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Port of Palm Beach's nightmare: A shipper skips town, an abandoned vessel and 1,300 trapped cars

A crane loads shipping containers onto trucks from a docked container ship.
Brandon Thibodeaux for NPR
A crane loads shipping containers onto trucks from a docked container ship.

Kenny Marcelin of West Palm Beach has used the Port of Palm Beach before to ship used cars to relatives in Haiti.

So in December, he expected things to go smoothly when he dropped off a car he bought for his uncle. Weeks went by. Months went by. Marcelin wanted answers. His uncle wanted answers.

“He thought I ripped him off,” Marcelin said.

On May 6, after several hours, he was finally able to retrieve the car, but he is unlikely to recover the $1,000 paid to Monarch Shipping and its affiliate, Teeters Agency & Stevedoring Inc. Both companies have worked together to ship cars from the port to St. Marc in Haiti.

Read more from our news partner, the Palm Beach Post.