All You Need to Know About Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro) Car Shipping

Car Shipping

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) car shipping is a method of vehicle transport that allows cars, trucks, trailers, and other wheeled cargo to be easily rolled on and off a specially designed ship. Ro-Ro ships have ramps that provide direct access between the main deck and shore. This type of transportation is commonly used for delivering new vehicles from factories to dealerships as well as transporting used cars.

How Does Ro-Ro Shipping Work?

Here are the basic steps involved in Ro-Ro car shipping:

  • The vehicle is driven onto the ship using the onboard ramp. No cranes or special equipment are needed to lift the vehicle.
  • Once loaded, the vehicle is secured to the deck with ties, chains or straps to prevent any shifting during transit.
  • The ship sets sail once full carrying hundreds of vehicles across oceans, lakes or inland waterways.
  • At the destination port, the vehicles are rolled right off the ramp onto land for delivery.

Benefits of Ro-Ro Shipping

Some key advantages of the Ro-Ro method include:

  • Speed – Vehicles can be loaded and unloaded much more quickly than other transport methods, reducing time and costs.
  • Efficiency – Ro-Ro ships have a higher cargo capacity letting them carry more vehicles per trip.
  • Convenience – Drivers can easily roll vehicles on and off without need for heavy equipment.
  • Safety – Risk of damage is lower versus lifted cargo since vehicles stay on their wheels.
  • Cost – Overall transportation costs tend to be competitive for Ro-Ro compared to other options.

Types of Ro-Ro Vessels

There are several common types of ships designed specifically for Ro-Ro transport:

Pure Car Carriers

Designed exclusively for automobile transport, these large dedicated carriers can hold 5,000-7,000 cars. Ramps at both the bow and stern allow for fast loading/unloading.

Multi-Purpose Vessels

In addition to vehicles, these ships are able to carry breakbulk, dry bulk and containerized cargo. They provide more flexible transport options.

Ro-Ro Passenger Ferries

Designed to carry both passengers and their vehicles. Commonly used for transporting vehicles and people across shorter ocean or river routes.

Ro-Ro Cargo Ships

Larger freighters that transport trailers, containers and general Ro-Ro cargo in addition to vehicular transport. Suitable for transoceanic cargo routes.

Uses of Ro-Ro in the Transport Industry

Some key applications where Ro-Ro shipping plays a major role include:

  • Delivering new cars from automotive plants overseas to dealerships
  • Transporting freight vehicles, trailers and containers door-to-door
  • Moving used vehicles between markets, often internationally
  • Carrying passengers vehicles on ferries across bodies of water
  • Shipping trucks, buses and recreational vehicles long distances
  • Distributing commodity vehicles between assembly plants

Enlist a Professional Ro-Ro Shipping Company

To benefit from the cost-effective and convenient Ro-Ro transport method, consider working with an experienced shipping firm. Professional carriers ensure vehicles are properly secured, have climate-controlled cargo holds and use GPS tracking for full shipment visibility. Reputable companies also offer cargo insurance to cover against possible damage en route. Let the experts handle the details so your automobiles reach their destination safely and securely via roll-on/roll-off shipping.