RoRo is a term you will hear a lot within the freight industry. Sometimes written as Roro, RORO or Ro-Ro, it’s an abbreviation of the term ‘Roll-on Roll-off’, describing the action of cargo-laden lorries or cars being loaded onto larger ships for further transport.
The term ‘RoRo freight’ refers to goods being shipped via this method: i.e. being first loaded onto a lorry, van, into a car, or other wheeled freight carrying vessel, before being packed onto a ship or ferry when it comes to crossing a body of water.
If someone refers specifically to ‘a RoRo’ they are most likely discussing the loaded ship itself. RoRo vessels are purpose-built ships or ferries which are specifically designed to allow the easy loading and disembarking of vehicles carrying freight. These vessels have in-built ramps to allow the easy shunting of vehicles on and off the boat once docked in a port and is widely viewed as the most efficient method of moving cargo across a body of water. Sometimes RoRos are utilised for rivers and other smaller bodies of water than seas.
RoRo and LoLo are separate, where LoLo stands for ‘Load-on Load-off’, utilising cranes to shift cargo between land and sea vessel.