

“Initially we resisted, because it was seemingly outside our area of expertise. But as the requests continued, we recognized it as an opportunity to step up to do what needed to be done and meet the new demand,” said Paredes. “At that point we decided to form a company called PrimeAir Cargo.”

Next came a flood of requests to ship by sea, so the company jumped in to fill that void. In the process, company name had to be changed again, to reflect our expanded scope of operations – and so was born the name Prime Air & Ocean Cargo.

Over the years, the trajectory of service took the company to new heights, by including trucking services within the continental U.S., warehousing, customs brokerage services, and more.

“And so it was time yet again for a name change, presumably for the last time because I believe this final iteration truly reflects all the services we presently offer – and may offer into the future.

“Prime Logistics clearly fits the bill, ” he added, “because in just two words it succinctly and clearly affirms our emergence as a major one-stop-shop in the field of international logistics.”

Today, under it’s new name, Prime Logistics continues to provide logistics and related services for multiple trans-global companies including makers of electronics, hospital equipment, automotive parts, fresh-cut flowers, and even vaccines – just to name a few.

Big or small – whether it’s one box, one pallet, or a company-wide logistics management operation – call Prime Logistics at 305-592-2044 or visit www.primelogisticsgroup.com.