The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has announced that auto and machinery volumes saw a sharp increase at the Port of Brunswick in September.
Colonel’s Island Terminal handled 70,645 units of RoRo cargo, up 61 per cent or 26,750 units compared to the same month last year.
Containers moved by intermodal rail at the Port of Savannah also saw strong growth in September, up by 8 per cent or 3,280 containers for a total of 45,386 containers moved by rail.
Rail containers accounted for 20 per cent of total cargo handled by the Georgia Ports Authority in September.
In total container trade, last month was GPA’s busiest September ever outside of the pandemic-related spike in volume, with nearly 403,000 TEU of cargo crossing GPA docks last month.
The September container volumes constituted a 7.6 per cent decrease from the same month last year, but a 9 per cent increase compared to September 2019, the most recent year unaffected by the pandemic.
The numbers point to growth related to added customers and increased volumes from existing port users.
Shipping line CMA CGM started a new short-sea service carrying vehicles from Mexico to the Port of Brunswick in July, and the Gold Star shipping line starts a similar Mexico-to-Brunswick route in November.
The rate of increase is also a sign of recovery from a pandemic-related shortage of computer chips that had stymied auto production.
To accommodate growing volumes, the Port of Brunswick is undergoing improvements totalling more than $262 million.
Expansions include a total of 640,000 square feet of auto and machinery processing space across five new buildings, including 350,000 square feet of near-dock warehousing that is now complete. GPA is also developing another 122 acres of Ro-Ro cargo storage space.
“The automotive sector has been especially strong and consumer demand is driving this trend.,” said Georgia Ports CEO and President Griff Lynch.
“Our investments in infrastructure capacity are well-timed to support the growing business in our Brunswick gateway,” Lynch added.
“Brunswick’s port development plays an integral part of our port master plan to be the most connected and competitive auto port to serve consumers,” said GPA Chairman, Kent Fountain.
GPA is pursuing a two-pillar strategy to “specialise and scale operations for customers” by focusing all Ro-Ro cargo in the Port of Brunswick and all container cargo in the Port of Savannah.