state of the port

Three car carrier ships docked at Colonel’s Island in 2019.

The challenges facing the auto industry are having a ripple effect on the Port of Brunswick due to a lack of components and other materials.

The port has seen about a 12% decrease on roll-on/roll-off cargo during the past year, in large part due to a lack of components and and other building materials, according to Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch.

Shortages of semiconductor chips that help control everything from information technology and driver assist systems to improving fuel economy in vehicles are driving the problem.

Auto manufacturers are still trying to meet the demand for their vehicles from when production was slowed down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By the time auto manufacturers ramped up production, the chip industry was unable to keep up with demand. Now, completed vehicles are waiting for the chips so they can be sold to waiting consumers.

Lynch described the current situation as a “temporary setback,” but it could be another 18 months before the industry resolves the supply and production issues.

The lack of inventory has increased the cost of vehicles by 13.2% the past year and the price continues to rise.

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