Business

Auto Industry Growth Drives $152M Brunswick Port Expansion

The Georgia Ports Authority hopes to begin construction on the Brunswick 10-year expansion in 2016, but first they need approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Georgia Ports Authority hopes to begin construction on the Brunswick 10-year expansion in 2016, but first they need approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Credit TODD LAPPIN / FLICKR.COM/TELSTAR
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The Port of Brunswick is set to receive $152 million from the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), to help keep up with the Southeast’s growing automobile manufacturing industry.

The Port of Savannah gets a lot of attention for its more than $600 million expansion, but Brunswick’s port is important to the Southeast because of its specialty: shipping and receiving cars.

In the U.S., only Baltimore, Maryland, moved more tons of cars, trucks and tractors than Brunswick last year. But, Curtis Folts, executive director of the GPA, says the Port of Brunswick is losing business because it’s not big enough.

“If we would have had an additional paved property for more vehicles and more parking,” he said, “we probably would have handled a higher level of volume than we did.”

Foltz says much of the $152 million will be for more parking space and a new dock specially designed to load and unload automobile cargo.

“As auto manufacturing shifts to the Southeast, which it continues to do, they’ll be more export opportunities,” he said. “So, we’re clearly looking to grow the volume through our ports.”

The GPA hopes to begin construction on the 10-year expansion in 2016, but first they need approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.