The terms oversize or over dimensional cargo are used to describe freight items that won’t fit into a standard 20 or 40 foot sea freight containers and alternative solutions need to be found to pack and ship these items. If rolling can move these over dimensional items, then a roll on/roll off (RORO) freight solution may be an option.
Often vehicles and machinery, such as cars, trucks, heavy construction, mining and earth moving machinery are transported internationally in this way.
Special RORO ships are designed to carry wheeled cargo, which can be driven, on and off the ship on their own wheels. These large ocean-going vessels have ramps at the bow and stern for quick loading. By comparison, the traditional LOLO vessels (lift-on, lift-off) used cranes to transport standard containers from the wharf onto the ship.
RORO freight charges are calculated based on the number of cubic metres or the weight of the cargo, depending on which is the greatest.
It’s important to book well in advance for RORO shipping as spaces are limited, especially on high demand routes, and at times can be pre-booked two or three months in advance. For example, there can be long waits for shipping vehicles from vehicle manufacturing nations such as Japan during December and January as New Year models come off production lines.