BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A planned expansion will allow the Port of Brunswick to accommodate additional ships carrying automobiles and machinery.

The Georgia Ports Authority has received a federal permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to add a fourth berth for cargo ships to dock at its Colonel’s Island Terminal, The Brunswick News reported.

It's too soon to say when work will begin or how much it will cost, said Edward Fulford, a port authority spokesman.

Brunswick has become one of the busiest U.S. seaports for automobile imports and exports, handling more than 587,000 autos and heavy machinery units last year. While trade in autos and machinery declined 4% last year at the Brunswick port, business came roaring back in early 2021.

Port officials say Brunswick handled 8.6% more autos and machinery in January and February than in the same two-month period a year ago. They expect more growth will follow.

“The re-opening of domestic and overseas auto plants has resulted in an upward trend in roll-on/roll-off volumes at Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick and at Savannah’s Ocean Terminal, which we expect to continue,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

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