August 3 - International Shipholding Corporation (ISHC) and 17 affiliated debtors have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

ISHC says that it intends to "continue operating in the normal course of business without interruption".

To facilitate the Chapter 11 process, the company has entered into a debtor-in-possession USD16 million credit facility. The debtor-in-possession credit facility may be used to fund, among other things, the company's working capital needs while in Chapter 11.

ISHC president and ceo Erik L. Johnsen said that the company has taken a critical step towards right-sizing its balance sheet.

"While the company is facing challenges with its debt and capital structure, we believe our core business segments are performing satisfactorily."

ISHC has filed a series of first-day motions, asking the United States Bankruptcy Court to approve, among other things, the payment of wages, salaries and other employee benefits during the Chapter 11 process as well as payments to certain critical vendors and foreign vendors.

As well as the shipment of containers and cars, ISHC and its subsidiaries provide services for the transportation of breakbulk, ro-ro and project cargoes.