International Auto Processing is officially under new management.
As of Thursday, Ports America has taken over Georgia Logistics Group, the company’s former owner, according to Don Asdell, the company’s president and CEO. He said he could not disclose specifics of the sale.
The name of the IAP will remain, but is being changed from a registered entity to a limited liability company LLC.
He said Ports America will hire about 300 employees who work at IAP at the Port of Brunswick, retaining their titles, pay, benefits and leave structure.
Asdell continues in his role, as does the rest of the leadership team.
“If anything, we’ll be looking to add staff,” he said. “Everything has to be positive for our employees and customers. In principle, nothing changes.”
Georgia Logistics Group’s decision to sell was driven primarily by a desire to plan for the future, Asdell explained. Ports America is a solid owner with a long-term plan for further investment in port infrastructure.
“It’s a very healthy owner. There’s going to be a lot of options going forward,” Asdell said. “They’re going to be a good custodian of the company versus private equity or some other sale to another group that was looking at it.”
Ports America is based out of New Jersey and is the largest terminal operator in the country, Asdell said. On its website, the company says it is involved in terminals that handle automotive roll-on, roll-off, break-bulk and break-bulk, cruise lines and cargo containers.
Founded in 1986, IAP processed 470,000 vehicles last year and plans to process 460,000 vehicles this year. Its customers include Mercedes, Hyundai, Kia, GM, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, Volvo and Polestar.
According to the company’s website, it has handled more than 6 million vehicles since 1986, with the 2 millionth Kia vehicle being delivered this year.
“The decline in volume is purely due to the chip and supply chain issues that have been all over the news. Still a very strong year,” Asdell said. “We represent about 65-70% of the business coming into Colonel Island right now.”
It also has a significant economic impact on the Golden Isles and the other industries it supports.
“We’re doing a rail dump so we’re facing the (Norfolk Southern) railroad,” Asdell said. “Freight shipping, all ocean carriers, those are the main industries, as well as seafarers.”
According to the Ports America website, the company was founded in 1922 as an international terminal operating company. It acquired other companies over the decades and in 2008 formally integrated everything under the Ports America umbrella.
Ports America is owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, according to the website. It owns companies operating out of ports on the East, West and Gulf Coasts from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida.