Auto, Machinery Volumes Soaring at Port of Brunswick

Dave Williams

Friday, November 3rd, 2023

Capitol Beat is a nonprofit news service operated by the Georgia Press Educational Foundation that provides coverage of state government to newspapers throughout Georgia. For more information visit

More than $262 million in planned improvements at the Port of Brunswick are coming just in time to accommodate a significant growth in auto and machinery business.

The Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick handled 70,645 units of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo in September, an increase of 61% over September of last year.

“The automotive sector has been especially strong, and consumer demand is driving this trend,” said Griff Lynch, president and CEO of the Georgia Ports Authority. “Our investments in infrastructure capacity are well-timed to support the growing business in our Brunswick gateway.”

The Port of Brunswick is adding 640,000 square feet of auto and machinery processing space across five new buildings, including 350,000 square feet of near-dock warehousing that is now complete. The ports authority also is developing another 122 acres of cargo storage space.

Lynch announced earlier this week the authority’s goal of making Brunswick the No.-1 port in the country for Roll-on/Roll-off cargo by 2026.

Part of that is adding new customers. Shipping line CMA-CGM started a new service carrying vehicles from Mexico to Brunswick in July, and the Gold Star line will begin a similar Mexico-to-Brunswick route this month.

Meanwhile, the ports authority experienced its busiest month ever for container trade in September outside of a pandemic-related spike last year. Nearly 403,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containerized cargo crossed Georgia Ports Authority docks in September, primarily at the Port of Savannah.

While that was 7.6% below the volume reported in September of last year, it was 9% higher than in September 2019, the most recent year unaffected by the pandemic.