RORO Cargo: Ways to Ship Heavy Equipment and Vehicles

RORO Cargo: Ways to Ship Heavy Equipment and Vehicles

Have you ever witnessed the impressive sight of a colossal cargo ship ferrying vehicles as they effortlessly roll on board? Or you’ve had the unique experience of stepping inside one of these maritime vessels? Well, those vessels are RORO ships dedicated to transporting the specialized cargo known as RORO cargo. 

“Roll-on/Roll-off,” better known by its acronym RORO, is a method of transporting wheeled and self-propelled vehicles like cars, trucks, buses, trailers, and heavy equipment (e.g., excavators, bulldozers, and wheeled loaders) by RORO ships. RORO refers to the loading and unloading of cargo, which requires ramps or other specialized equipment to drive or roll the cargo onto and off the ship’s deck. 

At Jenik Freight, we recognize the importance of catering to the diverse needs of our clients. We understand that, like Out of Gauge (OOG) cargo, RORO cargo demands a specialized container and transportation approach to guarantee its secure and punctual voyage. As heavy equipment and vehicle transportation experts, Jenik Freight is committed to providing the solutions necessary to ensure the safe and timely delivery of your valuable cargo. 

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the concept of RORO, the intricacies of shipping RORO cargo, and discerning which goods fall under this classification can significantly aid in making an informed decision about whether RORO cargo is the ideal choice for your shipping requirements. By familiarizing yourself with these aspects, you can confidently assess the suitability of RORO cargo for your specific needs. 

RO-RO shipment basics from
Did you know there are six types of RORO ships, all designated to carry different kinds of RORO cargo, vehicles, and even passengers?

What is a RORO ship? 

RORO ships are designed to transport RORO cargo. Vehicles that can self-propel, like cars and trucks, can roll on and off the vessel with their wheels. Equipment, vehicles, and other goods are rolled on/off using specialized handling equipment with wheels in the terminal. RORO cargo is moved from land to vessel using land ramps and handling equipment or ramps built into the ship’s bow or stern. 

There are several types of RORO vessels, including:

  • Pure car carrier (PCC) exclusively transports cars.
  • Pure car/truck carrier (PCTC) can transport trucks or cars.
  • ConRo/RoCon is a hybrid vessel carrying rolling equipment (i.e., vehicles and heavy equipment) on the below decks and containerized cargo on the top decks.
  • RoLo is a hybrid of Roll-on/Lift-off, where cargo is rolled onto the vessel using ramps and lifted off the vessel by cranes
  • RoPax is a hybrid vessel for cargo and passengers, such as ferries and cruise ferries. 
  • LMRS are “Large, medium-speed Roll-on/Roll-off” vessels primarily used by the Military Sealift Command
RoPax (RORO/Passenger) Ships transport vehicles and passengers.

What is considered RORO cargo? 

Aside from wheeled cargo like cars, trucks, buses, and trailers, heavy equipment can also be shipped as RORO cargo. Heavy equipment is a catch-all term for any sort of heavy-duty equipment used for construction, mining, agriculture, and engineering. Hydraulics and heavy vehicles are also considered as heavy equipment. 

One common heavy equipment that is considered as RORO cargo is an excavator, which has multiple uses including digging, lifting, and carrying.

Some examples of heavy equipment that can be shipped as RORO include: 

  1. Compactors 
  2. Dump trucks
  3. Tractors
  4. Telehandlers
  5. Wheeled loaders
  6. Bulldozers
  7. Excavators

Other examples of RORO cargo include: 

  1. Railroad carriages
  2. Boats, including yachts
  3. Mobile homes, RVs, and caravans 

What are the advantages of RORO shipping?

RORO transportation offers substantial advantages in terms of speed and time savings. 

  • Enhanced Speed: The ability to drive vehicles directly onto the vessel or land via ramps facilitates fast and agile loading and unloading, resulting in expedited transportation.
  • Time Efficiency: By circumventing lengthy loading and unloading procedures, trucks and vehicles can disembark just minutes after docking, enabling them to resume their journey towards the final destination promptly; This significantly improves overall delivery time.
  • Reduced Cargo Handling: The risk of accidents and cargo damage is significantly diminished with minimal loading and unloading required at the port. This advantage contributes to a safer and more secure transportation process.
  • Expanded Action Radius: RORO enables land transport to extend its operational reach by offering the possibility of shortening routes through ships. Instead of diverting to longer overland routes, goods can be efficiently transported via the more direct and cost-effective maritime option.
Incorporating RORO freight transport into logistics operations can yield substantial time savings, heightened efficiency, and improved reliability in the delivery of goods.

Closing thoughts

RORO cargo offer numerous advantages for transporting heavy equipment and vehicles. The impressive sight of RORO ships gracefully carrying wheeled cargo and their efficient loading and unloading processes exemplify this method’s speed, time, and financial savings.

Understanding the intricacies of RORO cargo and familiarizing oneself with its classification and suitable goods enable informed decision-making for shipping requirements. At Jenik Freight, we acknowledge the unique needs of our clients and provide tailored solutions to ensure the secure and timely delivery of valuable cargo. By embracing RORO transport and its benefits, businesses can optimize their logistics operations, enhance efficiency, and achieve reliable delivery outcomes.

To get started on your RORO cargo journey, contact us today!

To learn more about our services and company, visit our homepage.

Read our latest Jenik blog updates!


What is RoRo Cargo – Types of Boats & Ships – Martide

What are RORO ships and their advantages – Transglory  

RORO Services | Roll-on / Roll-off Shipping | Vehicle international transportation from USA and Canada – Cargomax International Inc. 

New Cat Machines and Equipment – Our Products