Nogales Port Authority Board Reports Substantial Increase in Trade and Truck Traffic

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Nogales Port Authority Board and Nogales Customs Brokers Association Expect Trade to Continue Increasing

The Nogales Port Authority Board has seen a substantial increase in truck traffic and the overall value of trade through the Mariposa Port since 2010.

The dollars of trade goods transported through the Mariposa Port of Entry, estimated at $20-$25 billion in 2011 , and is now estimated at $30-35 billion in 2014, given numbers the US Customs and Border Inspection has provided to local officials, said Bruce Bracker, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greater Nogales-Santa Cruz County Port Authority. This represents a 50 to 75 percent increase in the value of trade. Fiscal year data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection adjusted to calendar years shows that the volume of truck traffic has also grown. Truck volumes grew approximately 13 percent in a five-year period, from 276,877 trucks in 2009 to 311,669 trucks in 2013.

“The growth in the dollar value of trade can be attributed to continued growth in high-value goods crossing the border in various sectors, such as automotive, mining and aerospace industries,” said Hector Suarez, incoming President of the Nogales Customs Brokers Association.

With the expansion to the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, the possibilities for future growth are projected to grow at an even faster rate over the next decade.

“Over the next 10 years, the international port expansion will continue to contribute to tremendous growth for our community,” said Nils Urman, representing Nogales Community Development. Urman is also a member of the City of Nogales’ economic development and tourism advisory board and a board member of the Greater Nogales-Santa Cruz County Economic Development Foundation. “Enhanced staffing of the port, along with current investments in Mexican infrastructure, will complement the US investment in our port and expedite trade. Trade opportunities are both northbound and southbound. We will continue to see increases in export trade southbound into Mexico.”

The State of Arizona has acknowledged the importance of growth trends, investing recently in a Border Communities Roadmap, available at Four state agencies are collaborating with Arizona’s border communities’ work in this work: the Arizona Mexico Commission, the Arizona Office of Tourism, the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

“We in the economic development community in Santa Cruz County, Arizona support the state’s engagement in this process. We are encouraged they have prepared the roadmap, which recognizes the importance of US-Mexico trade in border communities, of which Nogales constituted 85 percent of that Arizona-Mexico trade, or $42 billion of state trade, in 2013. The state’s engagement is important, just as it is at the national levels in the state of Sonora, US and the international trade community,” said Urman.

The Mariposa Port is positioned to benefit from two trends moving ever-increasing amounts of both trade north and south, for ever-increasing imports and exports through the Mariposa Port. The United States has had four straight record-breaking years of exports. The U.S. hit an all-time high of $2.3 trillion dollars last year – up $700 billion from 2009, according to Penny Pritzer, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Meanwhile, Mexico is expected to add $20 billion to $60 billion in manufactured exports through the U.S. over the next five years according to a recent Boston Consulting Group report. Mexico's ever increasing competitive edge includes low labor costs and proximity to U.S. markets. Mexican manufacturing reached a tipping point in 2012, when average manufacturing costs in Mexico, adjusted for productivity, dropped below those of China.

ABOUT The Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority:
Founded in December 2004, the Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority brings key stakeholders from Ambos Nogales together to address issues that impact Nogales’ ports of entry. Working with local, state, federal and international partners, the Port Authority strives to improve Arizona’s largest port facilities, streamline the crossing process at the Nogales ports of entry, and enhance economic development in the Nogales-Santa Cruz County region. For more information, please visit

ABOUT The Nogales U.S. Customs Brokers Association:
The Nogales U.S Customs Brokers Association is comprised of 16 U.S. Customs Brokerage firms assisting importers and exporters in meeting Federal requirements governing imports and exports to and from the United States. Brokers work closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the handling of entry procedures, admissibility requirements, classification, valuation, and the rates of duty and applicable taxes and fees for the imported merchandise of their perspective clients. The NCBA is very involved in the community, supporting numerous non-profit groups and organizations. It also champions trade and industry organizations supporting the region.

ABOUT The Nogales Santa Cruz County Economic Development Foundation:
The Nogales Santa Cruz County Economic Development Foundation (EDF) works to strengthen trade and economic development in the Ambos/Nogales region The EDF assists firms operating in or interested in operating in Santa Cruz County and serves as a conduit for disseminating bi-national information of interest to business.

Sandra Kay Helsel, Ph.D.

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