Top 5 Reasons to Ship Machinery RORO vs. Container

It's a question as old as RORO shipping. "Should I ship my machine overseas on a RORO vessel or in a shipping container?" You could probably guess where a blog by will land on the issue, but let's look at the top 5 reasons to ship your machine overseas on a RORO vessel, and not in a shipping container.

1. RORO requires no dismantling.

Many agricultural and construction machines simply don't fit into shipping containers unless they're taken apart. Containers are a few inches short of 8 feet wide on the inside, so machinery has to be dismantled and shipped as parts. Dismantling is a time-consuming process that extends your shipping timeline. Due to strict container weight limits, some larger machines require more than one container, further complicating reassembly at your destination.

RORO vessels were built specifically to ship large assets overseas like construction equipment, agricultural machinery, and more. Machines are loaded on board RORO vessels using built-in ramps that can withstand up to 500 tons. Shipping machinery on RORO vessels means the machines will arrive ready to work immediately, bringing you a faster return on your investment.

2. RORO is faster.

RORO shipping service is more direct, with specialized trade lanes and fewer port stops in between departure and arrival. With RORO, you deliver your construction equipment, agricultural machine, or other asset directly to the sea port, rather than an off site container loading facility, saving on ground transport and loading time.

As we wrote in another post, RORO vessels load 8 times faster than container vessels. "Not only does RORO vessel design make unloading easier and quicker, industry can get access to cargo straight from the port, rather than trucking it in from elsewhere." RORO was designed and commercialized as a faster, more convenient way to to ship large assets worldwide, like machinery, cars, trucks, and more.

3. RORO scales with your demand.

No matter the scale of your shipment, whether for one machine or a fleet of equipment, RORO instantly scales to meet your demand. RORO cargo is loaded on board as is, and requires no local sourcing of equipment to handle overseas shipping. Container vessels require local sourcing of container equipment at each terminal, and supply does not always keep up with demand. Modern RORO vessels can hold over 5000 CEUs, or car-equivalent units, meaning space is rarely an issue.

4. RORO is easier.

This is a theme you'll notice about RORO shipping: It simply requires fewer steps to complete a RORO shipment than it does a container shipment. There are fewer points of contact in between pickup and delivery, there are fewer documentation requirements, and less time spent arranging each process. 

In terms of security, RORO cargo is not enclosed in a container, so Customs inspections are easier and almost never result in costly Customs holds. RORO is a more direct, streamlined method of shipping large assets, and it's never been easier to quote, book and manage shipments thanks to Your instant booking includes port delivery instructions and documentation requirements, eliminating any guesswork.

5. RORO is often more cost-effective.

With the more streamlined process of RORO shipping, and a pricing mechanism that accounts only for the volume of space used, RORO shipping is often the cheapest way to ship your machine overseas. Delivering and picking up cargo directly from the port saves time and money on ground transportation, dismantling, loading, and reassembly costs. Your assets can produce a faster return on your investment with RORO shipping. 

In addition to these extra costs, a container's base ocean freight cost is the same regardless of what's inside. You pay for the entire shipping container, even if your cargo takes up a minority of the space. With RORO shipping, each piece of cargo is measured at the port prior to loading, and priced according to the exact volume of space it takes up. Depending on your cargo and its destination, RORO is not only the easiest and fastest way, but often the most cost-effective.

Thanks for reading the top 5 reasons it's better to ship machinery overseas on RORO vessels than in containers. Check out for instant RORO shipping quotes, schedules and bookings to 150 destinations worldwide.

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