“Our deepwater ports provide vital support to our agricultural, forestry and manufacturing sectors,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “Because American-made goods are able to reach the global market efficiently through Georgia’s ports, these products are more competitive in international trade. That’s good for jobs in Georgia and across the Southeast.” For the second year in a row, the Georgia Ports Authority achieved a record total for auto and machinery units with an 11.7 percent improvement in FY2013, moving 636,942 units – an increase of 66,958. Most of that business, or 622,702 units, moved over Colonel’s Island terminal in Brunswick.
“Brunswick has seen phenomenal growth this year as the automobile industry rebounds and sales increase,” said Curtis Foltz, GPA’s Executive Director. “As a result, the Port of Brunswick is the third busiest port in the U.S. for total roll-on/roll-off cargo, and the second busiest port for the import of such cargo.”
Volume improvements in FY2013 are thanks in part to business from new customers including Subaru and Toyota. Other factors include heavy machinery exports from companies like Caterpillar, contributing to a 127,830-ton increase in breakbulk tonnage (for a total of 1.2 million tons) at Colonel’s Island.
“Our facilities provide a regional transportation hub that is second-to-none in the United States,” said GPA Board Chairman Robert Jepson. “Working with our commercial partners, our port operation takes advantage of direct interstate access and two Class I rail services to move exports from inland factories more efficiently, as well as to move import cargo to destinations across the Southeast.”
At East River in Brunswick, biofuels including wood pellets helped drive the terminal to a 23 percent, or 151,896-ton, bulk cargo improvement over FY2012 to reach 815,337 tons of bulk cargo moved through East River Terminal alone. Colonel’s Island also saw a banner year in agribulk cargo, moving 148,712 tons of corn and 792,453 tons of soybean meal, for a total of 941,165 tons – nearly five times more than in FY2012, in which GPA moved 195,306 tons of agribulk products.
The GPA moved a combined 1.75 million tons of bulk cargo through Brunswick in FY2013, more than double the 858,747 tons in the previous fiscal year.
“The break in the drought resulted in greater farm yields,” Foltz said. “Additionally, increased overseas marketing for U.S.-produced agribulk boosted GPA volumes.”
Counting freight moved through Savannah and Brunswick, the GPA marked record volumes for fiscal year 2013 in total tonnage, bulk cargo, total auto-machinery units, and freight moved by intermodal rail.
In the year ending June 30, the GPA moved a record-setting 27.23 million tons of cargo across all terminals, for a 2.4 percent increase over FY2012.
“Our overall tonnage increase has been fueled by the strength of U.S. exports and the GPA’s varied cargo spectrum,” Foltz said.