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Brunswick port showing growth
Growth in automobile units traveling through the Port of Brunswick led the way for the port to see significant growth in the first two months of the new fiscal year.

Automobiles handled in Brunswick increased about 47 percent during August over the same time last year with an additional 17,800 units coming through the area's docks, said Robert Morris, Georgia Ports Authority spokesman.

"That was a very significant gain on top of large gains in the month before, which we see 30.2 percent growth at the Port of Brunswick for total tonnage," Morris said.

Tonnage increased 48 percent in August alone over the same time last year.

Colonel's Island moved 109,694 automobile and machinery units in July and August, an increase of 37 percent.

That puts the Port of Brunswick at a strong start to the fiscal year, which began in July, and the impact could be seen across the region, Morris said.

"The impact is felt throughout the community," Morris said. "Jobs on the waterfront feed out across the local community, and then the region, in those secondary jobs that are impacted."

Restaurants, service stations and lodging facilities are all affected by growth at the ports.

"Whenever you see large gains in tonnage and autos moving through your terminal, it's great news throughout the community," Morris said. "When cargo comes in, that's only the first step. After it leaves the dock, it has to be handled several times."

The Georgia Ports Authority hopes to see Brunswick's growth continue. The GPA board approved spending $750,000 to remove fuel pier structures and construct a new mooring dolphin.

The renovations are to support a growing amount of biomass exports used for alternative energy sources coming through the port.

Last year the East River Terminal saw a 14 percent increase in cargo tonnage of products like peanut hull pellets and wood pellets and chips.

"We're making these improvements and additions in support of the biomass industry - the wood pellets - that are increasingly coming through Brunswick and we expect in the next two years to see a large increase in the export of wood pellets in that terminal which will also increase jobs," Morris said.

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