Freight News, Sea

Top officials thank Coast Guard, resilient Brunswick maritime community

[ October 4, 2019   //   ]

At the Brunswick State of the Port address on October 2nd, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch thanked the U.S. Coast Guard, Brunswick Bar Pilots and port workers for
their efforts in the crew rescue, ongoing vessel salvage and reopeningĀ of the Port of Brunswick after the car carrying ship Golden Ray capsizedĀ Sept. 8.

“The Coast Guard and our Brunswick maritime community came together in
an impressive display of teamwork, focused first on the safety of the
crew, and now on protecting the natural environment and the safety of
vessel operations,” Lynch said. “In only four days, we were able to
reopen the port, protecting the livelihoods of our direct employees and
thousands of others across the region. On behalf of the Georgia Ports
Authority, I would like to thank all those involved in the rescue and
salvage operations.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Norm Witt of the
Marine Safety Unit in Savannah and Captain John Reed are to be commended
for the Coast Guard’s quick rescue of the ship’s crew and river pilot,
and for their continuing work to restore normal operations.

“I applaud the quick action of the Coast Guard, tugs, maritime engineers
and emergency responders in the rescue of the ship’s entire crew and the
river pilot on the Golden Ray,” Kemp said. “We all felt tremendous
relief as the last sailor was brought to safety. Now that the mission
has shifted to recovery, we appreciate the Coast Guard’s efforts to
accommodate river traffic while salvagers work to right the vessel and
clear the channel. The Port of Brunswick is an important asset to
Georgia, supporting employment across an array of industries.”

Port activity in Glynn and the five surrounding counties supports nearly
11,000 jobs in business sectors such as forest products, automobile
processing, retail and other services according to an economic impact
study conducted by the University of Georgia’s Terry College of
Business. Statewide, Georgia’s deepwater ports support more than 440,000
full- and part-time jobs, yielding $25 billion in personal income each

The growth at Colonel’s Island autoport is thanks in part to its
logistical advantage, including immediate access to Interstate 95, and
from there, I-10 and I-16.

“Brunswick’s proximity to Southeastern dealerships and auto
manufacturers, combined with its ability to reach important inland
markets via CSX and Norfolk Southern, makes it an ideal hub for the
import-export of vehicles,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight.
“Service from nine ocean carriers means Brunswick has the global
connections to efficiently move exports and imports.”

During the event hosted by the Brunswick Golden Isles Chamber of
Commerce, Lynch also announced the development of a 40-acre dockside
parcel dedicated to auto processing at the Roll-on/Roll-off port at
Colonel’s Island Terminal. “Construction is complete and the new space
is now open for Ro/Ro operations,” Lynch said. “With this expansion, the
Port of Brunswick is ready to take on substantial new business.”

The development increases the car storage area by approximately 6,000
spaces, and provides a 9-acre staging area for high and heavy equipment
being loaded or unloaded from vessels. The benefits will include
additional capacity and speedier vessel processing.

The new dockside expansion will increase GPA’s rail capacity for autos
at Brunswick, adding 14,100 feet of track. This, in turn, will allow
Brunswick to expand service in markets west of the Mississippi River and
into the American Midwest. In FY2019, more than 110,000 vehicles were
transported to inland markets from Brunswick by rail.

GPA has also added a second access road between the docks and the
island’s south side. This provides a more direct route to existing auto
processing lots and new development on the south end of the terminal.

Also at the Brunswick State of the Port, Lynch thanked BMW for signing a
new 20-year contract to move vehicles through Colonel’s Island Terminal.
The German carmaker has tapped Georgia Ports for vehicle logistics since
1988. In the last 15 years, BMW has moved 612,000 vehicles via
Brunswick. nearly 614,000 units
of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo, an increase of 4 percent, or 23,000 units.
Including the 36,000 units moved via Ocean Terminal in Savannah, Georgia
is the second busiest hub for the import-export of vehicles, machinery
and other types of Ro/Ro cargo in the U.S.