General Motors Holden: Case Study

CASE STUDY – GENERAL MOTORS HOLDENHolden chose Mobicon Mini Straddle Carriers instead of a forklift

General Motors Holden previously used a heavy forklift to unload containers at their engine factory, goods were then loaded onto a trolley so a tractor could take the trolley to the factory, as the yard surface was not suitable for the forklift to travel over. The double handling of containers was inefficient, and increased goods damage due to their triple handling.

After discussions with Mobicon they purchased a 2T Straddle Carrier which now brings a loaded container right to the factory, reducing double handling of the freight, and eliminating the need for tractors and trolleys and ultimately saving money.


  • Five tractor drivers were employed elsewhere
  • The original tractors and trailers were stood down
  • The goods were able to be brought inside by the Two Tower Mobicon and therefore are kept out of the weather.
  • Less freight damage, as the goods are only handled once.
  • Less traffic in the yard – meaning safer operations.
  • Increased efficiency in the factories – goods are brought straight out of the container onto the production line.

CASE STUDY – AUSTRALIAN REINFORCING COMPANYarcx use Mobicon as a cost efficient container handling solution

The Australian Reinforcing Company (ARC) were looking for a solution to a number of site problems at their Geebung site in Queensland, Australia.


  • Approximately 40 owned trailers.
  • 25 to 30 deliveries daily.
  • 10 to 15 sub-contract trucks.

The method ARC used for loading steel onto trailers was very dangerous and unsafe. The operators had to work at height, using loading frames and harnesses that were uncomfortable and often impaired or restricted movement.  The company had experienced some accidents where operators had fallen off the steel loads.

There was a lot of money tied up in trailers that also took up a lot of space in the yard when loaded or empty.

The loading of steel on trailers for the first wave of deliveries would happen over night, picked up by trucks first thing in the morning.  Often end-users would delay deliveries, resulting in loaded trailers being left for extended periods of time in the yard, often days.  This delay caused the need for significantly more trailers in the fleet than actual loads delivered in each wave of deliveries.

A second (and sometimes third) wave of deliveries would happen each day.  If there were spare trailers, the second wave loading would take place before a truck returned with an empty trailer.  If there were no empty trailers available, the production would need to wait until an empty trailer returned.  As often happened, trucks needed to wait to be loaded (2 to 3 hours at a time) when they returned for their second wave delivery, ARC would then need to pay for the waiting time of the truck.


ARC was looking for a way to do the following:

  • Improve safety and do-away with the need to use loading frames and harnesses.
  • Need fewer trailers, so as to free up cash and space.
  • Reduce transport costs, by reducing the need to have sub-contract trucks waiting for loading.
  • Improve production, by eliminating the need to stop and wait for a trailer.



After discussions with Mobicon Systems a solution was presented to ARC by way of a Mobicon Straddle Carrier. ARC implemented a new Mobicon System shortly thereafter, in conjunction with a set of 50+ container bases (flat-racks), most of which they sourced as “used” product. This enabled ARC to do the followng:

  • Significantly improve safety, as they were now able to load on the ground, without the need to use loading frames and harnesses.
  • They were able to sell 25+ trailers, keeping only around 15 in their fleet.
  • They saved space, as the flat-racks can be efficiently stacked when empty.
  • They reduced transport costs by eliminating the truck waiting time, as they always have an empty flat-rack available for loading.
  • They improved productivity as they now never needed to stop production when waiting for an empty trailer.


steel-industry use Mobicons for reliable container handling equipment


The initial financial case included the following:

  • Purchase of new Mobicon and used flat-racks
  • Sale of 25 used trailers
  • The Net Capital Outlay was $AUD70,000

Annual cost saving – reduced transport costs $AUD280,000

Subsequently, the plant has had a significant improvement in productivity:

Per Annum – labour saving $AUD700,000

  • Productivity improvement – measured as man hours per tonne.
  • Improved 0.7 hrs – from 3.8 hrs to 3.1 hrs.
  • Safety improvements have led to a significant reduction in time lost through injury.

Other Sites

Since implementing the initial solution, ARC has installed 3 more Mobicon/Flat-Rack Systems in their operations in Melbourne, Sydney and at a 2nd Brisbane site.  In each city the business case was very similar.

“Smorgon Steel (now known as One Steel) have purchased 5 Mobicons for various national locations. By utilising the Mobicon and transiflats, we have significantly reduced on-site congestion, making the yard a safer workplace.

Instead of staff working at a trailer height of 1.5 metres, they are now working at a safe 300mm off the ground. This alone was a major contributing factor for the implementation of the Mobicon to this business.”

Wade Price
Distribution & Customer Service Manager
Smorgon Steel Reinforcing QLD



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