RoRo Shipping

Why RoRo Shipping Is the Best Option to Transport Your Vehicle Overseas


If you’re planning on shipping your vehicle overseas, RoRo shipping is the best option. RoRo stands for “roll-on, roll-off” and refers to the process of loading your vehicle onto the ship. Essentially, your car is driven onto the vessel and then secured in place for the voyage. This type of shipping is typically suitable for large vehicles such as buses, trucks, and construction equipment.

There are many benefits to using RORO shipping when transporting vehicles across the ocean. For example, it is much cheaper than containerized shipping as it eliminates the need to use cranes or other heavy lifting equipment to load and unload the vehicle from the ship. RORO ships usually have more frequent departures than container ships, making it easier to find a ship that’s available when you need it. However, it’s not just about the benefits but the quality of the service, your convenience, and overall satisfaction. Thus hiring a reliable company for your overseas shipping needs becomes imperative.

When looking for a service provider, it’s important to remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Make sure to compare different providers and find one that offers quality services at a fair price. Knowing this shipping service beforehand can save you time and money.

This article focuses on learning the difference between RORO and containerized shipping, the benefits of RORO services, and some tips for hiring the right shipping company.

What is RORO Shipping?

Roro Shipping

RORO car shipping is a type of shipping where vehicles are loaded onto a ship and transported to their destination. RORO stands for roll-on/roll-off and is a method of loading and unloading cargo that is particularly well suited for large, heavy items like vehicles. For example, using RORO shipping, you can easily send vehicles such as cars, trucks, buses, and construction equipment. This type of shipping is also famous for oversized loads such as yachts and military vehicles. RORO ships typically have large ramps that allow vehicles to be driven directly on and off the vessel, loading and unloading much faster than other methods.

The second type of service is Lift-on/Lift-off (LO/LO). This type of container shipping requires using a crane to load and unload the vehicles. While this may be more time-consuming than RORO, it can be necessary for certain types and sizes of cars.

What to Ship by RORO?

  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • Heavy equipment
  • Semi-trailer trucks
  • Trailers
  • Motorcycles
  • Cranes

What Is Container Shipping?

 Containerized vehicle shipping is transporting vehicles in special containers designed to protect them from the elements and provide a safe and secure way to ship them. Several different types of containers can be used for this type of shipping, depending on the size and type of vehicle being shipped.

One of the most common types of containerized vehicle shipping is the 20-foot container. These containers are typically suitable for smaller vehicles such as cars and motorcycles. Then, there’s a 40-foot container. These containers are much larger than the 20-foot containers and can accommodate larger vehicles, such as trucks and vans. The most significant type of containerized vehicle shipping is the 53-foot container. These massive containers accommodate even the most important cars, such as buses and RVs.  

Types of Container Shipping 

There are three main types of container shipping: full container load (FCL), less than container load (LCL), and intermodal. FCL is when an entire container is used for one shipment, while LCL is when vehicles from multiple shippers are consolidated into a single container. Intermodal refers to using various modes of transportation, such as rail and truck, to move containers between origins and destinations. 

  • Full Container Load (FCL): An entire shipping container rented by a single customer and loaded with that customer’s cargo only. FCL offers faster transit times and fewer handling opportunities because the same container stays with the same shipment throughout the journey.
  •  Less than Container Load: Experts will load your car into a shared container with other vehicles with LCL. The benefit of this is that it’s more affordable than shipping your car in its container.

RORO vs. Containerized Shipping

Container Shipping

If you’re new to the world of international vehicle shipping, you may be wondering what the difference is between RORO and containerized shipping. Here’s a quick rundown of the main differences between these two popular methods of car transport:

RoRo ShippingContainerized Shipping
A method of transporting vehicles on specialized carriers. The car is driven onto the ship, secured in place, and then unloaded at the destination using the same ramp system.Involves loading vehicles into large metal containers which are then transported on ships, trains, or trucks. The containers protect the vehicle from weather and sea conditions during transit.
Typically used for large vehicles such as buses and trucksCan be used for smaller cars and SUVs as well.
Designed with ramps and other features to make it easier to drive vehicles on and off the ship.Loading and unloading containerized vehicles require special equipment and take longer than RORO shipping.
Leaves your vehicle exposed to weather elements like rain, snow, dust and debris.Offers more protection from the elements and potential damage during transit, but it may be more expensive than RORO shipping.

