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What is RoRo Auto Transport?

What's in this article?
  1. Types Of Vehicles Shipped Using Roll-On/Roll-Off Car Shipping
  2. History Of Ro-Ro Cargo Transport
  3. U.s Cities With Roro Ports
  4. Online Ro-Ro Resources
Online Ro Ro Resources

RoRo is a shortened term for a type of vehicle transport in which the cargo can be “rolled on and rolled off” of the transport vehicle, which is most often a large cargo ship. (Air freight can also be shipped using ro-ro service, which is simply a term used to describe the loading and unloading process). Here’s how it works.

The vehicle is driven onto the boat (rolled on), shipped to its destination port and driven off (rolled off). Typically, RoRo service is used in international and overseas auto shipping as the more affordable alternative to delivery via air freight.

Roll-on/Roll-off shipping is usually reserved for larger cargo ships since it takes considerable space to deliver vehicles with this method and also requires enough vehicles to be moved at once for it to be financially feasible. Some ro-ro ships can carry hundreds of cars at once. This is how autos are most frequently transported to and from the United States.

Types of Vehicles Shipped Using Roll-on/Roll-off Car Shipping

Basically, anything that has wheels or can be safely and securely placed on wheels can be delivered using the ro-ro method. Here are some of the common vehicle types delivered using roll-on/roll-off shipping:

  • Cars
  • Buses
  • Trucks
  • Vans
  • SUVs
  • Construction equipment
  • International cargo
  • Military vehicles
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History of Ro-Ro Cargo Transport

Roll-on/Roll-off transport has existed since the emergence of the steam train in the 1800s. The popularity of the steam engine and the developing railway infrastructure in the U.S. and across the world required a way to move locomotive cars over large bodies of water.

Ro Ro Auto Transport

It wasn’t until the 1950s that Ro-Ro transport became a practical way to transport oversize wheeled vehicles commercially. During the 1970s, the dramatic increase in production, import and export of autos required more efficient routes of delivery to overseas markets. RoRo became a popular option that began to open up to consumers as well as businesses.

Roll-on/roll-off service proved to be a very helpful for maritime cargo transport as it provided a much more efficient way to load and unload vehicles. Containerized shipping developed alongside the growth of ro-ro transport, further streamlining the process of shipping goods internationally.

U.S. Cities with RoRo Ports

  • Baltimore
  • Brunswick
  • Charleston
  • Jacksonville
  • New York
  • Norfolk
  • Galveston
  • Los Angeles
  • Seattle
Online Ro-Ro Resources

Safety of Ro-Ro Ferries - Safety statistics from the International Maritime Organization regarding RoRo ferries and their safety as a method of delivering cargo.

RO-RO Ship & Dock Safety - An overview of safety guidelines for Ro-Ro shipping from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

U.s. Cities With Roro Ports
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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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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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