Destination: Cuba Crowley Liner Services is not the only company that has filed applications with the appropriate agencies in preparation for eventual service to Cuba when the embargo is lifted. ('Market or Mirage,' JoC Week, Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2001) Trailer Bridge has done so also. In our case, we anticipate that any service we will provide to Cuba will exclusively utilize U.S. vessels. We believe that our unique integrated trucking and marine freight operation based around 53-foot containers makes this an attainable goal.

The mean draft of 33 feet of the eight Cuban ports you highlighted is not as restrictive as the mean 680-foot length overall (LOA) for those same eight ports. It is worth noting also that there currently are 33 ports used for cargo operations in Cuba and that those ports have mean draft and LOA restrictions of 28 feet and 596 feet, respectively. The large number of active ports for a relatively small landmass is directly related to infrastructure problems and the general lack of truck movements due to lack of fuel and general disrepair of equipment and roads. For those same reasons, there is an active coastwise trade of cargo within Cuba. This unique market can be well-served by Trailer Bridge's unique patent-pending Triplestack Box Carriers. We are also enthusiastic about the potential of deploying U.S.-flag vessels in a market where they are not legally required.John D. McCown

Chairman & CEO

Trailer Bridge

Not so fast

I would like to take issue with a statement in the Jan. 22-28 issue ('The big get bigger,' Page 22) that stated, 'But UPS has probably moved ahead of FedEx in terms of its ability to offer a full range of service to shippers. Its acquisitions this month of Fritz Cos. will allow UPS to offer forwarding and customs brokerage for any type of cargo, regardless of transport mode.'

FedEx last February acquired Tower Group, a leader in the customs brokerage, warehousing, national distribution, duty drawback, trade consulting and cargo insurance. How could UPS's recent acquisition of Fritz Cos. overshadow an alliance that has almost a year under its belt?

Christine Tkalec

Tower Group International Inc.