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The Port of Brunswick

The Port of Brunswick is the nation’s second busiest gateway for the import-export of vehicles and heavy machinery. Georgia Ports Authority Photo

Georgia Ports Set Ro/Ro Record as Container Volumes Slump

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1728
July 25, 2023

The Georgia Ports Authority reported a record Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) volumes in FY2023 as container volumes slumped at of Port of Savannah, but are still tracking ahead of pre-pandemic volumes.

The GPA’s fiscal year runs from July to June each year.

GPA’s Port of Brunswick saw a significant increase in Ro/Ro imports and exports in FY2023, with imports up 24% year-over-year and exports up over 7%. The GPA highlighted the addition of Nissan as a new customer to Brunswick’s Colonel’s Island Terminal, which now handles Nissan imports from Japan and Mexico.

“The Port of Brunswick achieved strong growth in the import and export of heavy machinery, while auto manufacturers’ improved microchip supply also meant an increase in vehicles,” said GPA President/CEO Griff Lynch. “I’d like to thank our customers for their continued confidence in Brunswick as a superior gateway to the U.S., and the auto processors for the world-class service they are providing.”

Looking at containers, the Port of Savannah handled 5.4 million TEUs, a decrease of 6.7% from its all-time record set in FY2022, but a 20% increase from pre-pandemic volumes in FY2019. The GPA said this brings its compound annual growth rate since FY2019 to 4.7% per year.

As of April, the Port of Savannah achieved its highest ever market share in container trade among US ports, with 11.2% according to PIERS data from S&P Global.

“This continues a trend stemming from the U.S. Southeast’s fast-growing population, increased domestic production and a shift in overseas manufacturing toward India and Southeast Asia, favoring delivery via Savannah,” Lynch said.

To meet future demand, the GPA is investing $1.9 billion in infrastructure projects, including renovations to Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal, which will increase berth capacity by 25%. The improved Berth 1, which recently reopened on July 20, will provide faster turn times for ocean carriers.

Upgrades at the Port of Brunswick include new processing space and additional auto storage, increasing Ro/Ro capacity to 1.4 million vehicles per year, from 1.2 million currently. GPA has also received approval to construct a fourth Ro/Ro berth at Colonel’s Island to better accommodate carriers in the 7,000-vehicle class.

“New business and new capacity are establishing the Port of Brunswick as the nation’s premier auto port,” said Fountain. “Already the largest U.S. terminal in current acreage and room to grow, Colonel’s Island offers exporters a broad ocean carrier network, and provides importers easy access to the region’s dealerships.”

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