Roll-on/roll-off  (RORO or ro-ro) ships are cargo ships designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars, that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle, such as a self-propelled modular transporter.


Ro-Ro is an acronym for Roll-on/roll-off. Roll-on/roll-off ships are vessels that are used to carry wheeled cargo.


The roll-on/roll-off ship was defined in the November 1995 amendments to Chapter II-1 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974 as being “a passenger ship with ro-ro cargo spaces or special category spaces”

The ro-ro ship is different from Lo-Lo (lift on-lift off) ship that uses a crane to load the cargo. The vehicles in the ship are loaded and unloaded by means of built-in ramps. Normally these ramps are made towards the stern (backside) of the ship. In some ships, they are also found on the bow side (front) as well as the sides. The vessel can be of both military and civilian types.

Did you know that ro/ro vessels not only carry cars but they also carry heavy duty trucks, construction equipment, and other heavy machinery.

Benefits of RoRo Shipping

Affordability. RoRo is the most preferred shipping method to ship vehicles from one port to the other. In fact, it is also the fastest method of transportation that will free you of any additional expenses. If your country uses CIF to calculate duties and taxes, then you can save double. And as long as you save on shipping, you certainly save on tax duties too! Now that’s a good deal.

Convenient. The really good and useful fact about RoRo shipping is that it can apply to any type of vehicle. So long as you or the professional moving company you hire provide a trailer with wheels for boats and caravans, you have no need to pull them apart to fit inside a container. You may even be able to drive your car right from the destination port if you have enough gas left in the tank.