Roll-on Roll-off Shipping – Prepare Your Car

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Roll-on Roll-off car shipping is a very effective way logistics-wise and price-wise to ship your automobile overseas. Your vehicle is shipped on a specialized car carrier vessel. The best way to describe it is to picture a big multi-level parking lot … that swims. Car carrier vessels were designed to efficiently handle vehicle imports from Japan and Europe to USA. However, with the automotive industry being number one source of export revenue in USA – Ro/Ro car shipping has become a major method of transporting cars worldwide.

roll-on roll-off car shipping

RO/RO Car Carrier

There are a few things you need to know about roll-on roll-off car shipping:

1. Car carrier vessel service is very limited in geographical coverage. Major trade shipping routes are Asia (Japan & Korea) and Western Europe. Service to other parts of the world is very limited. If you’re shipping your car to a remote location this service may not be available.

2. Only a few ocean ports in USA can handle roll-on roll-off cargo. It means that even if you live nearby an ocean port it may not service Ro/Ro ships. You’ll have to drive a longer distance or even hire a car transport company to deliver your vehicle to the port.

3. You cannot have items inside the car. The rule of the thumb is – if the manufacturer didn’t place the items in the car – they cannot be inside when you’re turning it over to the Ro/Ro carrier. It’s tempting to fill out the car with your personal items since you’re paying for space anyways but ports are very strict about this rule.

4. The gas in the tank must be at the very minimum. You cannot fill up your gas tank even though the gas price in the country of destination may be much higher.

5. Your vehicle will be driven on and off the ship. Port workers (longshoremen) may not treat your vehicle as their own so it’s common to find dirt and upholstery stains after the delivery. Unfortunately, we don’t know anybody who was able to successfully claim any cleaning costs back to the port. You may want to put some plastic covers over your seats and place some disposable paper mats on the floor.

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