Special times require ‘out-of-the-box’ logistics solutions
June 17th, 2022 - The shortage of freight capacity in the container market continues to pose major challenges for logistics providers and companies. In particular, difficulties can arise when transporting high freight volumes along highly frequented trade routes. In April, one of our customers expressed concerns about sending goods from Europe to Central America using a regular ocean freight container service. In response, our logistics experts responded promptly, offering the customer an ‘out-of-the-box’ solution. The Röhlig Deutschland team at the Nuremberg site first transported the cargo overland from Italy to Bremerhaven. From there, the consignment reached Canada via Ro/Ro sea freight and was finally transported to Mexico by truck. This approach offered two advantages: Firstly, bypassing current delays in the container market. Secondly, offering a solution more suited to the oversized cargo.
What is Ro/Ro sea freight?
Roll-on/roll-off (Ro/Ro) vessels are cargo ships specially designed for transporting wheeled cargo. Loading and unloading at port is done via ramps or ferry docks. Usually, these ramps are located at the stern (rear) of the ship. On some ships they are also located at the bow (front) side as well as on the sides. The Ro/Ro vessel is different from a Lo/Lo (lift on/lift off) vessel, which uses a crane for loading.
Ro/Ro is often used to transport cars, trucks, semi-trucks, buses or trailers. These can roll on and off the ship on their own wheels. Alternatively, goods can be placed on platform vehicles such as self-propelled modular transporters to help with loading and unloading. Generally, the Ro/Ro method is used when freight is too large, too heavy or too sensitive to be transported by container. Ro/Ro is also often the method of choice for time-critical deliveries.
Reliable delivery from Italy to Mexico via Bremerhaven
Ro/Ro shipments are largely unaffected by equipment shortages, such as those currently occurring in the container market. The ships are handled at separate terminals at the port of destination, often bypassing the long queues at the container terminals. The goods transported by our customer were part of a production line for the automotive industry. Therefore, the shipment on a rollable chassis was the obvious choice. Röhlig Germany organized the entire supply chain of the goods from the pick-up location in the Milan area by truck to Bremerhaven and from there via Ro/Ro ship on the fastest available transatlantic crossing to Canada. A total of nine boxes with 130 cubic meters of cargo crossed Canada and the US, reaching El Paso in just under three weeks - a transit time that would not have been feasible using the typical container service via Houston. The customer was delighted with this innovative approach and thanked Röhlig for the reliable delivery.
This isn’t the first time that Röhlig Germany has demonstrated its expertise in Ro/Ro. Recently, the team also used this method to arrange the transport of a gas turbine from Brazil to Germany.
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