Trailer Bridge

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Trailer Bridge, Inc.
Industry Transportation
Founded 1991
Headquarters Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Key people
Jeffrey Boston, CEO
Products Cargo Shipping,Vehicle Shipping Vessel Chartering Logistics
Revenue $118.2 million (2010)[1]

Trailer Bridge, Inc. is a freight service company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, that offers cargo shipping to the Dominican Republic and San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as inter-island shipping between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Trailer Bridge also specializes in a vehicle shipping service, particularly when sending a car to the Dominican Republic or shipping a car from Puerto Rico to Florida.[2] It is one of the few companies offering 53-foot containers, which offer up to 40% more cubic capacity than other container sizes.


Trailer Bridge was founded in 1991 by Malcom McLean, who is recognized[by whom?] as "The Father of Containerization". McLean had previously started McLean Trucking Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which he built into one of the largest trucking companies in the United States. He saw the need for a service that could, in the words of the company, provide "true single-carrier responsibility across the United States and on to Puerto Rico".[3] In April 1991, McLean founded Trailer Bridge, and in the following February, Trailer Bridge made its first shipment from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In 1997, Trailer Bridge went public on NASDAQ and moved its headquarters to Jacksonville. Over the years, it expanded its fleet and capacity, and in 2000, it unveiled its shipment tracking tool. In 2004, Trailer Bridge purchased all of Kadampanattu Corporation's stock, thus gaining two 736-foot, triple-deck, ro/ro[clarification needed] barges. In 2010, Trailer began offering weekly service to and from Jacksonville and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. In 2012, Trailer Bridge celebrated the 20th anniversary of its inaugural voyage and five years of service to Puerto Plata, DR, and also reached its one millionth customer booking, established TB Logistics, and added more containers, making it one of the world's largest fleets.

As of 2013, Chris Dombalis has led the company as CEO.[4]


Trailer Bridge is a U.S. flag (Jones Act) carrier offering cargo shipping, vessel chartering, barge chartering, and vehicle shipping services between Jacksonville, Florida, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic on a weekly basis. Its fleet of 53-foot by 102-inch containers offers about 40% more capacity compared to other containers and their 3,860 cubic feet translates to more value for customers.[5] Trailer Bridge also offers car shipping to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Customers can use Trailer Bridge's AutoBridge service to get instant quote for shipping a car to Puerto Rico from Florida and more. And with TB Quick Track, customers can easily track their shipments.[6]

Trailers destined for Puerto Rico are picked up almost anywhere in the continental U.S. and driven to Jacksonville, where they are loaded onto a barge for the five-day trip to San Juan. In 2007, the company added the Dominican Republic as a shipping destination and is, according to The Jacksonville Business Journal, the only service "between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic using U.S.-flagged ships."[7] The company expects to service Cuba when the US permits it.

The barges owned by Trailer Bridge have no propulsion system; instead, they rely on ocean-going tugboats supplied by other companies to tow the vessels to and from their destinations.

The company leases 26.5 acres (107,000 m2) of land at the southwest tip of Blount Island from the Jacksonville Port Authority where they dock, load and unload their barges.[8]

Public company[edit]

The company went public in 1997. According to Wright Investors’ Service, at the end of 2007, the company operated a fleet of 114 tractors, 241 high-cube trailers, 3,882 53-foot-high cube containers and 3,177 53-foot chassis to transport truckload freight. They also owned two 736-foot triple-deck, roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ocean-going barges and three 403-foot Triplestack box carriers.[9] Their stock reached an all-time high of $14.75 in 2007.[10]


In 2000, Trailer Bridge joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Wise Program to collaborate with others on innovative ways to boost energy efficiencies and improve pollution conditions. Then, in 2006, it joined the SmartWaySM Transport Partnership where the EPA and freight industry work together to not only increase energy efficiencies and improve air pollution, but also to reduce greenhouse gases. Its efforts in this organization earned it the SmartWaySM Transport Partnership's Environmental Excellence Award. In 2010, Trailer Bridge made the change to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel. This fuel exceeds two IMO standards: 1) no more than 0.5% sulfur content for all vessel fuel by 2020 and 2) Emission Control Areas for less than 1.0% sulfur content by 2010 and 0.1% by 2015.

Trailer Bridge implemented its own environmental protection award called Breath Easy®. This award "calculates the percentage reduction in particulate matter emissions that can be associated with [customers'] shipments moving with Trailer Bridge's environmentally superior transport system."[11]


Many of Trailer Bridge's customers are blue chip companies. New cars and trucks are a major segment of their cargo, and vehicles are shipped for Ford, DaimlerChrysler and General Motors. Several major retail chains use Trailer Bridge to ship containers to their stores, including K-Mart, JC Penney, Home Depot, Walgreens and Toys 'R' Us. Costco was added as a customer in 2008. Other products are shipped to Puerto Rican distribution centers by major manufacturers Georgia-Pacific, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Whirlpool and SC Johnson.[1]


  1. ^ a b Wright Investor's Service: Company Profile Snapshot-Trailer Bridge, Inc.
  2. ^ "About Us Overview". Trailer Bridge, Inc. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Company profile
  4. ^ "Trailer Bridge History". Trailer Bridge, Inc. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Trailer Bridge, Inc. Homepage". Trailer Bridge, Inc. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "International Auto Shipping Services". Trailer Bridge, Inc. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Jacksonville Business Journal: August 13, 2007-Trailer Bridge starts Dominican service
  8. ^ 1000%27&Queryzoom=Yes "5090 WILLIAM MILLS ST" Duval County Property Appraiser, GIS Map
  9. ^ YAHOO Finance: Company Profile-Trailer Bridge, Inc.
  10. ^ Dixon, Drew (March 16, 2012). "Jacksonville shipping company Trailer Bridge emerges from bankruptcy". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Environment: Breathe Easy®". Trailer Bridge, Inc. Retrieved 12 September 2014.