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Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 11:48am

Auto Sales Lead Port Surge In Brunswick

One of Georgia's largest job creators has had some good news.

A rebound in the auto industry propelled the Port of Brunswick to another record year.

The port has surpassed New York as the nation's top auto importer.

The Georgia Ports Authority says it handled about 12% more auto and machinery units in the last fiscal year.

The vast majority are cars and trucks passing through the Colonel's Island ocean terminal in Brunswick.

Richard Kilbride of International Auto Processing says his company last year put the final touches on more than 400,000 cars and trucks before they were delivered.

"And for 2013, we think we'll be around 420,000 to 460,000," Kilbride says.

Kilbride's is one of two auto processors at the port.

His company processes imported Kia, Hyundia, Volkswagon and Audi vehicles.

It also processes Toyota and Mercedes vehicles for export.

"When you're processing vehicles what you need is land and good quality workers," Kilbride says. "And Colonel's Island in Brunswick offers both of those. So, we've been discovered, if you will."

New business from Suburu and Toyota contributed to an overall increase in port activity in Brunswick.

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