Savannah, GA — At the Brunswick State of the Port event Wednesday, the Georgia Ports Authority unveiled plans to grow capacity at Brunswick’s flagship autoport and its breakbulk terminal for forest products.
“We’re expanding berth and terminal capacity at both Colonel’s Island and Mayor’s Point so that we are ready to take on additional trade,” said Griff Lynch, GPA executive director. “The investments we are making will lay the groundwork for job growth and new opportunity in the Brunswick region.”
As the nation’s second busiest hub for Ro/Ro cargo, behind only Baltimore, the Port of Brunswick moved 650,000 units of vehicles and heavy machinery in Calendar Year 2021, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.
“A testament to the trust customers have in the Georgia Ports Authority and its partners across the logistics community, the Port of Brunswick delivered an outstanding performance this year – despite economic headwinds,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “In the coming years, Georgia’s posture as the number one state for forestry and as a global leader in the automotive industry – for automakers of both combustion and non-combustion engines – will continue to strengthen, and I’m confident given the exemplary leadership and hardworking Georgians who keep cargo moving, that the Port of Brunswick will continue to be a driving force behind the Peach State’s success.”
At the Wednesday event, hosted by the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, GPA Chief Administrative Officer Jamie McCurry outlined a $150 million development plan. GPA will add a fourth berth at Colonel’s Island, 360,000 square feet of new warehousing, and 85 additional acres for auto processing. The new pavement and buildings are slated to be complete in 2023. The additional auto storage on the south side of the island will increase the terminal’s annual capacity from 1.2 million to 1.4 million vehicles. Colonel’s Island has a total of 355 acres permitted for expansion.
“Home to more than 20 automaker brands, Colonel’s Island is poised to become the Southeast’s premier autoport,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “With more room to grow, better connections to inland markets, and an operation dedicated to Roll-on/Roll-off cargo, Colonel’s Island is the region’s busiest gateway for autos and machinery.”
The new berth, recently approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will include a concrete deck and system of mooring dolphins extending Ro/Ro vessel berthing space from 3,355 feet to 4,630 feet. Construction is anticipated to begin at the end of 2022 and take two years to complete.
In addition to growing the auto trade, GPA will upgrade near-dock storage areas to better accommodate heavy machinery used in agriculture, construction and warehousing operations.
The GPA also reported that bulk cargo handled by terminal operator Logistec totaled 902,000 tons at East River Terminal last year, while Mayor’s Point handled 88,380 tons of forest products in 2021.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 496,700 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $29 billion in income, $122 billion in revenue and $3.4 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 9.3 percent of total U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.5 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2020.
Photo Credit: The Georgia Ports Authority plans upgrades to the Port of Brunswick including a fourth berth at Colonel’s Island Terminal, 85 additional acres for auto processing and 360,000 square feet of new warehousing. Find print-quality images here. (Georgia Ports photo)