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The Colonel’s Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick

Photo: Georgia Ports Authority

Record-Breaking Month for Ro/Ro Cargo at Georgia’s Port of Brunswick

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 612
April 18, 2024

Colonel’s Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick in Georgia has set a new record in March, handling 77,236 units of Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) cargo. This figure represents a 21 percent increase compared to the same month last year.

“March marks the busiest month for Ro/Ro cargo in Brunswick’s history,” said Griff Lynch, the President and CEO of the Georgia Ports Authority. “This surge is due to both organic growth and new customers in the auto and heavy equipment sectors. As automakers expand production, our import and export trade has seen a significant boost.”

The Port of Brunswick ranks as the nation’s second busiest port for import and export Ro/Ro cargo behind the Port of Baltimore, now largely closed due to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26.

Significant volumes of high and heavy cargo were recorded in March, with 4,210 units being processed. Machinery volumes for Fiscal Year 2024 now stand at 20,113 units, marking a 34 percent increase within the first nine months of the fiscal year.

From July 2023 through March 2024, the Georgia Ports Authority moved a total of 628,937 units of Ro/Ro cargo, a 16 percent rise. This averages out to 69,882 units per month. If this trend continues, the port could handle a record 800,000 units by the end of the fiscal year.

GPA Board Chairman Kent Fountain praised Brunswick’s terminal capacity, its strategic location near I-95, and on-terminal rail facilities. “These factors make it the ideal gateway for serving manufacturers and dealerships across the Southeast. Our investments are designed to ensure that Colonel’s Island meets the demand of the region’s rapidly growing population for years to come.”

The Port of Brunswick serves 23 carmakers and 17 heavy machinery producers. Last fiscal year, the Port handled approximately 723,515 Ro/Ro units.

In March alone, Colonel’s Island handled a record 52 vessels, a 27 percent increase compared to March 2023. The Port of Brunswick has handled 431 Ro/Ro vessels during the first three-quarters of the fiscal year. Colonel’s Island is projected to handle a record 572 ships by the end of June, surpassing the previous record of 534 set in FY2015.

In response to growing trade, the Georgia Ports Authority is enhancing its infrastructure for processing autos and heavy equipment. A $262 million infrastructure program is currently underway at Colonel’s Island. This includes the addition of 122 acres of Ro/Ro storage and 640,000 square feet of new processing space, with completion expected by late summer 2024. In addition, a fourth Ro/Ro berth is being added to handle additional vessels efficiently.

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