Already the No. 1 U.S. port for new automobile imports, the Georgia Ports Authority’s Port of Brunswick is amidst expansion to nearly double its roll-on/roll-off cargo capacity.
Extending its philosophy to stay 20 percent ahead of demand some 80 miles south – from Savannah to its Brunswick facilities – GPA is assertively advancing development of hundreds of acres of additional properties at its Colonel’s Island auto terminal, including on previously unused portions of the island’s south side.
“We have tremendous room for expansion,” said Clifford R. “Cliff” Pyron, GPA’s chief commercial officer, noting that nearly half of 1,700 developable acres remain undeveloped for port-related use.
Called upon by nine steamship lines, the Port of Brunswick autoport, which for four straight years has handled more than 600,000 vehicles, trailing only Baltimore in total vehicle imports and exports, is a hub for such original equipment manufacturers as Hyundai/Kia (the leading importer), Mercedes-Benz (the top exporter), BMW, Subaru, Honda, Land Rover, Volvo, Nissan, Toyota and General Motors.
Longtime tenant International Auto Processing Inc. recently leased 49 additional acres at Colonel’s Island to expand its operations, while a unit of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics has finished development of a 20-acre parcel, with another 20 acres now under development.
Two Colonel’s Island properties totaling more than 100 acres have been acquired by Mercedes-Benz for that OEM’s development of its own processing operation.
A 50-acre site has been identified for advancement of a rail facility on the south side of the island, the north side of which already is served by two Class I railroads by way of short-line interface, enhanced by $3.7 million yard expansion.
A fourth Colonel’s Island berth also is in immediate plans, with Pyron hopeful of U.S. Army Corp of Engineers approval by mid-2017 to proceed with design of the berth, to be built for between $40 million and $42 million.
Meanwhile, $3.5 million in roadway projects are moving forward, to improve the autoport’s link with Interstate 95, which is 2.5 miles west via four-lane U.S. 17.
In addition, indicative of the diverse nature of GPA facilities, including to serve agribulk, bulk and breakbulk sectors, Logistec last fall completed a 221,675-square-foot wood pellet facility at the Port of Brunswick’s East River Terminal.