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April 16, 2004

Kirby buys into box-on-barge operator

Kirby Corporation (NYSE: KEX) today announced the purchase of a one-third interest in Osprey Line, LLC ("Osprey") for $4,220,000. The remaining two-thirds interest is owned by Cooper/T. Smith Corporation and Richard L. Couch.

Osprey, formed in 2000, operates a barge feeder service for cargo containers between Houston, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as several ports located above Baton Rouge on the Mississippi River. The feeder service offers shippers a competitive and environmentally friendly transportation option for the delivery of containers.

Revenues for Osprey for 2003 were $11.7 million.

Joe Pyne, Kirby's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Osprey is the leader in this expanding marine transportation market which provides container on barge feeder service on the Gulf Coast and inland waterways. We believe this will be a significant future growth opportunity as the United States contends with congestion problems. Osprey offers shippers direct routing of containers to and from plants and facilities along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the lower Mississippi River, as well as Gulf Coast ports for export and import. This container on barge feeder service is very complementary with Kirby's existing marine transportation operation. In the next 5-10 years, we believe this business will develop into a key component of the U.S. transportation system, as it has already done in Europe."

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