Port of Brunswick Sets Record Month for Autos

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, April 18th, 2024

Colonel’s Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick continued its record-setting pace in March, handling 77,236 units of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo, an increase of 13,438 units or 21 percent over the same month last year. 

“March was the busiest month ever for Ro/Ro cargo in Brunswick, with organic growth and new customers driving increases in both autos and high and heavy equipment,” said Georgia Ports Authority President and CEO Griff Lynch. “Import and export trade has increased as auto makers expanded production and Colonel’s Island processors have captured additional market share in the South Atlantic region.” 

Among GPA’s March Ro/Ro volumes, 4,210 units were high and heavy cargo. Fiscal Year 2024 machinery volumes now total 20,113, an increase of 6,887 units or 34 percent through the first nine months of the fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2024 

From July 2023 through March 2024, GPA has moved 628,937 total units of Ro/Ro cargo, an increase of 88,200 or 16 percent. The monthly average is 69,882 units, meaning Georgia Ports could handle an all-time record of 800,000 units by the end of its fiscal year in June.

“Brunswick’s terminal capacity, its location just two miles from I-95, and on-terminal rail facilities make it the perfect gateway to serve manufacturers and dealerships across the Southeast,” said GPA Board Chairman Kent Fountain. “The investments we are making will ensure Colonel’s Island has the capacity to meet the demand of the region’s fast-growing population for years to come.” 

Twenty-three carmakers and 17 heavy machinery producers use the Port of Brunswick, which handled approximately 723,515 Ro/Ro units last fiscal year.

Colonel’s Island handled a record 52 vessels in March, up 11 vessels or 27 percent compared to March 2023. The Port of Brunswick has handled 431 Ro/Ro vessels during the first three quarters of the fiscal year. Based on its monthly average, Colonel’s Island is on track to handle a record 572 ships by the end of June. The previous record was 534, set in FY2015.

To better accommodate growing trade, the Georgia Ports Authority is increasing its infrastructure for processing autos and high and heavy equipment.

Colonel’s Island is undergoing a $262 million infrastructure program that is nearing completion. Projects are expanding capacity by adding 122 acres of Ro/Ro storage and 640,000 square feet of new processing space. These projects are more than 85 percent complete and should be finished in late summer 2024. Another 300 acres are available for development. 

GPA is also in the process of adding a fourth Ro/Ro berth to handle additional vessels. Currently in the engineering phase, the new berth will more efficiently accommodate vessels capable of carrying 7,000-plus vehicles.