Trailer Bridge History

Innovation in freight transportation is the hallmark of Trailer Bridge.  Building a transportation system that links land and sea together into a single-carrier network is at the core of our company, and is the brainchild of transportation legend, and our founder, Malcom P. Mclean.  

Universally recognized as the “Father of Containerization,” Malcom P. McLean was honored by Forbes Magazine as one of the ten outstanding innovators of the twentieth century. He has also been described as “one of the few men who changed the world.”  

What began in the 1950’s as Mr. McLean’s vision to create a better way to move freight would later revolutionize the shipping industry. He would further build upon this vision in 1991 when he founded Trailer Bridge.  

The spirit of innovation from which Trailer Bridge was forged remains the guiding principle of our company. This entrepreneurial initiative, along with the dedicated support of each and every Trailer Bridge employee, allows Trailer Bridge to continue to improve and build upon the best freight system connecting the U.S. with Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.


  • April: Trailer Bridge founded by transportation pioneer Malcom P. McLean


  • February: Inaugural voyage from Jacksonville, FL, to San Juan, PR, capacity 266 x 48-foot trailers


  • December: Trailer Bridge makes plans to “stretch” two existing Ro/Ro vessels in order to meet growing demand from its customers


  • March: Orders 600 additional 48-foot trailers
  • May: Takes delivery of “World’s Largest Trailer Barge” increasing capacity by over 50% to 405 x 48 & 53-foot units


  • July: Trailer Bridge becomes publicly traded company on NASDAQ: TRBR 
  • August: Trailer Bridge moves into newly built Corporate Headquarters in Jacksonville, FL 


  • January: Maiden voyage of CHICAGO BRIDGE, first of five new Triplestack Box Carrier® (TBC®) vessels 
  • April: Maiden voyage of CHARLOTTE BRIDGE, now offering two sailings per week between Jacksonville, FL, and San Juan, PR 
  • November: Trailer Bridge achieves ISO 9001:2000 certification 


  • May: Trailer Bridge joins EPA’s Climate Wise Program 
  • June: Trailer Bridge unveils Internet Shipment Tracking


  • February: Ten-Year Anniversary of Inaugural Voyage 


  • October: Trailer Bridge accepted as a certified member of the U.S. Customs Service’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)


  • December: Trailer Bridge purchases 100% of the stock of Kadampanattu Corp. (“K. Corp.”), which owns the two 736’, triple-deck roll-on, roll-off barges with a capacity equivalent to 405 x 53’ trailer units, which are used in the Company’s Puerto Rico liner service


  • April: Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Containerization by founder Malcom P. McLean
  • December: Trailer Bridge joins the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWaySM Transport Partnership, an innovative voluntary collaboration between the EPA and the freight industry designed to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution


  • February: Fifteen-Year Anniversary of Inaugural Voyage 
  • August: Trailer Bridge initiates service and introduces its unique 53-foot transportation system to the Dominican Republic with the maiden voyage of the BROOKLYN BRIDGE 
  • November: Trailer Bridge is awarded a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to cover the unique method of loading and unloading its Triplestack Box Carrier® (TBC®) vessels


  • October: Trailer Bridge receives an Environmental Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWaySM Transport Partnership for its leadership in conserving energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions from its transportation and freight activities


  • January: Trailer Bridge initiates weekly service between Jacksonville, FL, and Puerto Plata, DR 
  • April: Trailer Bridge switches over to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel for use in the ocean going tugs used in its liner service between the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic


  • February: Trailer Bridge dry-docks two Ro/Ro vessels investing $6 million
  • March: Trailer Bridge completes new Ro/Ro ramp structure at the port of San Juan


  • February: Trailer Bridge celebrates the 20th year anniversary of our inaugural voyage
  • June: Trailer Bridge reaches historic milestone by making its one millionth customer booking
  • July: Trailer Bridge moves its sensitive data and communications systems to CSX’s ultra-secure data center which is considered to be one of the top ten most secure facilities in the U.S.  
  • August: Trailer Bridge celebrates 5 years of service to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic 
  • October: Trailer Bridge adds an additional 1,125 53' containers, making its ocean fleet one of the largest in the world
  • November: Trailer Bridge establishes TB Logistics


  • July: Trailer Bridge purchases an additional 227 53' containers.


  • February: Trailer Bridge introduces TB Auto Bridge – allowing personal vehicles to make a booking reservation online.
  • April: TB celebrates 7 years anniversary of the Dominican Republic service.
  • April: Jax San Juan Bridge enters dry-dock.