International vehicle shipping methods: RoRo vs. Container

Get a free quote today

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.

Our easy - 3 step shipping process

Advise pick-up location
Documents & shipping
Delivered to your door

Tell us the pick up location and we'll arrange a date & time

We handle all customs & shipping including insurance

Enjoy your toy, after it's delivered to your door anywhere in NZ.

Get Started

Related articles

Importing a Caravan to NZ – What You Need to Know
Posted on 15th May 2023
Ready to hit the road in New Zealand? Learn the ins and outs of importing a caravan to NZ with our guide. From costs to regulations, we've got you covered.
Read more

Mistakes to Avoid When Importing Vehicles to NZ
Posted on 28th April 2023
It is easy to make mistakes when importing vehicles due to the length and complex processes involved. Discover how to avoid any issues when importing to NZ.
Read more

Biosecurity MPI Inspections – What to Expect and How to Prepare
Posted on 29th March 2023
Every vehicle imported into New Zealand must go through an MPI inspection. Discover what these inspections entail and how to prepare your car for one.
Read more

How to Register an Imported Vehicle
Posted on 3rd March 2023
Looking to register an imported vehicle? Learn the rules & regulations around importing a car to NZ and Australia, so you can register your imported vehicle.
Read more

Increased measures - Takata airbag recall.. Read more.