As new vehicles were loaded and unloaded at the Port of Brunswick, Georgia area leaders paused to celebrate a historic achievement – the two millionth Mercedes-Benz vehicle to depart Colonel’s Island.
Mercedes-Benz officials posed for photos with International Longshoremen Association leaders, International Auto Processing executives and Georgia Ports employees as they loaded vehicles onto a large Roll-on/Roll-off vessel bound for China.
“Mercedes-Benz USA is proud of its partnership with the Georgia Ports Authority that has allowed us to export over two million vehicles since 1997,” said Rory Anne Hepner, Director Vehicle Logistics and Customs Operations at Mercedes-Benz USA.
The Mercedes-Benz SUVs are manufactured in Alabama before arriving at Colonel’s Island for export. After reaching their destination, the vehicles will then be distributed to over 80 countries.
“It’s a big milestone. To hit two million exports is pretty amazing,” shared Don Asdell, President & CEO of International Auto Processing, which helps export Mercedes-Benz vehicles from the Port of Brunswick.
“Mercedes-Benz is a great partner for us, and it’s really thanks to our workforce — the ILA, the GPA, stevedoring companies, ocean carriers — it’s all a team effort to make this happen,” he added.
GPA officials say the event marks the result of a key partnership between the Port of Brunswick, IAP, ILA, and Mercedes-Benz, which has benefited from the port’s connections to key ocean carriers, nearby Interstate 95, and railway networks.
“We are honored that Mercedes-Benz continues to choose the Georgia Ports as their preferred gateway to export their vehicles across the globe,” said Griff Lynch, President and CEO of Georgia Ports Authority. “The unmatched efficiency and key access available at Colonel’s Island have helped to create a long and fruitful partnership.”
The celebration follows a banner year for the Port of Brunswick, which handled record Roll-on/Roll-off volumes in Fiscal Year 2023, at more than 723,500 units, an increase of 18 percent or nearly 109,000 units over the previous year.
The Port of Brunswick is currently the number two Roll-on/Roll-off gateway in the nation and growing — benefiting from the largest acreage for a Ro/Ro port in the U.S., with room for future expansion. With a broad ocean carrier network, and quick access to regional dealerships, the Port of Brunswick is a key choice for Ro/Ro imports and exports.
“New business and new capacity are establishing the Port of Brunswick as the nation’s premier auto port,” shared Kent Fountain, Georgia Ports Authority Board Chairman. “We are excited to see the growth underway as Georgia Ports continues to grow its Roll-on/Roll-off capacity at Colonel’s Island.”
The Georgia Ports is currently investing more than $250 million to elevate operations at the Port of Brunswick. Upgrades underway include 640,000 square feet of new processing space across five new buildings, and 122 acres of additional auto storage. The new acreage will increase Ro/Ro capacity from 1.2 million to 1.4 million vehicles per year.
Two near-dock warehouses and three buildings on the south side of Colonel’s Island will come online this fall. GPA has also won federal approval to construct a fourth Ro/Ro berth at Colonel’s Island, which is currently in the engineering phase and will better accommodate carriers in the 7,000-vehicle class.
Discover more about Roll-on/Roll-off services and opportunities at Georgia Ports by visiting www.gaports.com/cargo/ro-ro/