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RORO vs. Containerized Car Shipping: What Are the Pros & Cons of Each Method?

Friday, May 24, 2024 by Professional Car Carriers
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RORO vs. Containerized Car Shipping: What Are the Pros & Cons of Each Method?

When it comes to international car shipping, two main methods often come to mind: Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO) and containerized shipping. While both have their advantages and disadvantages, the right choice can significantly impact your overall shipping experience. This detailed comparison will help car owners and international shippers understand which option suits their needs best, with a particular focus on pricing in the US and Canada.

Understanding the Basics

RORO (Roll-On/Roll-Off)

RORO shipping involves driving the vehicle onto the shipping vessel, securing it, and then driving it off upon arrival. This method is commonly used for shipping cars, trucks, and other wheeled vehicles.

Containerized Shipping

Containerized shipping involves loading the vehicle into a container, which is then sealed and loaded onto the shipping vessel. This method provides added protection but often comes at a higher cost.

Key Comparison Factors

  1. Cost

RORO Pricing

In the US and Canada, RORO shipping is generally more affordable. Prices can range from $1,500 to $3,500 depending on the distance and the route. This method is cost-effective due to its straightforward loading and unloading process, and because it can accommodate multiple vehicles per shipment.

Containerized Shipping Pricing

Containerized car shipping, on the other hand, typically costs between $2,500 to $5,000. The higher price is due to the additional security and protection provided by the container, as well as the extra labor involved in loading and unloading.

  1. Security and Protection


While RORO is a secure method, it offers less protection compared to containerized shipping. Vehicles are exposed to the elements and potential minor damages from other vehicles during transit. However, reputable RORO services take extensive precautions to secure vehicles and minimize risks.

Containerized Car Shipping

Containerized shipping provides superior protection, as the vehicle is enclosed within a sealed container. This method shields the vehicle from weather conditions and potential damages, making it a preferred choice for high-value or classic cars.

  1. Speed and Efficiency


RORO shipping is typically faster, as the process of driving the vehicle on and off the vessel is quicker than loading it into and out of a container. This method is ideal for urgent shipments where time is of the essence.

Containerized Car Shipping

Containerized shipping can be slower due to the additional steps required for loading and securing the vehicle in the container. However, for those prioritizing safety over speed, the extra time may be worth it.

  1. Availability and Accessibility


RORO services are widely available and accessible for most ports in the US and Canada. This widespread availability makes it a convenient option for many shippers.

Containerized Car Shipping

Containerized shipping is also widely available but can be limited to larger ports due to the infrastructure required to handle containers. This method may require more logistical planning, especially for those shipping from smaller ports.

  1. Insurance and Liability


Insurance coverage for RORO shipments is generally included but may offer limited protection compared to containerized shipping. It's essential to review the terms and consider purchasing additional insurance if needed.

Containerized Car Shipping

Insurance coverage for containerized shipments tends to be more comprehensive due to the increased protection of the vehicle. This makes it a more attractive option for those shipping high-value cars.

Conclusion: Which Method is Right for You?

RORO: Best for Cost-Efficiency and Speed

If you're looking for a cost-effective and speedy shipping method, RORO is an excellent choice. This method is ideal for standard vehicles where ultimate protection is not a priority, and you need to minimize shipping costs. It's also a practical option if you require your vehicle to be shipped quickly.

Containerized Shipping: Best for Security and Protection

If you’re shipping a high-value, classic, or luxury car, containerized shipping offers the best protection. Despite its higher cost and potentially slower process, the added security and peace of mind can be well worth it. This method is recommended for those who prioritize the safety and condition of their vehicle above all else.

Recommendations and Actionable Advice

  • Evaluate Your Priorities: Consider what matters most to you—cost, speed, or protection—and choose the method that aligns with your priorities.
  • Review Insurance Options: Regardless of the method, ensure you have adequate insurance coverage to protect your vehicle during transit.
  • Research and Plan Ahead: Investigate shipping companies and their reputations, and plan your shipment well in advance to avoid unnecessary delays and costs.

By considering these factors and understanding the pros and cons of each method, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs and circumstances. Whether you choose RORO or containerized shipping, both methods offer reliable solutions for transporting your vehicle internationally.

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