Alotau Stevedoring & Transport Limited: Case Study


Alotau Stevedoring & Transport Limited handle containers from the ship’s side into the Receiving & Delivery (R&D) zone behind the main shed at the back of the quay.


The ships calling here are geared.  Geared ships have the unique capability of unloading their own cargo, thus making them especially useful in bringing goods to developing nations and ports with inadequate or non-existent cargo handling facilities.  They drop containers directly onto the quayside.

Containers are picked up and moved around behind the main shed for Receiving and Delivery or unpacking.  Conversely, empty containers are also moved back around to the ship’s side.


The quay is old and the weight rating was very questionable. A heavy fork operation was therefore not an option on the existing surface, considerable expense would have been incurred to change this, which was not a realistic option.  They had an elderly Abu Container Lifter on site that was not self propelled, cumbersome and unreliable.  With only the single Abu Lifter, there was a major lack of flexibility in the operation.

When vessels are in port, containers must be moved as safely and quickly as possible as a faster turnaround of ships would save the port money.


After discussions with Mobicon Systems about the benefits a Mobicon Straddle Carrier could provide Alotau purchased a Mobicon Container Handler as it would provide the following:

  • The lowest full operating ground pressures of any container lifter available, meaning that it was therefore able to operate fully loaded on the existing quayside, without the need for expensive upgrading.
  • Flexibility, as it is self-powered and able to negotiate fully the existing site.
  • Increased safety moving containers only 30cm from the ground and on twist locks.


  • No expensive upgrading of wharf surface required.
  • Cost efficient container handling, the Mobicon works at a much lower cost than a comparative container forklift or a reach stacker.
  • Turn around times of ships improved, saving major demurrage costs.
  • Safety improved, as the Mobicon moves containers at only 30cm off the ground

Mobicon saves more space at ports than forklift or reachstacker Mobicon is a better solution for ports than forklifts or reachstackers due to their space savings

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