Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Ro-Ro Ships and Container Ships - Vol.407

If you decide to import a car from overseas, there are a couple of transportation options available to you. The most popular ones are Ro-Ro ships and traditional car container ships. If you've never imported a car before, you're probably not very familiar with the differences between them. In order to help you make a decision, we'll explain what both of these are, and what are the main advantages and disadvantages of using them for transporting your new car.

Ro-Ro Ships
Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro) ships are a type of cargo ships that are designed to carry wheeled cargo. They have built-in ramps that are used to load and unload all kinds of vehicles. For this reason, they are commonly referred to as car carriers.

Ro-Ro ships have been around since the 19th century and have proven to be a very convenient and affordable way of vehicle transportation. Thanks to the in-built ramps, it's easy to drive the vehicle onto them, after which the vehicle is secured to built-in car decks. This means the risk of damaging a vehicle is reduced to a minimum.

Types of Ro-Ro Ships
Thanks to different technological advancements, there are a few different types of Ro-Ro ship available today:
- Pure Car Carrier (PCC) - These ships are used to transport cars only, so they are a good choice if you need to import your new car from other countries.
- Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) - Aside from transporting cars, these ships are made to transport heavy vehicles such as trucks, as well as a variety of other four-wheel vehicles.
- Container Vessel + Ro-Ro (ConRo) - There ships are a combination of standard container ships and Ro-Ro ships. They are usually very large and can transport a combined weight of over 50,000 DWT (Dead Weight Tons).
- General Cargo + Ro-Ro Ship (GenRo) - This is a standard cargo ship with some of the features of Ro-Ro ships. They're usually smaller and can carry up to 30,000 DWT.
- RoPax - You've probably heard about this type of ships under their more common name, ferries. They can transport cars, as well as provide accommodation for passengers.
- Complete Ro-Ro ships - This is the type of car carriers mainly used in the high seas. They're capable of transporting cargo that weighs up to around 40,000 DWT.

Container Ships
Another way of transporting your car overseas is by using traditional container ships. These containers are available in different sizes so they can transport pretty much any car, no matter the type or size. Although they don't have some of the security features that Ro-Ro ships have, all vehicles are carefully loaded and secured using chocks and straps.

Another good thing about these ships is that they can also be used for transporting personal belongings and spare parts or accessories, which is usually not the case with Ro-Ro ships. Container ships are big enough to carry a car along with different accessories, or even multiple cars at once.

Although they may not be as convenient as Ro-Ro ships, another advantage they have is the geographical coverage. Unlike most Ro-Ro ships, container ship can take your car virtually anywhere in the world. Some of them are also very large and able to carry an impressive number of up to 16,000 containers.

As you can see, both types of vessels have certain advantages, so choosing the right one will mostly be a matter of personal preference and priorities. If you're read this because you're interested in importing a car, rest assured that whichever of these you decide to go for, there's no reason to think that your car won't be transported safely.