The new automobile processing facility at the port of Brunswick, Ga., swung into operation with the delivery of 567 Yugos.
The inaugural consignment of the Yugoslavian economy cars, delivered aboard Hoegh-Ugland Auto Liners' Torinita, represents the first of the 20,000 Yugos that International Auto Processing expects to handle during the 1987 model year, according to Howard Gable, IAP president.Mr. Gable said his $2.8 million facility is the first to handle the Yugos in the Southeast, and he expected to have a signed contract for that business in hand Thursday.
The next shipment of 1,395 Yugos is scheduled for Oct. 27, followed by a shipment of 1,100 Yugos Nov. 7, Mr. Gable said, adding that Norwegian Ocean Specialty Auto Carriers will bring in both of those consignments.
He said two other contracts with major automakers are in the final stages, and one of those contracts may be announced in a few weeks.
Mr. Gable also said those contracts are for business that is already moving through southeastern ports. That would appear to indicate IAP, which beat out Jacksonville for the Yugo contract, is chasing after business handled in Jacksonville.
Brunswick is about 50 miles north of Jacksonville, the single largest import auto port in the United States, which handled 413,085 imported vehicles through the first nine months of fiscal 1986, ended June 30.
Mr. Gable also is investigating the possibility of building an export auto trade to Europe through Brunswick.
The interest in the IAP facility expressed by auto manufacturers has forced IAP to revise its two-year volume projections upward by a third to 200,000 vehicles by the end of 1988, Mr. Gable said.
It also has persuaded IAP to go ahead with a 25-acre expansion of its paved parking area, doubling the lot's size to 50 acres. IAP has an option on another 50 acres.
IAP has its facility on the Georgia Ports Authority's Colonels Island property. IAP built the 76,000-square-foot facility, sold it to the port authority and leases it back from the GPA.
Of the total square footage, 60,000 square feet are devoted to the processing work required to bring the vehicles up to U.S. standards, 6,000 square feet are used to remove the protectant applied prior to the ocean voyage, and 10,000 square feet house the offices of IAP and such various support companies as freight forwarders, stevedores and motor carriers.
Auto ships call at a 950-foot-long dock that was recently modified by the port authority at a cost of $2 million to accommodate both side and stern ramps along the 32-foot channel depth.
Although Colonels Island boasts 11 rail spurs that can accommodate 350 railcars a day, Mr. Gables estimates 80% of the inland shipments will move over the highways.