The revamped Mariposa Port of Entry has doubled the number of commercial crossing lanes, according to the release. The 2014 omnibus spending bill will give Nogales 120 additional Customs officers to facilitate trade at the expanded port, according to the release. In addition, the Arizona Department of Transportation has also made significant improvements on the road leading into the U.S. from the port, including widening and adding additional lanes for vehicles to access I-19.
Jungmeyer said east-west highway improvements in Mexico benefit both Texas and Arizona ports.
“This highway will not only move west Mexico produce through south Texas but also would bring central Mexican produce to the west side and through Nogales,” Jungmeyer said. Water and environmental pressures in California may lead to increasing a shift in fresh produce acreage from the state to Mexico, he said. That also is a good sign for future growth, he said.
Bret Erickson, president of the Texas International Produce Association, Mission, said the group was also gathering statistics on trade trends. Erickson said south Texas ports - Pharr, Progresso, Los Indios, Laredo, Rio Grande City continue to show growth in produce crossings. He noted the FPAA analysis, based on September through April numbers, cuts short some of the shipping season.
“There is still quite a bit of the year left,” he said.
“That is great that (Nogales) is having tremendous growth and I know for a fact we’re seeing big growth,” he said. “When you add the Texas ports together we are close to half of the imported produce coming to the U.S.,” he said.
Erickson said trends over the past five or six years show Texas ports are growing in importance.
Texas ports also are doing very well on wait times this year, he said.
“There is always room for improvement and that is one of the things we are working on here in Texas and with our partners in Nogales,” he said.