Trailer Bridge loss narrows

Trailer Bridge loss narrows

Trailer Bridge Inc., which operates intermodal service between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico, said its third-quarter operating loss narrowed to $152,404 from $1.5 million a year earlier, while revenue increased 17 percent to $21.6 million.

The company said it sees indications that volume increases in the Puerto Rico trade are being followed by higher rates. Capacity in the trade was reduced when the services of NPR-Navieras were acquired by Sea Star Line in mid-2002. "October represented our best actual monthly performance in six years and underscores the rapidly improving operating environment of the Puerto Rico marine trade," said John D. McCown, chief executive of Trailer Bridge.

The carrier said its reduced loss came despite an 18 percent increase in fuel costs and a 17.5 percent increase in other purchased transportation services, resulting partly from the increase in volume. The company's net loss attributable to common shares was $1 million, compared with $2.5 million a year ago.

As of Sept. 30, Trailer Bridge had total cash of $406,734, current assets of $13.6 million and stockholders' equity of $6 million, while current liabilities totaled $28.6 million, including $13.9 million in debt that comes due Jan. 31. Trailer Bridge said it is negotiating with lenders to refinance its existing term loan and revolving credit facility and expects to complete refinancing before the debt comes due.