Air Cargo Quarterly
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Port of Brunswick is Subaru’s gateway to Southeast
Subaru has chosen Georgia as its gateway into the Southeastern U.S., and will soon start importing five of its models through the Port of Brunswick.
“It is significant that Brunswick is Subaru’s first port of entry in the Southeastern U.S.,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “The efficiency of service from the GPA and our partners in auto processing, as well as Brunswick’s speed to important markets, makes Georgia the smart choice for roll-on/roll-off cargo.”
Subaru National Transportation Manager Larry Strug said the deepwater port at Brunswick will serve two zones in Subaru’s national distribution network. The zones cover an area from North Carolina to Florida. Other import terminals include Vancouver, Wash., Richmond, Calif., and Baltimore, Md.
The Japanese-based carmaker announced at a national dealer meeting that it will move 15,000 vehicles through Georgia annually. Models include the Forester, Crosstrek, Impreza, WRX STI and BRZ. Shipments are set to begin in mid-July, carried by shipping line NYK.
An assembly plant in Lafayette, Ind., produces the Legacy, Outback and Tribeca models sold in the U.S.
Strug said the company looked at other ports, but settled on Brunswick.
“We liked what we saw. We liked what we heard from other manufacturers,” he said. “We’re very much about quality. We’re very much about ensuring that our customers have a little different vehicle.”
That focus on satisfying individual tastes is what led Subaru to choose the GPA facility.
“We accessorize our vehicles and put certain options on them at ports,” Strug said. “We think it gives us an advantage in the marketplace for customers to be able to somewhat customize their vehicles.”
Volvo is already doing something similar at Brunswick, and Strug saw an opportunity to take advantage of existing systems. He added that Subaru’s business model of customizing cars at ports means more local jobs will be added. WWL Vehicle Services Americas won the auto processing contract.
“WWL Vehicle Services Americas is pleased to be selected by Subaru as the vehicle processing provider of choice at the Port of Brunswick,” said John Felitto, President and CEO of WWL Vehicle Services Americas. “Brunswick plays an important role in entry to the Southeastern U.S. auto market. WWL Vehicle Services Americas operates its state of the art auto processing facility at the Port of Brunswick to support manufacturer needs such as this.”
GPA Board Chairman Robert Jepson said several factors make Brunswick attractive to carmakers.
“The three Colonel’s Island Ro/Ro berths and five on-terminal auto processors mean Brunswick has the capacity to quickly move roll-on/roll-off cargo,” Jepson said. “Additionally, immediate access to I-95 puts 44 percent of the U.S. population within a one- to two-day drive.”
The terminal also offers expedited delivery by rail to the major population centers of Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Memphis and Orlando.
“Further, our customer service is world class,” Jepson said. “The GPA’s Client Relations Center is unparalleled in the industry, allowing port users to resolve issues with a single phone call.”
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