United States military roll-on-roll-off cargo ship Pililaau was launched January 8, 2000, in New Orleans, Louisiana. After launch the 290-m (950-ft) steel-hulled ship began a series of tests to evaluate its seaworthiness. The completed vessel will transport military cargo.
Alternatives to the container system include roll-on-roll-off ships and LASH vessels. Roll-on-roll-off ships have stern and side openings through which dockworkers drive wheeled containers, cars, trucks, house trailers, and other cargo that can be rolled aboard. LASH stands for lighter aboard ships. In the LASH, or barge carrier, system, a giant crane lifts preloaded barges, or lighters, onto the vessel's decks, eliminating the need for the ship to tie up in port at a dock.