Perhaps it all comes down to risk tolerance. Crossing the ocean – one can imagine, as an automobile – sitting on the deck with other cargo cinched down with chains. Alternatively, a large, strong, steel container offers protection from most of the ocean’s elements outside a bloody disaster.  Heck containers can make a trendy home. Is it possible something could be thrown and damage your as yet delivered new jewel, exposed, on the deck? Certainly. Likely? Who knows – that’s why there is insurance.

MV Tønsberg

Author: Naamsvermelding vereist Subject: MV Tønsberg (Ro/Ro vessel of Mark V class Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics built in 2011) in the port of Zeebrugge (Belgium)

It seems there are very large “floating parking garages” just as there are very large container vessels. So perhaps the risk isn’t quite as large as the aforementioned mental image may have suggested. With the RORO method the cargo such as machines, semi-trailers, construction equipment, and other vehicles are simply rolled on the ship at the port of loading and rolled off the ship at the port of discharge.

Consequently, price and shipping requirements become top considerations. As discussed in a previous post RORO is cheaper but doesn’t allow more than the rolling vehicle to be transported – you can’t pack the car full of spares. Research both container and RORO methods by obtaining quotes and considering port options – make sure your selected port supports your desired shipping method. It is important to know that container shipping is supported at far more ports than RORO. Some smaller countries may not have RORO capability at all. According to container shipping is 25 to 30 percent more expensive.

In regards to insurance; it’s a complex subject with more considerations than just deductibles and types of “Total Loss” so we’ll leave that for another post.