What Is RORO ?

Roll-on/ Roll-off (RORO or ro-ro) ships are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers or railroad cars that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels. This is in contrast to lo-lo (lift-on/lift-off) vessels which use a crane to load and unload cargo.


RORO vessels have built-in ramps which allow the cargo to be efficiently “rolled on” and “rolled off” the vessel when in port. While smaller ferries that operate across rivers and other short distances often have built-in ramps, the term RORO is generally reserved for larger ocean-going vessels. The ramps and doors may be stern-only, or bow and stern for quick loading.


A pure car carrier ship’s starboard side showing side ramp.

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