Auto Shipping: RORO Vs. Container — Which is Better?

 In auto shipping, export, import, shipping

Automobile and Vehicle Shipping

car shipping container

When it comes to automobile shipping, you have two main options. You can ship your vehicle in a container or ship via Roll On Roll Off (RORO). But which option is better?

Both options can be used for your car, motorcycle, truck, or any other vehicle you need to ship internationally. It is important for your confidence to know that all vehicles are securely blocked, braced, and tied down ensuring absolute security during transportation.

Of course, we always recommend getting cargo insurance (visit here to know about how does private hire insurance work and why it is always preferred by everyone) for your protection no matter what you’re shipping.

When it comes to auto shipping, there are several reasons that you may wish to consider RORO instead of shipping your car, truck, or other vehicle in a container.


RORO car shipping

RORO is the simplest and cheapest method of shipping for vehicles.

Vehicles are driven directly onto the RORO vessel and secured to the car decks. They are securely inside the vessel, wind-and-watertight.

It is important to note that you cannot ship personal effects using this method, but spare tire and factory fitted accessories are allowed.

RORO overseas shipping is a very popular way of transporting cargo to other countries. The idea was created and developed by the Japanese car manufacturers to ship their cars to USA and Europe in a fast and efficient manner by using specialized ships called “vehicle carriers”.

Nowadays RORO carriers can handle not just cars but all types of motorized, rolling and even static cargo: trucks, boats, buses, motor homes, travel trailers, tractors, excavators, cranes, and other high & heavy equipment and machinery.

International RORO shipping is popular with exporters and importers mainly for 2 reasons: cost and efficiency.

The cargo is simply “rolled on” the vessel at the port of loading and “rolled off” the vessel at the overseas destination. Everything is handled by the port workers. There’s no need to hire and pay export warehouse for crating, container packing, flat rack loading, port delivery, etc. This really helps in keeping the cost of international shipping down.

Shipping via RORO service from the U.S. can be arranged from the major ocean ports: New York, Baltimore, Charleston, Jacksonville, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Galveston, and Los Angeles.

Overseas destinations include major ports in Western Europe, Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Central America and South America.

But there is a mark in favor of container shipping for vehicles. That’s broader shipping options.

The only problem with RORO shipping is geographical coverage. While RORO transportation does have global routes, it is still not as all-encompassing as container shipping. Some smaller countries may not even have any options for international RORO transport.

However, container shipping can get you pretty much anywhere you want to go.

Our knowledgeable staff will be able to advise you on the availability of RORO shipping to the destinations of your choice and whether it would be more advisable for you to do your auto shipping by container. We’ll make sure we find the option that is best for your shipment.

Auto shipping requires a little bit more paperwork than some other types of cargo when you are shipping internationally.

Showing 11 comments
  • Jose AIn

    Great tips !!!!! Really helped my cousin when he wanted to ship his car to Tanzania. He didn’t had any knowledge about how to get his vehicle shipped. but after going to your tips he had some knowledge. Thank you for sharing your article.

  • Ivy Baker

    I liked that you pointed out that with RORO shipping you can’t ship personal things with the car. My parents are moving overseas for a few years and they want to bring over my dads truck. They want to also bring over some extra furniture. It seems like getting an industrial container would be best.

  • Jumbo Oheneba

    Thanks for this tips. I knew nothing aside the container shipping until I was asked how I want to ship my car from the US to Ghana. You’ve been of a great help.

    • Carol Downer

      Can you put car spare parts in your vehicle ie a van and would this be charged differently from the van itself

    • Jonathan Arthur

      Did you use roro then? If so how was the car scratched or anything like that?

  • Annawilliams

    Thanks for the tips.

  • Kamal Dogra

    Thanks for sharing this informative post to learn about what are the differences between Auto mobile and vehicle shipping. Nice suggested posts to learn about latest trends in logistic sector.

  • Oran David

    Very informative tips. RoRo shipping is best for vehicle transportation. Thanks for sharing this article.

  • Brayn

    Hello Universal Cargo,
    Great tips here. Thanks for such an important Post!
    Thank You

  • Isaac Appiah

    Thaks for your explanations

  • KB

    I understand some ports are not safe for roro shipping especially for relatively expensive cars… mirrors, entertainment system, damage etc
    is this really the case? A cousin is trying to ship from Antwerp, however a 20ft container is approx $1900, whereas roro is approx $1150.
    the shipping agent is advising he uses a container – what would you advice???

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