How Does The RORO Shipping Process Work?

 If you have decided to move your vehicle internationally using Roll-on/Roll-off (RORO) shipping, there are steps you need to follow for the process to go smoothly.

  • Research the company: This is important because you want to ensure your vehicle is in good hands during transit. A good shipping company will have experience with RoRo shipping and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
  • Get multiple quotes: Get at least three to four quotes from different companies to compare prices. This will help you get the most affordable deals. To get the quote, you can either directly contact the customer service rep or use the instant quote generator available on the company’s website.
  • Book your shipment: Once you have the right deal, it’s time to book your shipment with the shipping company. You will need to provide them with information like the vehicle’s make, model, year, and desired destination.
  • Prepare your vehicle for transport: This involves ensuring that all fluid levels are topped up, there are no loose items inside or outside the car, and that the battery is charged enough to be driven onto and off the ship ramp.
  • Schedule pickup: Once your car is ready to go, contact the shipping company to schedule a pickup date and time. Most companies offer door-to-door service, so they will come to you to pick up your vehicle.
  • Vehicle Pickup: On the day of pickup, hand over your keys and any necessary paperwork to the driver and let them take care of the rest! If you have opted for door-to-port services, the professionals will come to your location to pick up your vehicle. 
  • Track your shipment: For this, you can use the tracking feature provided by the shipping companies to stay updated with your vehicle’s location all the time during transit. 
  • Wait for delivery: Depending on the destination, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks for your vehicle to be delivered. The shipping company will keep you updated on its progress along the way.

How to Prepare For RORO Shipping?

If you’re looking to ship your vehicle via RORO (roll-on/roll-off), there are a few things you can do to prepare. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Make sure your vehicle is clean and free of any personal belongings. This includes removing all trash, floor mats, and anything else that isn’t permanently attached to the car.
  2. Make sure your gas tank is no more than ¼ full. This helps reduce the fire risk during shipping and saves you money on fuel charges.
  3. Disable your alarm system if possible, or make sure it can’t go off while the car is being loaded onto the ship (ask your installer for more details on how to do this).
  4. Have a copy of your registration and proof of insurance handy when delivering the car – you may need to provide this before loading can begin.

These simple steps will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free RORO shipping experience.

What Factors Affect The Cost Of RORO Shipping?

There are a few different factors that affect the cost of RORO shipping. Below are a few of them:

  1. The size of your vehicle: Vehicle size is perhaps the most critical factor affecting RORO shipping costs. Larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, will typically cost more to ship than smaller cars. This is because they take up more space on the ship’s deck and require additional handling during loading and unloading.
  2. Weight / Measurement: Carriers typically base the rate on either the weight of the shipment or CBM (Cubic Meters), whichever is greater. Therefore, lighter cargo is charged based on CBM.
  3. Distance: In general terms, shorter journeys will be cheaper than longer ones – so if you’re looking to keep costs down, it’s worth trying to find a route that minimizes sailing time!
  4. Carrier Charges: The charges levied by carriers can significantly impact the overall cost of RORO shipping. These charges may include OTHC (Origin Terminal Handling Charges), Bill of Lading, and BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor or Fuel Scale Charge). If you’re unfamiliar with all these acronyms and fees, getting clarification from your chosen carrier is essential to know precisely what they charge you for.
  5. Customs Fees: Customs fees will vary depending on the country of origin and destination and the type of vehicle you are shipping.
  6. The time of year – Shipping costs can fluctuate depending on the time of year due to demand. For example, more people shipping during summer may increase the price.

Factors that determine the transit time of your vehicle

The port of origin and destination: Some ports are busier than others, and this can cause delays in both loading and unloading ships. If you’re shipping to or from a particularly busy port, expect your transit time to be longer than average.

