What Is Lift On Lift Off Boat Shipping?

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What Is Lift On Lift Off Boat Shipping?
What Is Lift On Lift Off Boat Shipping?

Now that you bought a boat, it is time to get it to your destination. There are several boat shipping options for both local and international transportation. Depending on your location, you can settle on one of these three methods:

  1. Ship over land: Boats can be transported over land using trailers. The suitability of this method will depend on your boat size. Boats that are considered too large to be on the roads cannot use the over land option.
  2. Yacht transport ship: This option is best suited for overseas ports. This method is also suitable for larger cargo.
  3. Delivery captain: A yacht delivery professional can directly sail your boat to your location. This is the cheapest option as the boat does not require another vessel for transportation.

In this article, we will focus on the yacht shipping options. The overseas transport system offers the Lift on/ Lifts off (LOLO), the container, and the Roll on/Roll off (RORO) shipping. The LOLO shipping is a way of loading and offloading boats using on-board cranes. Unlike the other vessels, the LOLO ship has certain characteristics that make it transport cargo unassisted. But first, let us look at some terms often used with LOLO shipping.

  • A LOLO cargo: Containerized items that, due to their large size, cannot be transported using containers or RORO ships. They require boats to be loaded and off-loaded using cranes.
  • A LOLO operation: This is when the cranes load and discharge a cargo over the top of the ship.

Three features of a LOLO ship

Now, here are the three features of a LOLO ship

  1. Flexible cargo-space: The LOLO vessels have flexible cargo spaces which allow large boats to be loaded from the top.
  1. Container capacity: The LOLO vessels have a larger container capacity than the RORO and container vessels. This allows for more cargo transportation.
  1. On-board cranes: The on-board cranes basically load and off-load boats onto the vessel.
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The LOLO ships use the cranes to:

  • Efficiently lift a boat
  • Steadfastly hold the boat up
  • Place the load on a vessel
  • Safely lower a boat

The three types of on-board cranes are;

  • Derrick cranes: These are motor-driven cranes used to hoist cargo. They have a wrap end from which cargo is hoisted.
  • Jib cranes: These deck cranes are used on many modern ships. They can rotate at 360 degrees to allow a more efficient operation than the derricks. Their efficiency also allows for more cargo lifting. When there is more load than one crane can handle, two jib cranes can work together.
  • Gantry cranes: These cranes contain extensions which hook and grab cargos. They have rack and pinion gears to drive them and are efficient in lifting very heavy cargo.

As earlier mentioned, RORO and container shipping are alternative to LOLO vessels. We now look at how LOLO compares to the other two options.

LOLO vs other options

What are the advantages of LOLO over RORO?

The LOLO system is economical than RORO as vehicles do not have to be driven onto the transporting vessel. The on-board crane, which uses rails, is used to lift cargo. This feature also makes the method eco-friendly. On the other hand, the RORO shipping encourages CO2 emission which pollutes the environment. Since vehicles have to be driven to a vessel, the RORO system also costs the owner of the vehicle extra in regards to fuel. Lastly, the LOLO system can load more than the RORO vessel due to its higher container capacity.

What are the advantages of RORO over LOLO?

Compared to the RORO system, LOLO shipping is slower. This delays delivery time for boats. This speed aspect also makes transport logistics more complex for the LOLO machines.

What are the advantages of the LOLO over the container shipping?

Container shipping involves loading cargos in a consolidated container. The LOLO vessels accommodate larger boats as compared to the container ones.

What are the advantages of the container shipping over LOLO?

Since the containers vessels can hold fewer vehicles, they are easier to transport and more affordable than the LOLO shipping.

What is the future of LOLO shipping?

One outstanding advantage of the LOLO system is the use of rails. With the current trend of “Green Corridors”, the transport system will favor railways. In addition, LOLO can be used for a variety of cargo; with and without wheels, as well as large and small cargo.

For more information on Lift on/Lift of shipping, get in touch with us and we’ll advice you on this method’s suitability to your needs.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.


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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

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Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!
★★★★★

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
★★★★★

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

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David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!
★★★★★

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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