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RoRo vs. Container Shipping: Which is Better for Your Car?

When you want to ship your car, the most common methods considered are Roll-on/Roll-out (RoRo for short) shipping or container shipping. There is a third method for shipping, which is by airfreight, but it is far more expensive than the former options lifted.

What’s on this page?

01 |Vehicle Security and Insurance
02 |Transportation Cost
03 |Shipping Time
04 |Driving (Running) Condition
05 |Car type (Size)
06 |Destination Country
07 | Popular Destinations

RoRo involves rolling your vehicle on and off the vessel. They are generally parked in specially designed braces to keep the cars in place. For container shipments, the cars are placed in containers and then lifted by cranes onto the ship. Today, we will focus on RoRo and Container shipping, how different they are, and which one would be better for your car.

Vehicle Security and Insurance

Dry containers are typically used for shipping all types of cargo, cars inclusive. They come in 20, 40, or 45-foot sizes. With Container shipping, your vehicle will be secured in one of these containers and transported to your destination. For RoRo shipments, your care is secured tightly in a brace. Container shipments offer far more security because they are protected from external elements and conditions.

Since they are entirely sealed in the container, the only interactions with the car are the shipper and you, the receiver. That is not true for Roro shipping. All vehicles are just placed in the vessel and have no immediate intentional external covering. As a result, the chances of damage with containers are far less than RoRo.

Transportation Cost

Are you on a stringent budget and want to maximize the appropriation of your funds well? Then RoRo shipment may be appropriate for you. It is less expensive than a typical container shipment since you are just paying for space on the vessel. With container shipping, you are paying for the container being used to secure your car. As a result, exclusive containers for your car cost more than shared containers. If you use a shared container, generally, up to about four vehicles can share one.

You can consequently share the cost of usage of the container with the other users. Exclusive container shipping is the most expensive since only one person pays for the cost of the whole container. Though lesser than container shipment, shared container costs are not far off in terms of price than RoRo shipping.  

Shipping Time

If you are pressed for time, RoRo shipping can guarantee you very reliable departure and arrival times. Since it involves just rolling into the next available vessel and leaving as soon as possible, this shipment type tends to reach your destination quicker than container shipping.

When using a shared container, you would have to wait for the container to be filled with other cars before the transport can ensue. Since that time is at large, your arrival time may always differ, and not be sure. If you need to have your car as soon as possible, it will be better to go for RoRo shipping.

Driving (Running) Condition

If you are shipping a car that is not in running condition and cannot drive effectively at that moment, you would have to opt for container shipment. RoRo shipment is out of the question because it involves the car being driven into the vessel’s hull. Since this is not possible with your car, you would have to utilize container shipping services.

Car type (Size)

Dry containers are ordinarily able to contain sedans, salon cars, and SUVs easily. Depending on the varying sizes, cars could be placed in a 2-in-one, 3-in-one, or 4-in-one set up in a shared container. Any relatively small car can enter an exclusive container too. However, for huge vehicles, they most likely wouldn’t be able to enter a container. You will have to transport your car by Roll-on/Roll-out. 

Destination Country

Not all countries have access to RoRo shipment. If you are moving your car to one of these countries, Container shipment will be better for you. Your vehicle will be able to reach your destination directly. With Roro shipment, you would have to plan the delivery at the closest port which supports the service near you. The process will be pretty tedious and may not be worth it. 


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