Which RoRo ships are the biggest in the world?

A specialty ship type among all cargo vessels in operation is the RoRo. This common naming derives from an acronym for Roll-on/roll-off. These vessels are intended to carry all wheeled cargo, loaded in and out on their own wheels. RoRo ships are the most convenient means for transporting cargo such as cars, wheeled engines for construction (cranes, etc.), trucks, semi-trucks, train compartments, buses, motorcycles, etc. Below is a quick presentation of the top largest RORO ships showing Operating Status “Active”, except the Felicity Ace that sank earlier this year.

Innovated from the first train ferry named Floating Railway in 1850, RoRo ships quickly spread from the 19th century onward. They are of different types, some being pure car carriers (PCC), and others accommodating cars and trucks (PCTC). Apart from vehicles, some even transport containerized freight (RoCon), passengers (RoPax), or have a military use (MSC).

As a consequence, their load capacity may also considerably vary. The ramp can support from 150 tons up to 500 tons, and depending on the number of decks, the carrying capacity can go from 4,000 to 5,000 to 8,000 CEU (car equivalent unit).  

1. MK-V ships of Wallenius Wilhelmsen MV Tønsberg

From 2012 onward, MV Tønsberg is the largest RoRo ship sailing nowadays. Wallenius Wilhelmsen, a Norway-based shipping and vehicle logistics company, owns it. Built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, in Nagasaki (Japan), MV Tønsberg is strategically constructed to transport very high and heavy cargo loads. It won the Ship of the year 2012 award from the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers.

Flag: Malta.

Dimensions (approx..): length 265 m, width 32 m, draft 11 m.

Gross tonnage (approx.): 75.

Maximum speed: 20.25 knots

Number of decks: Six fixed decks, three hoistable ones.

Ramps: A stern ramp of 12 m wide with a load capacity of 450 tons.

Main ports of call: Southampton (United Kingdom), Durban (South Africa), Dalian (China), Incheon (Korea), Zeebrugge (Belgium), Antwerp (Belgium), Bremerhaven (Germany).

How to Track a Ship In Real-Time ?

Let us look at how a ships’ real-time tracker works, its details and features, its benefits for all players in the shipping sector but also its weaknesses…

2. Figaro Vehicle carriers

The Lloyd’s Shipping Register categorizes the Figaro Vehicle Carrier as a Large Car Truck Carrier able of transporting 7880 cars or 3550 cars together with 430 buses. It has been constructed in 2011 by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd, based in Geoje (South Korea). Figaro Vehicle Carriers are still operated by its owner Wallenius Marine based in its home port Stockholm (Sweden).

Flag: Sweden.

Dimensions (approx.): length 232 m, width 32 m, draft 10.5 m.

Gross tonnage (approx.): 74.

Maximum speed: 20 knots

Number of decks: 9 decks, 4 of them fixed while the others are liftable to facilitate port maneuverability.

Ramp: two main loading and unloading ramps are located near the starboard side to ease the loading of large vehicles like buses or large trucks. The outer ramp is used for loading cars.

Main ports of call: Hitachinaka (Japan), Kobe (Japan), Masan (Korea), Dalian (China).

3. MV Celine

The MV Celine is the world’s biggest short-sea Ro-Ro vessel owned by CLDN from Luxembourg. It was constructed in the Hyundai Mipo Shipyard in South Korea and christened in 2018. As a short-sea ship, the MV Celine combines the massive size of deep-sea vessels and the swift movement of ferries to serve its main routes between Ireland, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Flag: Malta.

Dimensions (approx.): length 235 m, width 35 m, draft 7.1 m.

Gross tonnage (approx.): 74.

Number of decks: 5, with 3 of which are designed for truck storage.

Ramps: two main ramps for accommodating cars and lorries.

Main ports of call: Killingholme (United Kingdom), Zeebruge (Belgium), Dublin (Ireland).

4. Century Highway Green of the K-Line

Constructed in 2021 by the Imabari Shipbuilding Company in Tadotsu Shipyard (Japan), the Century Highway Green is one of the most recently built RoRo vessels. It is equipped with environment-friendly innovative exhaust gas recirculation system equipment. Its carbon emissions are planned to reduce by 25% and it’s sulfur and nitrogen emissions by 85%. Several measures have been adopted to enhance security such as Wi-Fi and camera surveillance on decks.

Flag: Japan.

Dimensions (approx.): length 200 m, width 37 m, draft 7.8 m.

Gross tonnage (approx.): 73.

Maximum speed: It can reach a top speed of 20 knots.

Number of decks: 6 decks together with the living quarters of the crew and related life-saving equipment.

Main ports of call: Long Beach (USA), Toyohashi (Japan), San Francisco Anchor (USA)

5. ARC Endurance

Owned by the American Roll-On-Roll-Off Carrier, a US-based RoRo company, ARC Endurance is part of the company fleet of 11 vessels. Christened Taronga, ARC Endurance was built in 1996 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan) and is the 5th most giant RoRo ship in the world.

ARC Endurance is equipped with optimized control systems of liftable and flexible. This configuration eases the loading and unloading operation and is of great assistance when the need to accommodate different non-cars cargo types arises.

