Monday saw the arrival of 16,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles at the US Port of Brunswick, marking the first delivery to the carmaker’s new $17.5m vehicle processing centre (VPC) at the Colonel’s Island terminal.
The 6,500m2 facility is the second VPC to be established on the south side of terminal, the other being owned and operated by International Auto Processors.
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) expects to import more than 40,000 vehicles via the port annually bringing the total units processed through Colonel’s Island Terminal by more than 16% in 2010 according to the GPA. The extra traffic is expected to generate $1.5m in state and local taxes and provide 122 jobs.
"The cars will be entered into inventory, washed and a pre-delivery inspection will be completed on every vehicle," said MBUSA spokesman Gregory O'shea. "Additional activities include the installation of varous optional accessorties and the shipment of the vehicles from the VPC to Mercedes-Benz US dealerships."
The inaugural delivery of vehicles was made by car carrier MOL aboard its PCTC vessel Paradise Ace and were picked up from Bremerhaven, Germany and from East London, South Africa.
“The opening of our new vehicle processing centre in Brunswick, Georgia is a milestone for our company that aims to increase efficiencies in our distribution process which will ultimately benefit our customers and dealers,” said MBUSA vice president, sales operations Michael Slagter. “Bringing imports into Brunswick is a great match for our exports from our manufacturing centre in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that have been shipping from the Port since 1997. We look forward to strengthening our work with the Georgia Ports Authority.”
The centre consolidates Mercedes-Benz’s southeastern shipping operations and will process vehicles destined for dealers throughout the Southeast, as well as Texas and Oklahoma.
Other auto processors operating at Colonel's Island Terminal as well as International Auto Processing include Amports, Atlantic Vehicle Processors and BMW of North America.
This month also saw the export of Mercedes vehicles from Brunswick to China on a new service operated by K-Line. The carmaker is moving M-, GL- and R-Class models built at the carmaker’s Vance plant in Alabama to ports in Xingang, Xinsha, Shanghai and Hong Kong. (Read more here)
Mercedes has also recently an agreement to process BMW vehicles at the Port of Baltimore, to begin in March, as the rival premium carmakers continue to show signs of increasing collaboration in the US market. (Read more here)