  • The port of origin and destination: Some ports are busier than others, and this can cause delays in both loading and unloading ships. If you’re shipping to or from a bustling port, expect your transit time to be longer than average.
  • Your vehicle’s destination: Transit times can vary depending on where your car is going. For example, shipping to Europe typically takes longer than shipping within North America.
  • Carrier: The carrier is responsible for scheduling and sending out your shipment. The best carrier will ensure that they have enough space on their ships to take off safely and without delays.  
  • The type of vessel: There are different ro-ro vessels, each with speed and capacity limitations. Some ships are faster but can only accommodate a limited number of vehicles, while others may be slower but can carry more cars at once.
  • Weather conditions: Bad weather conditions like heavy rain or snow can delay shipping. If there is a major storm or hurricane in the area where your shipment will be heading, this could push back delivery even further.

Benefits of RORO Shipping

RORO shipping is an excellent option for those looking to move their vehicles overseas. Here are reasons to opt for this shipping mode:

  1. Cost-effective shipping eliminates the need for cranes and other heavy lifting equipment, which can be very expensive to rent or purchase. RORO also removes the need for packing and containerising cargo, saving a lot of money.
  2. Time-saving: The cargo can be loaded and unloaded quickly, reducing the overall transit time. RORO ships are also able to carry a large amount of cargo, which makes them ideal for a large shipment
  3. Efficient: It uses fewer resources than conventional methods of shipping vehicles, such as containerization—which requires large containers with a significant workforce to load and unload them at ports—or rail freight cars—which are expensive and inefficient for long distances.
  4. Customizable: You can choose from various services to meet your specific needs. For example, insurance coverage and pickup/delivery options.
  5. Relatively safe: Shipping by RoRo is generally considered a very secure method of transport, as the vessels are stable and well-equipped to deal with bad weather conditions.
  6. Flexible: RORO transportation allows you to select from a variety of different options depending on what works best for your specific needs and circumstances—whether that means picking up at one location or multiple locations or needing immediate access to your cargo while still being able to meet other deadlines along the way

How to Choose the Right RORO Shipping Company?

If you are in the market for a RORO shipping company, here are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that you choose the right company.

  • Experience: Make sure the company has experience shipping to your destination country. This is important because each country has different import/export regulations that you must follow for your shipment to clear customs successfully. An experienced shipping company will be familiar with these regulations and will be able to ensure that your shipment arrives safely and on time.
  • Door-to-door service: Choose a company that offers door-to-door service. In this service, the shipper will pick up your vehicle from your home or business and deliver it directly to their destination address, taking care of all the paperwork and customs clearance along the way.  
  • Consider the size of your shipment: Make sure that the shipping company can accommodate the size of your shipment. You don’t want to end up paying for services that you won’t be able to use because your shipment is too large or too small for their capabilities.
  • Ask about their insurance policy: If something goes wrong during transit, you want to ensure that your shipment is covered.
  • Get quotes from multiple companies: You can compare prices and services offered. Read the fine print to understand what is included in each quote.
  • Look at online reviews of potential companies: This can give insights into other customers’ experiences with specific providers.


RoRo shipping is superior to container shipping in many ways. RoRo ships are faster, more reliable, and provide a much smoother ride for your vehicle. In addition, RoRo shipping is more cost-effective than container shipping, making it the obvious choice for anyone looking to transport their vehicle overseas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is The Difference Between A Break Bulk Cargo And RoRo Shipping?

Break bulk cargo is typically shipped in containers, while RoRo cargo is rolled on and off the ship. Break bulk cargo takes up less space on the ship, but RoRo cargo is easier to load and unload.

What Are The Documents Required To Ship Your Vehicle?

Commercial invoices, bills of lading, and seaway bills are a few of the most important documents you may need to ship your vehicle via RoRo shipping services.

What Types Of RoRo Vessels Are There?

 There are two main Ro-Ro vessels in operation today: pure car carriers (PCCs) and pure truck carriers (PTCs). PCCs carry automobiles, while PTCs mainly transport large vehicles such as construction equipment.

How Do I Book A Shipment With A RoRo Carrier?

To book a shipment with a RORO carrier, you will need to provide them with the following information: the make, model, and year of the vehicle(s) being shipped, the origin and destination ports, desired date of departure/arrival, and the number of cars are shipped. Contact us for more information.

How do I pay for RoRo shipping services?

The most common way is to pay with a credit card. You can also pay with a check or money order. You can usually pay with your account balance or a linked bank account using a service like PayPal. Finally, some companies allow you to pay in cash, but this is less common.



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