Following a detailed six-month study assessing its contract towing requirements, Trailer Bridge, Inc. signed separate long-term agreements that match the best marine power units in the market with the company's vessel assets. In March 2001 Trailer Bridge finalized a long-term agreement with Moran Towing Corporation
to exclusively utilize Moran's Heidi class 4,350 horsepower tugs to pull all four of the TBC's currently deployed by Trailer Bridge. This decision followed the excellent results produced through the Company's use of two Heidi class tugs. The Company's TBC vessels are utilized for weekly services between Jacksonville, FL and San Juan, PR, as well as Newark, NJ and San Juan, PR.
Ed Morley, Trailer Bridge's Vice President of Marine Operations, stated, "The Heidi class tugs have performed flawlessly for us since March. We have experienced 100% on time arrivals with the Heidi class tug and TBC combination." Trailer Bridge's TBC vessels are the first vessels built for the U.S./Puerto Rico trade in over 15 years. The TBCs are specifically designed for efficient ocean and cargo operations and are the first vessels in the world to exclusively carry 53-foot high cube containers.
Trailer Bridge recently announced that it has finalized a long-term agreement with Crowley Marine Services. Under this agreement, Crowley Marine Services will provide two Invader class 7,200 hp tugs to pull Trailer Bridge's two Triple Deck RoRo vessels between Jacksonville and San Juan. "The Invader class tugs were specifically designed and built to efficiently tow very large Roll On/Roll Off vessels. Our vessels are 736-feet long and over three stories tall, and the extraordinary bollard pull of the Invader class tugs, as well as excellent crew experience in long haul liner tows, will serve us and our customers well," explained Mr. Morley. The first Invader class tug will begin service on July 20 from Jacksonville, towing the SAN JUAN JAX BRIDGE. A week later, the second Invader class tug will enter service with the JAX SAN JUAN BRIDGE.
"These new tugs will continue to improve on our schedule integrity. In addition to benefiting our customers and us, both the Moran Heidi class and Crowley Marine Services Invader class tugs burn a cleaner distillate fuel that benefits the environments in which we operate. We are committed to providing Puerto Rico with an efficient, safe and environmentally superior service," stated John D. McCown, Trailer Bridge's Chairman and CEO. New research indicates that Puerto Rico freight
moved on vessels that utilize the cleaner distillate fuel results, on a per unit basis, in up to 14 times less particulate matter emissions than freight moved on vessels utilizing dirty residual fuel. Trailer Bridge believes vessel emissions are an important and growing issue. Underscoring their commitment to the environment, Trailer Bridge joined the U.S. EPA's Climate Wise program in March 2000, the only marine carrier to have done so.