Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz announced that Colonel’s Island Terminal marked its highest tonnage volume ever at the State of the Port address. He also outlined actions required to achieve continued growth and prepare the Port of Brunswick for future prosperity.
“The Port of Brunswick experienced a remarkable recovery in FY 2010 (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010),” said Foltz. “The 26.2-percent increase in total annual tonnage of 1.672 million tons compared with the previous year allowed the GPA to surpass the record levels reached in FY2008 and continue its momentum gaining market share across the Southeast.”
In FY2010, GPA posted its best year ever for agri-bulk exporting more than one million tons, which was a 37-percent increase compared with FY2009. Soybeans nearly doubled with a 93-percent increase compared with FY2009, as a strong export to Asia. Other commodities included soybean meal, barley malt and wheat.
During FY2010 the GPA posted a 16-percent increase in auto and machinery units handled with a total of 332,100 units. The Port of Brunswick has increased its U.S. East Coast market share for autos by 66 percent and its total U.S. market share by 72 percent in the last three years.
“Georgia’s deepwater ports are one of the brightest spots in the Georgia economy right now,” said GPA’s Chairman of the Board Alec L. Poitevint. “Brunswick has become the sixth largest U.S. auto port by having the best workforce, unsurpassed infrastructure, room to grow and a sound marketing plan to capitalize on its strengths.”
According to a University of Georgia study released earlier this year, Georgia’s deepwater ports supported more than 295,000 jobs throughout the state during FY2009, which was an increase of 9,000 jobs in retail, transportation and logistics industries compared with the previous study in FY2006.
Additionally, Foltz lauded the new Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) facility, which opened its doors at the Port of Brunswick in January 2010. As the second vehicle processing center on the southside of Colonel’s Island Terminal, the MBUSA center also brought three ocean carriers, NYK, MOL and K-Line, to start calling the port regularly. He also discussed significant expansion opportunities and new infrastructure that will accommodate Georgia exports for biomass fuels.