One of the largest border crossings for commercial trucks, the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, is officially opening every Sunday for commerce starting January 31.

That’s huge news for Arizona, which has long been at a competitive disadvantage with other states because of the lack of Sunday service, said cross-border trade experts like Luis Ramírez, president of Ramírez Advisors Inter-National, who has spent close to three decades helping clients develop projects and build relationships on both sides of the border.

Luis Ramírez

“This is a fantastic bit of news for Arizona,” Ramírez said. “Not having that Sunday service was always a limiting factor for our corridor when compared to the Texas and the California corridors, primarily.

“We see this as tremendous news for the competitiveness of the Arizona-Mexico corridor and for the existing companies that are tied into major global supply chains. We think this is an added bonus to what they can offer to the companies they’re supplying.”

In past, Sunday service only available for short stints  

To date, the Mariposa Port of Entry has only been open for brief periods, maybe four to six weeks a year when perishable produce production is at its highest.

Now, global supply chains for automotive, agriculture, maquilas and other industries will have more certainty and flexibility for transporting goods, said

Jaime Chamberlain, chairman of the Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority, a non-profit dedicated to promoting development of the port of entry system, fostering economic development, and improving the quality of life for residents of the region.

Nogales will now be on equal footing with the other major ports along the border that have been offering Sunday service for years, he said.

“For companies that operate on a just-in-time structure, being able to schedule shipments on Sundays offers greater flexibility.”

Extended shelf life benefits producers, consumers 

For fresh produce products that are perishable, having Sundays means that producers gain shelf-life for products, said Scott Vandervoet, past chairman of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

“It is a big win for our producers, but it is also a big win for our customers and consumers all over the nation,” he said.

Manufacturers in region better able to compete 

Josh Rubin, board member of INDEX Maquila Association of Nogales, Sonora, said the Maquila industry will benefit greatly from the extended service.

“Our manufacturing sector competes globally and having the option of shipping seven -days a week gives us greater flexibility in our planning and delivery into global supply chains,” Rubin said.

“We are bullish on the future of our community and more trade means more investment and more jobs. Sunday service helps Nogales and the Arizona-Sonora region remain as a top-of-mind  location for all sorts of new projects.”

One of nation’s largest border ports 

The Mariposa Port of Entry is one of the nation’s largest commercial ports with 349,377 northbound trucks crossing in 2019. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that close to $30 billion worth of goods cross at Nogales each year.

Meanwhile, commercial traffic is on the rise. In the past two months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported double-digit growth rates at Nogales.

The decision to open up permanently on Sundays was announced last month at a board meeting of the port authority by CBP’s Nogales port director, Mike Humphries.

To read more about the port and surrounding commercial activity, visit: Nogales Port Authority.


This story was originally publish at Chamber Business News.