What is RoRo Auto Transport?

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What is RoRo Auto Transport?
What is RoRo Auto Transport?

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

A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.

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.

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).

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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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Testimonial
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.

Testimonial
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.

Testimonial
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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