Is it Safe to Ship an Expensive Car Overseas on a Roll-On / Roll-Off (Ro/Ro) Ship?

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When looking for overseas car shipping service you have three options: shipping by container, shipping on a roll-on / roll-off (ro/ro) ship or shipping by air.  The most affordable option to ship your car internationally is using ro/ro service.  However, the misconception is that shipping an expensive car using ro/ro service is not safe.  Today we will help debunk the rumors on international ro/ro car shipping service.

Rumor #1: International Ro/Ro Shipping is Only for Inexpensive Cars

Did you know that ro/ro vessels not only carry cars but they also carry heavy duty trucks, construction equipment, and other heavy machinery.  Most of these items are worth in excess of tens of thousands of dollars.  Therefore, if it is safe to ship a $125,000 Caterpillar excavator on a ro/ro vessel, it is safe to ship a $125,000 Maserati.

Automobiles aren’t the only type of cargo loaded on ro/ro vessels.  Ro/Ro vessels can also accommodate trucks, buses, construction equipment and over-sized heavy machinery.
Rumor #2: I Heard if I Ship my Car on a Ro/Ro Vessel it Sits on Top of the Vessel and it is Exposed to the Elements and Can Easily Fall Off



The ro./ro vessel has come a long way since the introduction of car ferries in the 1800’s.  Although some car ferries around the world are still open-air, most first-class international ro/ro steamship lines have specialized enclosed ro/ro vessels.  Today’s international car and truck ro/ro carriers are nicer than your garage.  The vessels are climate controlled and your cargo is protected from the elements.  Cars are driven into the belly of the ship and safely secured.  This is how the world’s car manufacturer’s ship their brand new vehicles around the world, on ro/ro ships.  


Most people think of car ferries when they think of shipping their Lamborghini on a ro/ro vessel.  This is NOT what a typical first-class ro/ro vessel looks like.
Cars loaded on a ro/ro vessel are inside the ship, protected from the elements and safely secured.  You can safely ship your expensive Bentley, Maserati, Mercedes, BMW or Lamborghini overseas from the USA on a ro/ro vessel.


 Rumor #3: Shipping my Expensive Car in a Container is Safer Because there is No Risk of Damage

While shipping your car overseas in a container is a safe option, and an option several customers prefer, it does not guarantee your car will arrive without a scratch.  Our professional warehouses specialize in loading vehicles inside containers, however what happens on the other side of the ocean is another story.  One of biggest issues customers who ship their car internationally in a container face is finding a reliable warehouse overseas who can safely unload their vehicle.  Inexperienced warehouses in another country may damage your vehicle during the unloading process if they have no clue what they’re doing.  Typical damage includes scratches along the side of the vehicle, damaging windows, and blowing out tires during the unloading process.  If you prefer to ship your car abroad from the USA in a container, you should make sure you employ an experienced professional in the arrival country in order to avoid the risk of damage to your vehicle.


Do you have more questions about the safety and reliability of shipping your car overseas using roll-on / roll-off (ro/ro) international shipping services?  Contact our office at 212-267-6400, on skype at kinternationalny or by email at inquiries@kinternational.com for more information.  We can also provide international car shipping quotes for ro/ro service from the USA to almost any destination in the world.  

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