Trailer Magazine


L. Arthur: Limitless potential

  • Posted on Thursday 22nd, March 2012
L. Arthur: Limitless potential

As a leading force in the transportation of containerised freight, it pays to have a diverse fleet that can adjust to the individual requirements of every client. For more than a century, family-owned transport company L. Arthur has provided such variety and can now draw on a solid reputation in a contested market.

As a leading force in the transportation of containerised freight, it pays to have a diverse fleet that can adjust to the individual requirements of every client. For more than a century, family-owned transport company L. Arthur has provided such variety and can now draw on a solid reputation in a contested market.

In the course of the past 113 years, L. Arthur has become one of Melbourne’s most renowned transport companies, offering a vast range of services to complement the original freight carting business that commenced work in 1898.

Founded by Louis Dennis Arthur, the eponymous company started off servicing many of Melbourne’s early businesses using horse pulled carts before it expanded into the warehousing and distribution sector and adding a quarantine service to its portfolio. The quarantine department now handles anything from tailgate inspections to container unpacking and transport deliveries.

“Today’s L. Arthur is subdivided into four separate parts – heavy haulage and machinery relocation, container handling, quarantine, as well as warehousing and distribution,” says Louis Arthur’s great-grandson, Dominic, who manages all four major sections at once. “We also offer a unique container cross docking service that allows importing companies to empty imported containers on site and make them readily available for re-packing without moving the empty containers to and from the container park,” he adds.

In its fourth generation as a family-owned business, L. Arthur has built a reputation around not only the reliability of its fleet, but also simple dynamics of adhering to varying requirements of its clientele. “We prefer skeletal trailers because of the amount of container cartage we handle,” says Dominic. “We want equipment that is as uncomplicated as possible because history has taught us that simplicity is the key to success in this industry.

“We currently have about 70 trailers in our fleet, mostly of them being skels, standard side-loaders, super B-doubles, retractable B-doubles, tautliner B-doubles, floats and dollies,” he adds. “The plan is to expand on that over the course of the next 12 to 18 months.”

That plan will include purchasing its trailers on the ideals it have long upheld, such as bringing in sustainable units that go the distance. “The main factor that influences the purchases we make is longevity. Our recent purchases were dependent on the speed of the market; therefore availability came into the equation,” says Dominic. “Over the last six months we ordered three new standard skels, one A-trailer tautliner, an A-trailer skel and we also got a four-axle float.”

However, longevity only makes up a small part of the overall equation L. Arthur strives to ascend to. As Dominic points out, each trailer has specifications that the company needs to take into account before signing off on the potential unit.

“The other factor that we consider is maintenance, since we conduct most of it in-house,” he says. “In this sense we ask ourselves: Are there spare parts available? Are they standard? And: Can we stock enough variety should we require them? Those sort of questions constantly come up.”

Dominic continues, “We feel it’s important to have a great variety of trailers in a fleet. The ideal trailer for us needs to cater for a great variety of applications. That being said, sustainability is also important, as each of our treailers needs to last through a 20-year life cycle.”

While its well-maintained fleet has always been a mainstay of L. Arthur’s success, it is the people behind the scenes that have kept the company’s reputation as a top-shelf brand flawless for generations. L. Arthur currently employs close to 150 people, from drivers to subcontractors and office staff.

“As a business we are still growing into our footprint here, and we see more room for expansion amongst all sectors. That growth will happen over the next 3 to 5 years, and then we will have to reassess where we’re at,” says Dominic, proving that L. Arthur is a company that prides itself on always staying on the move, expanding, striving to meet its clients’ needs through providing tailored logistics solutions.

“By continuing to establish ourselves as one of the leading port carriers in Melbourne and developing new services and solutions to meet this ever-changing marketplace, we want to take more market share in the future,” Dominic adds. “Beyond that the potential for success is limitless.”

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