What are....Car carriers?

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What are....Car carriers?

Car carriers are ships belonging to the ships called RO-RO  / Roll on-Roll off / and serve to transport the production  of big companies in car industry. Besides cars the cargo of those ships consist of trucks, excavators, buses, and often containers and heavy parts.Loading and unloading is done by car carrier movable ramps that this type of vessels are equipped with the help of auxiliary trucks, forklifts or tractors for  part of the cargo.

Over the years, technological advances have led to the improvement of this type of ships and splitting them up into two subcategories: s PCC / Pure car carrier / and those for cars, trucks and other PCTC / Pure Car and Truck Carrier /.

Constructive car carriers consist of movable internal ramps in large ships that reach 14 to 15 in number, and one or two external ramps providing access to the mentioned above




However, there are things that make ro-ro ships dangerous to work on. Ro-ro ships have been criticized for a number of reasons, mainly because of one single reason – safety of the ship.

If a vessel maintains its stability at sea then it is safer to sail. However, the problem with the RO-RO ship is its design, which includes cargo in upper decks and accommodation at even higher levels.

Even a minor shift of cargo in the ro-ro vessel can become a major threat to the stability of the ship. Similarly, hull failure leading to flooding can result in capsize of the vessel in no time. The effects of wind and bad weather on high accommodation can also disturb the ship’s stability.

In Ro-Ro ships which carry only cargo, the general arrangement of cargo access door is close to the water line. In the event of listing, the door can get submerged leading to high chances for ingress of water inside the ship which will lead to capsize.

The subdivision of ro-ro ship from inside lacks from the transverse bulkheads, leading to lower water tight integrity when water ingress or flooding takes place. Lack of bulkhead also leads to spreading of fire more quickly as no subdivision is present to contain the fire.

When a ship is to be abandoned, life raft and lifeboats are used to leave the ship as soon as possible. The location of lifeboat and life rafts on ro-ro ships is usually very high, which makes it even difficult to lower them at sea especially when the ship is listing.

Cargo stowage is very important operation on Ro-Ro vessel for any loose cargo (trailer, cars etc.) can give rise to a chain reaction leading to heavy shift in cargo position. The trucks and trawlers loaded on board also carry cargo inside them and any shift of that cargo can also lead to listing of the ship.




Nowadays, car carriers occupy an important part of shipping and the global economy as a whole.

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