Posts Tagged “Mariposa Port”
The project was designed to increase traffic flow at the border, update facilities and accommodate new Customs and Border Protection inspections procedures.
The port now is able to inspect about 4,000 trucks per day through eight primary commercial booths and 56 secondary commercial inspection bays, and non-commercial travel is expedited through 12 primary booths and 24 secondary personal vehicle inspection spaces,.
Northbound pedestrian processing walkways and inspection facilities were constructed as part of the project along with five booths and two processing facilities for southbound inspections.
The project has doubled the capacity of the port of entry, said Will Brooks, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection.
“It will help facilitate legitimate travel and trade as well as be an economic gain to the Arizona communities it serves as well as to the nation,” he said.
Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Nogales-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, said the community “got a big jolt in the arm (from) this $220-million project.” For produce operations, “This is where you want to be,” he said, especially for companies whose distribution base is west of the Mississippi. The next challenge, he said, is to increase staffing and improve access on the Mexican side of the border.
The project was sorely needed, said Bruce Bracker, chairman of the board of directors of the Greater Nogales-Santa Cruz County Port Authority. “We started with a port that was designed for 500 trucks a day crossing 1,800 trucks,” he said. With the redesigned port, “We have a facility that’s designed for 4,000 trucks a day.”
Mexican produce crossing the border at Nogales – grossing about $3600 to Chicago.
An expansion project at the Mariposa Port, where Mexican grown produce enters Nogales, AZ is expected to be completed by August, but is already drawing praise from those who use it. Nogales produce shipments of Mexican product are huge.
Construction began three years ago and has been done in phases to avoid disrupting traffic at the heavily used port of entry. Up to 75 percent of Mexico’s imported produce goes through the Mariposa Port and Nogales during the winter months, including about 1,400 trucks per day. The final phase of the construction project is cold storage facilities adjacent to the truck docks. These docks also have been expanded where product can be unloaded for inspection, and placed in the cold storages, if necessary.
Produce ranks third in value of products crossing the border at Mariposa, behind vehicles/vechicle parts, electronics/machinery. With the expansion the port has grown from 43 to 57 acres.
The facility now has eight lanes for inbound commercial trucks from Mexico, up from four lanes. Exit lanes for northbound trucks has been increased from two to five exits. The improvements have been made to decrease wait times at the border and to speed deliveries.
After the trucks clear inspections, two percent of the total volume is randomly selected for agricultural inspections.
Entering the lightest season volume wise for produce loads, it’s not uncommon for multiple pick ups and drops to fill out the trailer. Pick ups starting in southern California may extend to the California desert, Yuma and perhaps even Nogales. Changes for the better are occuring at the Arizona, Mexico border that should improve produce crossings in the USA and reduce delays for loadings at the many Nogales warehouses.
The Mariposa port was built in the 1970s, designed to handled 400 trucks crossing into Arizona daily. Over the years changes have increased the truck count to around 1600 to 1800 a day. In the past an estimated 25 percent of the trucks crossing the border into Arizona were delayed because of gridlock on the Mariposa Road (State Route 189), which connects the port to I-19. Numerous stop lights on the state route often contribute to the delays.
In 2009 a $220 million expansion of the port was started and is scheduled for completion in 2014. This should increase traffic capabilities to 4,000 to 5,000 trucks a day crossing the border in Nogales.
Meanwhile, there is light volume of watermelon, honeydew, squash, bell peppers, tomatoes and other items crossing the border from Mexico, it will be another month of so before the volume really improves.
Nogales produce is grossing about $3400 to Chicago, about $5800 to New York.