The K Line’s vessel California Highway set sail for Russia and Ukraine yesterday, carrying the first Toyota Venzas exported through the Port of Brunswick, Ga.
“The export of American-built Venzas to Russia and Ukraine further solidifies Toyota’s commitment to establishing its U.S. manufacturing operations as a key supplier of vehicles for global markets,” said Corinne Akahoshi, National Manager of Marine Logistics Operations at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “We are proud to partner with the Georgia Ports Authority and all other parties involved, and are grateful for their support of this initiative.”
The new Toyota Venzas are produced at the company’s Georgetown, Ky., plant, which employs about 6,600 people and represents a $6 billion investment. The Georgetown plant is the company’s largest manufacturing facility outside of Japan.
The Port of Brunswick’s Colonel’s Island Terminal is the nation’s third busiest autoport, handling 612,489 auto and machinery units in calendar year 2012.
“Toyota, a new client for the Georgia Ports Authority, joins 20 other domestic and foreign carmakers who use the Port of Brunswick,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “Increasingly, Brunswick is a critical gateway for American-made vehicles entering the global marketplace.”
Through March of the current fiscal year, Brunswick has handled 458,061 units of auto and machinery cargo, an increase of 18 percent over the 388,061 handled over the same period in the previous fiscal year.
“Because of our direct interstate access and two Class I rail services, we can move exports from inland factories more efficiently, as well as move import cargo to destinations across the Southeast,” Foltz said.
International Auto Processing was instrumental in winning the Toyota business, and will thus serve as Toyota’s auto processor.
“Toyota’s decision to go with the Port of Brunswick is a testament to the level of service that auto manufacturers can expect here in Georgia,” said IAP President and CEO Robert Miller. IAP is the original auto processing company on Colonel’s Island, and its operations today encompass more than 200,000 square feet of processing facilities and 255 acres of storage and processing area on Colonel’s Island, with more than 200 employees.
The port features four other auto processors in addition to IAP.
The Port of Brunswick handles approximately 10 percent of all U.S. roll-on/roll-off trade, and 12 percent of U.S. Ro/Ro imports. The port ranks third in the nation for auto and machinery trade, serving nearly two dozen domestic and foreign carmakers, as well as heavy equipment producers.
Toyota, May 3, 2013