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Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 9:00am

Georgia Ports See Spike in Cargo

Georgia Ports Authority officials are reporting record tonnage numbers for the fiscal year that ended in June.

The growth was led by an increase in so-called breakbulk cargo.

Breakbulk is a term for goods loaded individually as opposed to in containers.

It could mean anything from steel and rubber to iron and paper.

Breakbulk shot up about 16% from the previous fiscal year.

Breakbulk numbers got a boost especially from growth in auto sales.

GPA spokesman Robert Morris says, the agency's success stems partly from growth taking place in the auto industry.

"The Georgia Ports Authority has placed a lot of business and emphasis on manufactorers that are doing quite well," Morris says. "Mercedez Benz, BMW, Kia and Hyundai are a few of our major partners."

The companies use Georgia's automobile-focused Colonel's Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick.

He says, a bright spot was the Kia plant in West Georgia.

"At Kia, as a result of the parts coming in through our Port of Savannah, Kia is now one of our top ten import customers," Morris says.

Total tonnage across all Georgia ports rose about 2% or a half million tons.

That was the highest tonnage ever reported.

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