October 2017 | Sponsored | Roll-on-Roll-off

Smooth Sailings

Tags: Ocean, Automotive Logistics, Transportation

As reducing damages reduces cost, so too does reducing time.

When weighing ocean transportations options, you want more than the price. You want the full picture. Cost, time, quality and risk assessment are some of the many parameters that need consideration. Among the plethora of ocean transportation options is Roll-on Roll-off, better known as RoRo.

RoRo vessels provide great flexibility to accommodate different types of cars, trucks, project cargo, construction and agriculture equipment. Not all types of cargo are built to fit in containers, so why force the round peg through a square hole?

RoRo vessels have multiple deck heights and adjustable deck heights to accommodate tall, wide, heavy and out-of-gauge cargo. The vessels' ramps also reduce the need to lift cargo onto a vessel during loading and discharging operations. Instead the cargo can be loaded via the vessel's ramp, and in many cases, under the cargo's own power. In turn, the cargo is less likely to sustain damages.

The way cargo is secured on a RoRo vessel for transport can also reduce damage. Whether it's a component of a machine being loaded on a trailer, or a construction excavator being driven aboard on its own power, each piece of cargo is secured directly to the vessel to limit movement during transit. And while at sea, vessel staff makes routine rounds, checking on all cargo to ensure lashings are properly securing the cargo. All of these safety measures offer peace of mind and reduce extra costs.

As reducing damages reduces cost, so too does reducing time. When preparing cargo for transport in a container, time and resources are dedicated to disassembling the cargo for transport, assembling the cargo upon arrival, or both. It can cost thousands of dollars to break a piece of cargo down and rebuild it, where loading the cargo onto a RoRo vessel in one piece drastically reduces those costs. In addition, RoRo carriers offer extensive networks in all major trade lanes to get your cargo to market frequently and on time.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) recently completed the first shipment of machine components from Japan for a vehicle manufacturing plant in Nevada. The customer traditionally shipped components in containers and was looking for a solution to their costly disassembly and assembly processes. Instead of placing the components into containers and reassembling them upon arrival, WWL's approach allowed for the machines to be transported fully assembled. The switch to RoRo saved the customer millions of dollars in assembly costs. This is just one example of many customers who've realized the benefits and cost effectiveness of going RoRo.


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