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Miami-based Viking Freight Consolidators finds Toyota forklifts to be the ideal workhorse for handling Caribbean imports and exports.
When you live on a Caribbean island, you learn to count on others to bring you the things you need every day. Food, clothing, electronics – it all has to be imported. That is where third-party logistics companies like Viking Freight Consolidators make life easier. Miami-based Viking consolidates shipments bound for the islands and other tropical ports of call. The company has been around for 35 years, and for most of that time, it has used Toyota forklifts exclusively.
“We use them to receive freight here for offloading 53-foot trucks, flat racks and parcel shipments,” explains Bryan Valdes, Viking’s president and owner. “We also use the forklifts to store the freight throughout the warehouse in racks, and then we use the forklifts again to load containers.”
A wide range of products regularly pass through the Miami facility. In one day, for instance, island-bound items might include television sets, barrels of cleaners, dog food, refrigerators, swimming pool sand, tires, rugs and toilet paper. One forklift has a clamp attachment to handle drums. Another is equipped with fork extenders to move freight that is larger than the standard-sized pallet.
The Toyota forklifts handle 99 percent of all freight in the building. The products are staged in pallet racks or floor locations according to their destinations: Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad, Bonaire and the Dominican Republic, as well as points in Central America and South America. Exports from those nations are also received, processed, and shipped at the facility.
ALL CLEAR AHEAD
“I find that driving them is really simple for the guy who doesn’t use them every day,” he says. “They are easy to move around in a safe manner. And that’s important because sometimes we will have temporary workers and they need to have a machine that’s relatively easy to operate.”