BRUNSWICK — A silver Hyundai Genesis rolling down the ramp of the Wallenius Wilhelmsen vessel Isolde became the 5 millionth vehicle handled by International Auto Processing at the Port of Brunswick.
“On behalf of the GPA, I would like to congratulate IAP, a long-time partner at the Port of Brunswick,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “This important milestone exemplifies IAP’s reliability and the trust automakers have in their service.”
International Auto Processing began its Colonel’s Island operation in 1986, with its first shipment of 567 Yugos (all in red).
“Over the years, more and more carmakers have seen the value in using Colonel’s Island as a gateway to the Southeastern U.S. market, helping IAP and the Port of Brunswick to achieve phenomenal growth over three decades as a ro/ro facility,” said Robert Miller, president and CEO of International Auto Processing.
Having grown to employ 250 full-time workers and up to 100 in flexible staffing, IAP now serves Audi, Bentley, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen. In addition to receiving and storing new vehicles, IAP acts as an extension of the factory floor. The company performs quality checks, installs over 100 various accessories, and washes and prepares the vehicles for transportation to dealers.
“In 2014, we handled more than 450,000 vehicles,” Miller said. “Most of the import vehicles handled by IAP are delivered to the six-state Southeast area, although some customers serve dealerships as far west as Texas and as far north as the mid-Atlantic states.”
Imports arrive from Europe, Asia and Mexico. Exports account for about a third of IAP’s volume.
“These are vehicles manufactured in the U.S. and then exported to Europe, Asia, Central and South America,” he said, adding the vehicle handling process has evolved from its start three decades ago.
The port now ranks as the busiest in the nation for the import of new vehicles and the No. 2 U.S. port in total import-export trade. By the end of 2014, GPA terminals in Brunswick and Savannah surpassed 7 million vehicles moved since 1986.
Other changes at the Port of Brunswick include additional ship berths, and the new, higher Sydney Lanier Bridge spanning the Brunswick River, which cleared the way for today’s larger roll-on/roll-off vessels.
Since the inception of the Brunswick autoport, IAP has been joined by three other auto processors: AMPORTS, Atlantic Vehicle Processors, and Mercedes-Benz USA. In FY2014, four processors served 20 automotive manufacturers, moving 674,327 vehicles over Colonel’s Island – an 8.3 percent (51,625-unit) improvement over fiscal year 2013. Including Port of Savannah Ro/Ro, Georgia deepwater ports moved 700,702 units in FY2014.
Georgia Ports Authority