This paper presents a motion-planning and control scheme for a cooperative transportation system comprising a single rigid object and multiple autonomous non-holonomic mobile robots. A leader-follower formation control strategy is used for the transportation system in which the object is assumed to be the virtual leader; the robots carrying the object are considered to be followers. A smooth trajectory between the current and desired locations of the object is generated considering the constraints of the virtual leader. In the leader-follower approach, the origin of the coordinate system attached to the centre of gravity of the object, which is known as the virtual leader, moves along the generated trajectory while the real robots, which are known as followers, maintain a desired distance and orientation in relation to the leader. An asymptotically stable tracking controller is used for trajectory tracking. The proposed approach is verified by simulations and real applications using Pioneer P3-DX mobile robots.