Caribbean carrier Tropical Shipping posted a $3.7 million third quarter operating loss, reversing a $3.6 million operating profit a year earlier, amid weak volume and higher fuel prices, parent company Nicor Inc. reported.
Third quarter revenues “were lower than we had expected, as volumes continued to be negatively impacted by the challenging markets in the Bahamas and Caribbean,” Nicor CEO Russ Strobel said in a statement.
Riviera Beach, Fla.-based Tropical’s operating revenue slipped to $78.4 million from $83.9 million in the third quarter of 2010, while operating expenses rose to $82.1 million from $80.3 million.
Volume fell to 35,600 20-foot equivalent units from 41,500 in the third quarter of 2010, while average revenue rose to $2,200 per TEU from $2,017. Through the first three quarters, volume fell to 110,500 TEUs from 127,600, while average revenue rose to $2,164 per TEU from $1,985 a year earlier.
Lower volumes were partially offset by higher average rates attributable primarily to higher surcharges that covered increased fuel costs.
Through the first nine months of 2011, operating revenue totaled $239.1 million, down from $253.4 million a year earlier, while operating expense was $244.3, compared with $246.1 million a year earlier.