Port of Brunswick sets all-time record in May, grows Ro/Ro volumes by 26%

The Port of Brunswick is on track to handle more than 860,000 units of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo at Colonel’s Island Terminal in Fiscal Year 2024. On-site processing at the 1,700-acre facility means vehicles do not need to be hauled off-port for services such as installing electronics and other accessories. (Photo: Georgia Ports)

The Port of Brunswick handled an all-time record of 86,577 units of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo in May, an increase of more than 18,000 units or 26 percent compared to May 2023.

“Brunswick’s proximity to domestic manufacturers and to vibrant sales markets make it a critical partner for the auto industry in driving new business,” said Georgia Ports Authority President and CEO Griff Lynch. “The recent addition of 120 acres of processing space, along with hundreds more acres available for development, make Colonel’s Island Terminal uniquely able to expand along with the needs of car manufacturers.”

Luxury vehicle exports to China were a highlight among Asian trade lanes, which along with services to Europe featured strong import-export business in finished vehicles last month.

Overall, auto processors moved just over 23,000 auto exports and 54,550 auto imports in May.

At 4,300 units, high/heavy machinery more than tripled GPA’s monthly average for the fiscal year through April. Exports totaled 3,440 units, while import units totaled 860. This followed GPA’s shift of Ro/Ro cargo previously handled at Savannah’s Ocean Terminal to Brunswick, as well as the diversion of some high/heavy units that normally would have exported via Baltimore.

GPA estimates roughly half of the machinery increase and approximately 15 percent of the auto increase in May was related to the Baltimore bridge collapse. Brunswick saw a larger impact on machinery, because most units were exports that had to be sent to GPA well before Baltimore’s Ro/Ro channel reopened in mid-May.

The May performance brings Georgia Ports volumes for the current fiscal year to date (July 1, 2023-May 31, 2024) to 796,000 units of autos and high/heavy machinery, up 20 percent compared to FYTD 2023.

“Our increasing Ro/Ro volumes are a testament to the outstanding work of our auto port partners and the reliable service customers have come to expect at Brunswick,” said GPA Board Chairman Kent Fountain. “Our thanks go out to the manufacturers, ocean carriers, our local ILA partners and the auto processors who have made Brunswick the nation’s most efficient gateway for autos and heavy machinery.”

The auto port at Colonel’s Island Terminal handled 57 vessels in May, an increase of 12 ships compared to the same month last year.

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