Flag: USA

Dimensions (approx.): length 264 m, width 32 m, draft 7.6 m.

Gross tonnage (approx.): 72.

Maximum sailing speed: 20.3 knots.

Number of decks: 9 decks capable of carrying heavy cargo.

Ramps: two main ramps and a quarter ramp.

Main ports of call: Alexandria (Egypt), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Alexandropoulis (Greece), Bremerhaven (Germany), Esbjerg (Denmark), Baltimore (USA), Corpus Christi (USA).

6. Eco Livorno

Another RoRo Ship that is sailing as the world’s giant and most environmentally sustainable ship is named Eco Livorno. In-built batteries charged with solar panels enable the vessel to produce zero GHG emissions when moored in a port. It was constructed by Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China in 2021 under the request of Grimaldi Shipping Company.

Flag: Italy.

Dimensions (approx.): length 238 m, width 34 m, draft 6.9 m.

Gross tonnage (approx.): 67.

Top speed: 20.8 knots

Number of decks: 7.

Ramps: A stern quarter ramp permits loading of up to 150 tons.

Main ports of call: Livorno (Italy), Savona (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Valencia (Spain).

7. MKIV ships of Wallenius Wilhelmsen

It took two years for the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Shipping Company to be able to afloat their four MKIV deep sea RoRo ships. Tarago, Talisman, and Tamesis were constructed in 2000 and Tamerlane in 2001 with the same dimensions and capacities. Manufactured to be able to carry heavy construction machinery as high as 7m, altogether with break bulk, the four vessels can also transport cars.

Flag: Norway.

Dimensions (approx.): length 265 m, width 32 m, draft 11 m.

Gross tonnage (approx.): 67.

Number of decks: The MKIV ships are equipped with a weather deck.

Ramps: automated stern ramps having a working load of 505 tons.

Main ports of call: Savannah (USA), Manzanillo (Panama), Long Beach (USA), Tacoma (USA).

8. Ephesus Seaways

Constructed in China, within the Jinling Shipyard facilities in 2019, the Ephesus Seaways has been designed by Knude E. Hansen. It is owned by the Danish International and Logistics Group DFDS, together with four other sister vessels. Its initial name was Gothia Seaways. Built-in consideration of the new IMO Standard, they are the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient of its owner vessels fleet although 460 trailers can be carried on board.

Flag: Turkey.

Dimensions (approx.): length 238 m, width 34 m, draft 6.8 m.

Gross tonnage (approx.): 60.

Top sailing speed: 20 knots.

Number of decks: A main and a weather deck.

Ramps: An automated ramp system accommodates fast port operations.

Main ports of call: Istanbul (Turkey), Trieste (Italy), Tuzla (Turkey).

9. Felicity Ace

Mitsui O.S.K lines operate the Felicity Ace which is specialized in vehicle transportation. Unfortunately, it sank near the Azores Islands on the 1st of March 2022 due to a fire. Its last route under MOL Ship Management (Singapore) was to Rhode Island while having on board 4000 Electric Luxury branded cars such as Lamborghini, Bentley, etc.

Flag: Panama.

Dimensions (approx.): length 200 m, width 32 m, draft 9.2 m.

Gross tonnage (approx.): 60.

Maximum speed: 19.5 knots.

10. Morning Crown

The Morning Crown is a specialized car vessel built in 2005 by Polish firm Stocznia Gdynia SA. It can accommodate 6600 cars due to an optimization of space used according to vehicle sizes.

Flag: The Bahamas.

Dimensions (approx.): length 200 m, width 32 m, draft 8.5 m.

Gross tonnage (approx.): 57 with a carrying capacity of around 21 tons.

Top speed: 19.8 knots.

Number of decks: Four decks within which there are hoistable.

Ramps: Two main ramps.

Main ports of call: Huangpu (China); Pena Blanca Anch. (Panama), Charleston (USA), Ulsan (Korea).

How to Track a Ship In Real-Time ?

Let us look at how a ships’ real-time tracker works, its details and features, its benefits for all players in the shipping sector but also its weaknesses…

Conclusion about biggest RoRo ships

These 10 largest RoRo ships are just part of global sailing fleets which carry goods to all customers around the world. As specific ships, they can only call cargo ports with appropriate terminals, although hybrid models called RoLo are eRoloped with cranes for lift-off.

Furthermore, in the framework of carbon footprint reduction of the entire sea transportation business, RoRo vessels must become smarter and more sustainable. This remains a huge challenge for shipbuilding and sea shipping companies. New technologies have a vital role to play in achieving this objective of being environmental-friendly while maximizing performance, cost-optimization, and security.

Frequently Asked Questions About RoRo ships

RoRo is the acronym for the expression Roll-on, Roll-off and it describes the way a vessel carries wheeled cargo 

RoRo ships are designed to carry cars, agricultural tractors, mining and road machinery, trucks, semi-trailer trucks and trailers, buses, industrial vehicles, lorries, etc. 

  • Container ships
  • General Cargo Ships
  • Tankers
  • Dry Bulk Carriers
  • Multi-purpose Vessels
  • Reefer Ships
  • Roll-on/roll-off Vessels
  • and more

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