Georgia port hit with side effects of worldwide chip shortage

The worldwide chip shortage continues to wreak havoc on the auto industry, causing production delays and suspensions, and has even tricked down to some of the nation’s busiest ports.

Over the past year, the Port of Brunswick in Georgia has handled fewer units of vehicles and heavy machinery due to a lack of components and steel used to build the automobiles. In the current fiscal year, the port – the second busiest in the nation behind Baltimore for roll-on/roll-off cargo – handled about 500,000 units, a 12% decrease from the same period last year.

“It is a temporary setback and, hopefully, we will get this worked out in the coming year or year and a half,” Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said of the chip shortage during a live interview on “Varney & Co.” on Thursday, speaking from the Port of Brunswick.

Lynch provided the insight as the price for new cars increased 13.2% in April compared to the same time last year amid a semiconductor chip shortage, according to the latest inflation available released last month by the Labor Department.

The price for used cars and trucks shot up 22.7%, according to the data. The inflation data for May will be released on Friday.

The average price for a new vehicle increased to $46,526 in April 2022, which is a .7% increase compared to the month before and a 13% jump compared to the same time last year, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Meantime, the American Trucking Association reported that there is a shortage of about 80,000 truck drivers across the country.

On Thursday, Lynch told FOX Business’ Ashley Webster that hundreds of new truckers have been “coming to register to use our facilities every week,” which he said was “a great sign” that the national driver shortage could be easing.

“Hopefully, we can continue to build on that,” he stressed, noting that the drivers have been coming from the Northeast and Midwest.

The current trucker shortage is causing problems at a port in Georgia. (IStock / iStock)

Webster reported that, currently, 32,000 vehicles remain at the port waiting to get transported to car dealerships as demand continues to outweigh supply.

Webster also noted that manufacturers cannot produce enough cars to meet the demand because of the chip shortage, which has been “wreaking havoc” on the industry.

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He said he spoke with the owner of a Ford dealership in Brunswick on Thursday who said he typically has 125 new cars to sell, but currently only has four.

Editor’s note: The story has been adjusted to clarify that the Port of Brunswick is not experiencing a trucker shortage. The headline has also been updated for clarity.