Breakbulk cargo on RoRo Vessels – fits like a glove

18 March 2019

It is the middle of March and albeit we’re all waiting for Spring to arrive here in chilly Norway, the temperature is a cool -9 Degrees Celsius. On my way to work this morning, the only place my cold hands longed for was a pair of warm wool mittens to protect them from the harsh realities of what is known to us Norwegians as a real Nordic winter.

Just like my hands, breakbulk commodities feel mostly at home in a Roll On Roll off vessel. Yes, there are other modes of shipping out there to transport non-rolling cargos of various shapes and forms, but there are indeed many advantages of using RoRo vessels for these types of sophisticated, high value and often complex cargo types. Below I will highlight the top three advantages which include money saved, supply chain predictability and safety.

Time is Money

A shipping line is like a taxi driver – the more trips you are able to accrue in a given time period, the better the books will look. However, most RoRo vessels operate on a liner service basis – much like a bus service. Höegh has dedicated global trades with regular ports of call and consequently fixed transit times between those. As a shipper, you have an itinerary that you can rely on and plan your shipments. This is unlike other carriers that operate more in the spot market. You will also spend less time on storage as our regular and frequent services will enable you to match shipment dates with vessel schedule.

Lastly, as the cargo is rolled on and rolled off, you can also avoid costly crane hire and hazardous high lifting’s which is often the case with other modes of deep sea transportation carriers. We keep things close to the ground – for a reason!

No HIGH lifting required

With over 3 300 rolltrailers of different lengths, heights and strengths you can rest assured that we are able to find the perfect match for your cargo. At the port of loading, all breakbulk commodities are lashed and secured to our rolltrailers by experienced and dedicated personnel that ensure that your cargo is safe during the sea passage. Once lashed to a rolltrailer, we simply roll it on board the appropriate deck on the vessel and secure it to the deck with lashings. This also facilities transhipments if necessary, as again the cargo does not leave the rolltrailer. During sailing, our experienced crew continuously monitor your cargo to ensure its stays safe during the entire journey.  Once the vessel reaches the cargo’s final destination, specialised tugmasters are able to pull up to 160MT of cargo weight, and will make sure that your cargo goes on and off without touching.

Protected – at all times

Like the glove that will keep your hands warm and protected from the elements, so will the fully enclosed cargo decks of a RoRo carrier. There will be no sea spray, gusting winds or sand on your cargo whilst en route. All our vessels have ventilated cargo holds that will keep your precious cargo clean and dry.


Stian Omli is Global Head of Breakbulk Sales in Höegh Autoliners. He holds 16 years of experience in the maritime sector - primarily in a commercial capacity. Stian has a Master degree with particular emphasis on international management, export strategies and marketing from the University or Surrey.

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