The Roll On Roll Off Terminal System And Its Impact On Interisland Shipping In The Philippines


Have you ever heard of the nautical highway system in the Philippines? Or perhaps the roll on roll off terminal system? If not, then stick around, as we are going to talk about both transport systems and the amazing impact that they have had on interisland shipping throughout the Philippines. Let’s take a closer look.

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What is the Roll On Roll Off Terminal System?

The RRTS (roll on roll off terminal system) is a network of routes that connects provinces and cities all over the Philippines, including many of its islands. This ground-breaking system has reduced previous travel times significantly, enhancing both access to tourism and the speed and efficiency of which goods and merchandise can be shipped.

The table below shows the list of vehicles and their rates from Manila to major cities in the Philippines.

RORO refers to the roll on roll off ferry system that allows vehicles (from 10-wheeler trucks to small cars) to easily roll onto the ferry, and then be transported across bodies of water that would have previously taken hours and hours to get around.

These RORO type ships come in all shapes and sizes, some of which use a crane system to load large shipping containers for further dispersion.

In the early 2000s, it cost about $1.50 per nautical miles to move a twenty-foot container from Davao City to Manilla. That was compared to the mere 50 cents when shipping overseas to places like Hong Kong and Bangkok. This was when the Philippine government recognized the dire need for a better system and came up with the RORO terminal system back in the year 2003.

As cargo vehicles can now board the RORO vessels directly, much time and money were saved in terms of logistics costs.


How Have They Impacted Interisland Shipping in the Philippines?

The impact that the SRNH (strong republic nautical highway system) and RRTS systems have had on interisland shipping within the Philippines has been a huge help to our economy. It’s no secret that the transport infrastructure of any country is key to their development and this is one critical area in which the Philippines needs improvement.

Of course, in an archipelagic location such as the Philippines, the effectiveness of a transport system was all the more vital in order to link some 7,500 islands together and accommodate the transportation of people and goods.

Certainly, there is still a lot of improvement for the Philippine transportation system, but that doesn’t change the fact that the aforementioned transport systems have ushered in a new era for the Philippines. An era that fosters inclusive growth, allowing smaller island economics to join together and providing greater mobility for the entire population.

Great mobility for islanders

Before the SRNH and RRTS, many of the 7,500 island inhabitants had to go to great lengths in order to travel to neighboring islands, cities, and provinces. With these far-reaching transport systems in place, it has made it much easier for the entire population of the Philippines to travel across-country.

In addition to greater mobility, connecting the many islands and their economies to that of mainland Philippines, has created more economic means and greater opportunity including better access to work opportunities.

No more unnecessary fees

As previously mentioned, the pre-existing methods of inter-island transportation were inefficient, to say the least. This leads to numerous unnecessary fees, not to mention the amount of time wasted. With the SRNH and RRTS systems in place, it brought with it great cost-savings in terms of financial resources.

Better economies of scale

With greater access to additional ports, the ability to carry out more frequent trips with faster turnarounds has been crucial in the economy’s development over the last decade. In fact, popularity for the RORO has grown so much, that what began as 34 routes has now surpassed 113. This is largely due to the interisland shipping abilities made possible by the transport systems.

Agricultural benefits

Again, there is no end to the benefits that an advanced transportation system provides an economy. It isn’t just the logistics, tourism, and eCommerce industries that have benefited greatly from the changes, but the agricultural industry as well.

In fact, these RORO ports have reported to be moving 60% more agricultural products when compared to their non-RORO counterparts. This is because they are able to move higher-value products for a lower cost. The greater frequency at which these transactions occur, the cheaper it becomes to ship more frequently without overstocking on certain items.

More Trading Opportunities

The RORO system alone has facilitated 52% more trade in inter-island shipping. With a great diversity of products and expansion to new trade partners, the system has been instrumental in spurring the incredible growth of the various provinces of the Philippines.

At Transportify, we strongly support both the SRNH and the RRTS. These innovative steps toward driving the Philippines forward have had some amazing effects. They’ve allowed logistics companies like ours to thrive and provide a growing number of communities with access to eCommerce shopping, better medicine, and more food.

As the years go by, more and more time and money will be invested in these amazing transport systems as we continue to grow. The Philippines has a long way to go, but we are well on our way to establishing ourselves as an attractive nation for investments.


To conclude, the SRNH and RRTS have been invaluable to interisland shipping in the Philippines. Between greater accessibility to employment opportunities, increased wealth, and smaller economies being able to join together, they have enabled the Philippines to achieve a lot.

In particular, eCommerce has been thriving. More and more customers are able to access shipping services and with companies like Transportify providing fast and consistent deliveries, this economy will only continue to grow.

If you are interested in learning more about Transportify and the services that we offer, then please do not hesitate to contact us. Whatever questions you might have, our friendly team of customer service representatives will be delighted to assist you.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the roll on roll off terminal system?

? The roll on roll off terminal system is a series of nautical highways established in the Philippines. It was created in the year 2003 with the goal of making transportation of people and goods more efficient and thus improve the overall economy of the Philippines. Today, there is more than 100 roll on roll off routes all over the country.

Is interisland shipping in the Philippines helpful for businesses?

? Yes. Interisland shipping in the Philippines is helpful for businesses because it provides them the means to transport their goods to other parts of the country. In turn, this allows the business to grow because it enables them to reach more places.


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