Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association Welcomes Industry Update from Georgia Ports Authority Chief Commercial Officer Cliff Pyron


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As the U.S. Southeast continues to see an influx of industry and people, the Georgia Ports Authority is investing in capacity as a global gateway for a growing number of companies who choose to do business here.

That was the message from Cliff Pyron, Chief Commercial Officer for the GPA during the Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association (GAMA) conference in Savannah.

The annual event brings together automotive industry insiders from around the state to share ideas and strengthen relationships that will drive economic activity in the Peach State.

“There are a lot of changes underway in the supply chain right now, but there are tremendous opportunities as well,” Pyron shared with GAMA conference attendees.

Pyron spotlighted the historic growth in process at the Georgia Ports, with $1.9 billion in infrastructure improvements underway and $4.5 billion in planned projects over the next 12 years. Just a day prior, more than 100 GAMA conference attendees toured the port’s Garden City Terminal to see that growth firsthand.

These projects will add capacity and fluidity to the GPA, as more customers choose the port for their preferred gateway on the East Coast. Currently, 13 percent of all U.S. containerized automotive imports come through Garden City Terminal in Savannah, and 16 percent of all U.S. containerized automotive exports, which include OEM and retail parts and components, Pyron said.

During his presentation, Pyron focused on the more than $250 million in improvements underway at the Port of Brunswick, which is the second busiest Roll-on/Roll-off facility in the U.S. and the largest in acreage for a Ro/Ro port in the nation.

He highlighted the historic year for Ro/Ro at Georgia Ports, which moved a record 723,500 units in Fiscal Year 2023, an increase of 18 percent over the previous year.

At the Port of Brunswick, 640,000 square feet of new processing space is being constructed across five new buildings and 122 acres of additional auto storage, which will increase Ro/Ro capacity from 1.2 million to 1.4 million vehicles per year, a boon to the Georgia automotive industry.

“These improvements will be very exciting once completed, along with adding a fourth berth, as we continue to add capacity to Colonel’s Island,” Pyron shared. 

Work is underway on the Hyundai Metaplant just west of Savannah, while the Rivian plant is moving forward east of Atlanta. The Georgia Ports is investing to support the state’s major growth in electric vehicle manufacturing, coupled with the GPA’s inland port network to reach key inland manufacturing and distribution markets.

“These are major advancements not just for our port, but for the state of Georgia, which will be game changers for sure,” Pyron added.

It’s something Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association members were excited to hear about as they eye continued growth in automotive output across the state.

“We appreciate the Georgia Ports Authority and industry experts taking the time to share updates with our association and explore ways we can work together to move the Georgia automotive industry forward,” said Rick Walker, President and CEO, Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association.

Discover more about opportunities at the Georgia Ports Authority at