RoRo shipping method

RoRo shipping method

RoRo shipping method


Roll-on Roll-off popularly known as RoRo is a method by which vehicles and machinery are loaded and unloaded of heavy cargoes. This is the most common, efficient and least expensive shipping method. RoRo shipping method is used to carry cargos that are driven on and off the ship. This is in contrast to LoLo (Lift-on, Lift-off) vessels, which use a crane to load and unload cargo. Generally used vehicles from Japan are driven directly onto the RoRo vessel and secured to the car decks. They are kept securely inside the vessel. Only spare tires and factory fitted accessories are allowed. For vehicle transportation, this method is the simplest and cheapest. This shipping method is usually the safest and least expensive way for transportation of oversized cargo..


Basically the idea for RoRo shipment was created by Japanese vehicle manufacturers to ship their vehicles to various countries in a fast and efficient manner by using particular ships called “vehicle carriers”. Using the ships own integral loading ramps, vehicles are simply driven on to the ship from the port of loading (‘Rolled on’) and driven off the ship when the vehicle arrives at the destination (‘Rolled off’).


The reason for popularity of International RoRo shipping is because it is cost effective and efficient. Shipping via RoRo service from Japan can be arranged from the major ocean ports: Toyohashi, Chiba, and Yokohama. Different types of RoRo vessels include ferries, cargo ships, barges, cruise ferries. Major overseas destinations include major ports in Western Europe, Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Central America and South America.


Procedure for shipment:

  1. Vehicles are lined up at docks with the key generally left in the ignition.
  2. Port workers then drive the vehicle onto the ship and strap it down to make it ready for sailing.
  3. This applies to all types of vehicles and many other types of oversized cargo.


Port workers handle everything this helps in keeping the cost of international shipping down. Nowadays, all type of motor vehicles such as trucks, boats, buses, motor homes, travel trailers, tractors, excavators, cranes, and other high & heavy equipment and machinery are handled by RoRo carrier.


The only problem with RoRo shipping is geographical coverage. RoRo shipping does not encompasses as much as area as that of container shipping. In some countries, RoRo shipment transport is not even an option for international trade. ROPAX (Roll-on/Roll-off Passenger) describes a RoRo vessel built for cargo transportation in addition with passenger accommodation.



In shipping industry, measurement of cargo is done generally by the metric ton, but in case of RoRo measurement is done in Lanes in Metres (LIMs). This is calculated by multiplying the cargo length in metres by the number of decks and by its width in lanes. In case if the vehicle is too big to fit into a container, then one is left with RoRo method for shipment. RoRo shipping method requires the vehicle to “Roll on Roll off” the slope. It is the most popular way of transporting cargoes and is normally cheaper than container shipping method


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