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In the 19th century, RORO ships were built to haul trains across waterways that were too large to cross via bridges, RO-RO stands for “roll-on/roll-off”, meaning the method of freight in which vehicles are driven On and off the freighter, this method is used to transport vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, and construction equipment, along with other wheeled cargo such as trailers and shipping containers.
When vehicles are driven or pushed onto the ship and secured in place for the voyage, they are then removed from the ship at the port of destination. RORO shipping lines are a convenient and efficient means of transporting large numbers of vehicles over long distances by sea.
There are also many RORO shipping lines and companies around the world, and in this article, we will address a few of them.
1- Grimaldi Group
It is a shipping company based in Naples, Italy, founded by the Grimaldi family in 1947. Today, the company is recognized worldwide as a leader in the shipping of moving goods, including cars and trucks.
Grimaldi Group operates an extensive fleet of RoRo vessels, container ships, and ferries serving various ports across Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia, the company is present in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas and is known for providing reliable and frequent connections between the important ports in these regions.
Grimaldi Line’s RORO fleet is capable of handling various types of moving cargo, including heavy machinery, buses, trucks, and cars.
In addition to shipping services, the Grimaldi Group is involved in logistics, port operations, and other related businesses.
2- Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Since the beginning of the work of that company in 2012, and until now, it has been able to be in the ranks of the largest RORO shipping lines in the world, and it has a fleet of 130 ships with more than 8,200 manpower.
The total capacity of RORO’s fleet is over 1.5 million Vehicle Equivalent Units (CEUs), and it efficiently provides its services all over the world, through 121 processing centers spread across 29 countries.
In addition, it provides online facilities for flight scheduling and itineraries including real-time monitoring of shipments. Headquartered in Norway, the company’s ships provided the service by sailing through 15 trade routes spanning 6 continents to build a strong global network.
3- Hyundai Glovis
Founded in 2001 in South Korea, as a leading RoRo transportation company, Hyundai Glovis has specialized in marine transportation services for automobiles, heavy equipment, and other types of moving goods.
With a fleet of RoRo vessels, the company operates in key markets throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas, offering a total capacity of over 440,000 Vehicle Equivalent Units (CEUs). Major car brands Hyundai Glovis Transports include General Motors, Kia, Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, and Toyota.
Hyundai Glovis provides a range of transportation and logistics services to customers in the automotive industry, including port-to-port and door-to-door transportation services, as well as value-added services such as pre-delivery inspection and clearance.
4- CLDN Cobelfret
is a prominent company that deals with freight and logistics and provides RoRo services for moving goods across Europe, their RoRo line enables fast and reliable transportation of many items, including trucks, trailers, and other vehicles by connecting major ports in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
CLdN Cobelfret’s fleet includes more than 29 RoRo vessels, ranging in capacity from 1,300 to 8,000 meters. Besides the RoRo line, CLdN Cobelfret provides other logistics services such as warehousing, customs clearance, and distribution, making it a one-stop shop for all its customers’ transportation and logistics requirements.
5- Hoegh Autoliners
Hoegh Autoliners started its service in RORO and has evolved into several other areas including financial advisory and real estate and was founded in 1927 in Norway.
Since then, the company has been a pioneer in the international shipping industry. Owning and operating oil tankers came to form the mainstay of the company in the early days. However, by the beginning of the sixties, the company diversified into new activities, introduced new transportation concepts, and played an important role in relation to RORO operations moreover. The company has been awarded ‘Shipping Line of the Year – RORO Operator’ in 2021 awarded by Maritime India Awards.
6- Eukor Car Carriers
Eukor Car Carriers, better known as Eukor, is a car and truck carrier founded in Seoul, South Korea in 2002.
Operating more than 20 RORO vessels with average capacities ranging from 4,000 to 8,000 Vehicle Equivalent Units (CEUs), Eukor covers service routes to Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas, with regional offices in Antwerp, Bangkok, Barcelona, Bremerhaven, Le Havre, New York, Melbourne, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Veracruz to operate its global network.
7- K Line
Is the Japanese company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha LTD introduced to the world in 1919, the company’s headquarters was established in Tokyo, Japan, K Line introduced the first automobile carrier in Japan with the name “TOYOTA MARU NO 10”, then K Line’s RORO operations service network expanded Line operates in North, Central, and South America, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia, providing several fixed-day cruises between the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, and Pacific Rim, and five cruise services between the East Coast of the United States and the Far East via the Panama Canal, as well as to fixed daily weekly services between Europe and the East Coast of North America and between India/Pakistan and the East Coast of North America.
In 1884, Mitsui OSKLines, or MOL was established as a Japanese shipping and transportation company. MOL introduced its first car carrier, the Oppama Maru, in 1965 to meet the demand in the Japanese automobile export market.
The company is the product of a merger between Mitsui Corporation and OSK and has a collective fleet of 100 specialized RORO shipping vessels. The company has maintained and introduced continuous improvements in the confidentiality and reliability of its car carrier service in line with global operations and has also introduced the world’s first hybrid car carrier, powered by solar energy and rechargeable batteries.
9- NYK Line
Nippon Yusen Kaisha, or NYK Line, is a Japanese shipping company operating in the sea and air transportation sectors, including terminal and port transportation and other freight-related services.
137 years ago, on September 29, 1885, the company was founded, and the headquarter was set up in Tokyo, Japan, other than that, branch headquarters were set up in London, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Singapore, with offices in 240 places covering 27 countries.
NYK’s fleet consists of approximately 800 vessels that provide services such as tankers, RORO vessels, LNG carriers, cruise ships, and container ships. The company owns 113 vehicle RORO carriers, and more than 17% of global vehicle shipments are located through the 66,000-vehicle NYK line.
10- Siem Car Carriers
Siem Car Carriers is a global provider of marine transportation and logistics services that specializes in the transportation of automobiles, heavy cargo, and other moving cargo. RORO’s fleet consists of 16 state-of-the-art Car and Truck Transporters (PCTCs) with a total capacity of over 33,000 Vehicle Equivalent Units (CEUs).
Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Norway, the company has regional offices in key markets around the world, including Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom. RORO companies’ main service routes cover markets in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
In addition to the RORO freight service, Siem Car Carriers offer a range of value-added services, including customs clearance, inland transportation, and terminal processing.