Potential Cuba shipper files for bankruptcy
Trailer Bridge Inc., a debt-burdened shipping and trucking company that
is expected to become a player in Cuba trade once U.S. restrictions are
lifted, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Florida Times-Union reports.
Hit by downturns in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic manufacturing as
well as the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the publicly traded company
filed for bankruptcy protection a day after $82.5 million in
9.25-percent bonds came due. Trailer Bridge announced it had an
agreement with Global Hunter Securities for $15 million in
debtor-in-possession financing and said it will continue operations
In August, the company announced a $3.6 million loss for the quarter and
warned of possible bankruptcy.
Trailer Bridge is a major shipper between the port of Jacksonville, in
northeast Florida, and Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Trailer Bridge, which has a diversified array of Fortune 500 clients,
operates a seamless truck-and-barge system for Caribbean markets. The
company picks up trailers destined for Puerto Rico and the Dominican
Republic almost anywhere in the United States, drives them to the port
of Jacksonville, and loads them onto its barges. The barges are then
moved to their final destination by tugboats owned by other companies.
It is an important provider of supplies for manufacturers in the
Caribbean; the barges return with finished products. The company is also
a major shipper of new and used vehicles to Caribbean markets.
Trailer Bridge's shallow-draft barges could cover the market niche of
secondary Cuban ports that have basins not deep enough for container