International vehicle shipping methods: RoRo vs. Container

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to find out costs and procedures involved in shipping your car from Australia to New Zealand.

Posted on 21st June 2021


If you’re looking into shipping a vehicle to or from New Zealand, you’re likely to come across two terms: Roll-on/Roll-off shipping (RoRo) and container shipping. Both are excellent options for moving your car, motorhome, truck, motorbike or other wheeled cargo internationally. However, one method may be better suited to your shipping needs than the other.

What is RoRo shipping?

With roll on/roll off, your vehicle is driven onto and off the ship and parked inside the vessel throughout the journey.

Ro/Ro shipping is the ideal mode of transport if you are looking to only move an empty vehicle, in a timely manner. If the vehicle is larger than a 40ft container, RoRo is maybe your only option.

What is container shipping?

If you choose this option, your car is stored in an open or closed container. You can either consolidate your car with other vehicles bound for the same destination, or use an exclusive container, which can fit your vehicle and other belongings or furniture if needed.

Differences between RoRo and container shipping

Your car needs to be in running condition to ship it using the Roll On/Roll Off method. With container shipping, the vehicle can be in any condition as it does not need to be driven during the shipping process.

RoRo is less expensive than container shipping.

The cost of container shipping is generally higher, but it does mean you can ship a large number of belongings and furniture with your car.

Chances of vehicle damage are less likely with container shipping.

Once your vehicle is loaded, the container is sealed until it is unpacked by you or your shipping provider. RoRo cars are driven by shipping workers and are more likely to be exposed to the elements.

You can include other personal belongings when shipping via container, so it is a more ideal option if you are moving overseas and want to ship furniture as well.

RoRo shipping has more reliable departure and arrival dates than container shipping.

If you want your vehicle to arrive faster or need definite dates, we recommend RoRo shipping.

Container ships operate on more access routes than RoRo ships.

If you are shipping your vehicle to or from major hubs, RoRo ships are likely to be frequently travelling those routes. If you are looking at shipping between more obscure destinations, container shipping may be your only option.

Get in touch with the Cars2NZ team to discuss ocean transport options for your vehicle and get a free quote today.


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