January 2020 | Commentary | Carriers Corner: Air, Ocean, Rail, Road Topics

Transporting Cars: RoRo or Containers

Tags: Inventory Management, Automotive Logistics, Transportation

The automotive supply chain is global and complex. The integration of smart solutions such as containerization maximizes the safety of the product, no matter how far it will travel to the final destination. Using containerization in place of traditional roll-on roll-off, or RoRo, transportation offers many advantages to the driver, the automotive supplier, and the consumer.

Christoph Seitz, Co-Owner, CFR Rinkens, 310-223-0474

The advantages of containerization lead to lower transport costs. The container is its own warehouse, protecting the cargo it contains. This implies simpler and less expensive packaging for containerized cargoes, particularly consumer goods.

The stacking capacity on ships, trains (double stacking), and on the ground (container yards) is another advantage of containers.

Why Containers?

Here are several other benefits of transporting cars in containers.

More options, more flexibility. Other types of transport, such as RoRo, have no choice but to follow fixed, often indirect routes. They must also travel slowly, and ports with RoRo terminals may be few and far between. This, in turn, necessitates more transfers by rail or road to perform the journey.

Container ships sail more frequently and are apt to have both larger freight capacity and quicker transit times. Port turnaround times with containers can be as quick as one day in some cases.

In terms of rail transportation, the level of space must certainly be optimized wherever possible to reduce costs. Containers maximize space while reducing costs to make certain that rail transportation rates can remain competitive. Choosing containers to move your vehicles means greater flexibility; you can pack unused space with other items.

Less chance of theft. Regardless of what sort of vehicle you ship, containers are a smart choice for secure transport. A container can only be opened by three individuals: the vendor, a customs employee, or the buyer.

Also, a container's contents cannot be seen from the outside, and carriers are not aware of what's inside. These combined security features allow for some welcome peace of mind compared to other methods.

Less damage. All containers must stick to strict safety regulations with regard to structural integrity. A container fit for shipping is promised to be water and airtight, so as to protect your cars from rain, hail, dust, sun, tree sap, bird waste, and temperature extremes.

A car being loaded into a container must be carefully positioned before putting wheel chocks in place. After being properly chocked, the wheels are lashed into the container to make sure there will be no movement while in transit, ensuring a low possibility of damage. This isn't possible with older methods.

No inventory to store. Containerization prevents the expensive and resource-wasting practice of storing inventory. Instead, vehicles can be reliably loaded exactly as they need to be before being transported and delivered to the customer on time.

When containers with cars are stacked, the price to store them is far lower than a multistory building. Despite the incredible costs of doing so, manufacturers still build multistory car parks for their inventory. Stacking containers requires virtually no infrastructure or investment.

Containers are not only cost-effective and less risky to your cars, but they are also standard transport product, which means they can be loaded, transported, and unloaded around the globe.






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