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Georgia Ports Authority adding 100 acres of auto processing space at Port of Brunswick

Category: Ports & Transportation

PHOTO:  The Port of Brunswick is the nation's fastest growing autoport.  With 652 acres of auto processing space available for development, Brunswick is poised for continued expansion. (Georgia Ports Authority/Jim Carswell) 

Brunswick Business Journal Special Report

October 5, 2016 - At the annual State of the Port address hosted by the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce today, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch announced a 100-acre expansion of the Colonel's Island auto terminal.

And, Lynch welcomed Logistec's announcement of the completion of 221,000 sq. ft. of wood pellet storage at GPA's East River Terminal in Brunswick.

"The additional 100 acres will allow GPA to grow along with our existing customers, and to attract additional carmakers to the nation's second busiest auto port," Lynch said. "This new roll-on/roll-off capacity is part of an initiative to service a growing market, while staying 20 percent ahead of our current demand."

Twenty of the 100 acres are paved and in use by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, while International Auto Processing has leased another 49 acres it will occupy by May 2017.

Just last month, the GPA Board of Directors approved the development of a separate 30-acre parcel, which should come online in January.

"The Port of Brunswick already supports 9,000 jobs in Glynn and its five surrounding counties," said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. "Our efforts to accommodate the demands of auto manufacturers serving the Southeastern U.S. economy will create jobs and business opportunities within this region."

The long-term plan for Colonel's Island's south side, detailed at today's State of the Port, will eventually add 540 acres in GPA-owned land to the auto processing operation. Another 140 south side acres owned by Mercedes and International Auto Processing brings Brunswick's total vehicle space to 1,039 acres.

"No other autoport in the nation even approaches that capacity," Lynch said.

Also at the State of the Port, Lynch announced that Logistec, an international terminal operating company, has just opened two new warehouses totaling 221,675 sq. ft. for wood pellet storage along the Brunswick River.

"These modern buildings are a part of Logistec's commitment to upgrade and expand its dry bulk facilities in Brunswick. Our terminal is ideally suited to biomass cargo handling, and we look forward to working with the Georgia Ports Authority and our customers to meet long-term growth demands," said Madeleine Paquin, President and CEO of Logistec. "We are committed to doing business here for the long term. With the addition of these warehouses, we can store higher volumes and have increased our throughput capacity."

The state-of-the-art facilities opened this week are expected to handle more than 600,000 tons of wood pellets annually. The new buildings represent a 101 percent increase in capacity over two previous warehouses that totaled 110,000 square feet.

The wood pellets are a renewable biomass fuel source shipped largely to Northern Europe, where they are used in energy production.

The pellets are sourced mainly from the Georgia forestry industry. This improved infrastructure will aid GPA's efforts to support Georgia's forest products sector.

In other news:

•        Lynch reported that in the past fiscal year, the ports authority completed an 8,700-foot rail expansion at Anguilla Junction, for a total of 39,000 feet of track. The added track will provide greater flexibility and storage capacity to build longer trains carrying exponentially more cargo.

•        With a 10-year compound annual growth rate of 11.9 percent, compared to the national CAGR of 2.6 percent (FY2006 to FY2016), Colonel's Island is the fastest growing autoport in the U.S.

•        Fiscal Year 2016 was the fourth straight year that auto volumes in Brunswick topped 600,000 units. Brunswick Ro/Ro units totaled 621,934 in FY2016. Another 41,323 moved via Ocean Terminal in Savannah.

•        The Port of Brunswick's total cargo in FY2016 was 2.8 million tons, broken down by Colonel's Island: 1,753,128; East River tonnage: 929,230; and Mayor's Point: 161,333

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