RORO vs. Container shipping

RORO vs. Container shipping

When moving automobiles worldwide by maritime freight, there are two options: RORO (Roll On – Roll Off) and container shipping. Both strategies have been in use for decades, indicating that they are effective in various scenarios. However, there are significant distinctions between RORO and containerized transportation and advantages and disadvantages to both. Let’s take a quick look at it.

In RORO shipping, ferries are specialized vessels with vast storage bays that can transport tens of thousands of automobiles. Vehicles are driven directly aboard the ship and maneuvered into position during loading and unloading. Because vehicles must be put into trains or lorries to get to the departing port and later from the arrival port to their final destination, the procedure always necessitates the use of multiple modes of transportation.

On the other hand, container transport is loading vehicles into shipping containers and transporting them on huge, shallow-berth container ships, generally with mixed consignments of other goods. This approach entails fastening automobiles to racks and then loading them into the Container, usually by forklift, onshore, or at the start of their journey.

 In terms of shipping rates, Roll-on roll-off shipping costs less per unit than container shipping because a single ferry may readily carry huge volume consignments. When transporting many cars, container transport can be costly because each Container can only hold 2-3 cars without an efficient racking system. However, new advances in this industry. At Ameritrans, we have made container shipping a more cost-effective option for bulk shipment.

RoRo shipping is the most straightforward method of transporting most cargo on wheels, including passenger cars, lorries, and vans. It is usually the cheapest because it is the most basic.

One of the ways RoRo keeps costs down is that you don’t have to prepare the goods as much as you would if you were shipping in a container. The goods must be packed, carried, and stored when using container shipping, adding to the total cost.

RoRo shipping choices are quick, dependable, and secure, and you can ship autos and other wheeled items to virtually any location. However, there are two things to keep in mind regarding RoRo shipping. To begin, ensure that you have enough insurance coverage, just as you would for other types of freight. Second, personal possessions are not permitted to be shipped with a vehicle utilizing the RoRo method. If you need to ship personal items, you should instead use container shipping.

Another difference comes in Risk of Damage, whereby the risk of cars being damaged rises directly to the amount of handling they receive during the travel. As a result, RORO bears a higher risk of damage, with numerous incidents occurring during the loading and unloading of vehicles. Vehicles can be damaged by rough weather at sea, and non-containerized cars are more vulnerable to vandalism or theft while waiting to board.

On the other hand, container shipping uses cranes to load and unload containers, reducing the possibility of human error during the operation. Furthermore, automobiles are kept in a sealed container protected from the elements for the duration of the process, reducing the danger of damage.

 In RORO Shipping, vessels have huge stowage bays that are ideal for accommodating mixed consignments of various vehicles. At the same time, container shipping cannot do this due to the flexibility of racking systems in Ameritrans to fit a range of vehicles into a single container.

Furthermore, RORO requires that a vehicle be capable of being driven onboard a ship, which eliminates non-running vehicles or those that may not start when the key is turned, for instance, collectibles or classic cars. For containerized car transport, this is not an issue. However, if you need to move a mobile plant or huge vehicles, RORO may be your only alternative, as these items may not fit in shipping containers unless dismantled.

Regarding insurance Services, RORO shipment is sometimes less expensive than container transport; insurance coverage is limited due to the lack of port inspection reports. It may be challenging to determine when the damage occurred and file an insurance claim in the event of damage. Furthermore, RORO shipments are frequently only insured for total loss, so you’ll have to assess the danger of potential damage and repair fees against the actual shipping prices.

Due to their size and low berth, RORO ships require a deep-water port and boarding ports with safe onshore automobile storage facilities. Because there are fewer RORO routes available, you may not be able to discover one that fits your delivery window. Container ships don’t require specialized port infrastructure and aren’t restricted in their use of shipping routes or shallow water ports, giving you more alternatives when arranging your journeys. Furthermore, most container ships are substantially faster than RORO vessels, reducing voyage time further.


In conclusion, both RORO shipping and Container shipping are reliable and efficient shipment modes.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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