The Taiwanese company, with a fleet of 17 cargo vessels, filed for Chapter 11 protection Thursday, becoming the latest company affected by an industry downturn that left shipping businesses struggling, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Since the recession, TMT has had trouble servicing its debt and keeping up with operating expenses, the Journal said. Many of the company's ships have been held at ports worldwide.
"The arrested vessels are currently laid up in multiple ports, losing income and accruing crew fees, arrest fees and other expenses, rather than generating funds that would inure to the benefit of the debtors' estates, creditors, and defendants themselves," the company said in court papers.
The defendants, which include international banking and shipping institutions, are the targets of a complaint TMT filed with the bankruptcy court as it seeks to recover its vessels, the Journal said. The company asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order protecting the ships.
TMT said it has $1.52 billion in assets.
The company said its bankruptcy filing was an attempt to "preserve its assets and maximize value for all stakeholders."