New cold storage bays at Mariposa Port of Entry aim to strengthen America’s supply chain

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 6:43 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - There’s a new effort at the southern border to strengthen the supply chain and Arizona’s economy. In Nogales, at the Mariposa Land Port of Entry, CBP unveiled a new cold storage facility aimed at addressing America’s supply chain challenges on Thursday.

Hundreds of commercial trucks carrying produce and medicine cross through the port every day. During the summer, those goods need to be at a certain temperature to avoid spoiling. The goal of the cold storage bays is to improve processing when importing these goods into the United States.

”I think that this is the beginning of what can be a tremendous amount more of business and many more opportunities for the Mariposa Port of Entry, for the importers, for the exporters, and obviously for the state of Arizona,” said Jaime Chamberlain, Chairman of the Greater Nogales Santa Cruz Port Authority.

After eight years and close to a million dollars in funding, the Mariposa Land Port of Entry in Nogales now has two cold storage bays. The rooms provide around two-thousand square feet for U.S. Custom and Border Patrol Officers to inspect temperature-sensitive products while maintaining the cold chain.

″Hopefully we’ll get seafood in here, we’ll get pharmaceutical supplies in here as well, meat in here, and also lots of processed fruits and vegetables,” Chamberlain said.

This new addition to the port will help avoid food waste, damaged products, and the loss of millions of dollars each year.

“It will save millions of dollars because you have fruits and vegetables where the shelf life is finite and so the maintenance of those temperatures are extremely important for us,” he explained.

Federal and state officials worked together to find this solution to protect goods even in the peak of Arizona’s summer heat. The cold rooms are secure and have temperature control systems that can maintain a required temperature for many different kinds of goods.

“This is going to open up opportunities for the western hemisphere of the country to be able to supply products through Nogales,” said Jorge Maldonado, Mayor of the City of Nogales.

The new cold rooms will also help support the local economy in Nogales and make it a destination port for other products people depend on.

“The more trucks that come here, the more work and employment there will be,” Maldonado stated. “Right now, we’re looking at 1,600 to 1,800 trucks a day, but hopefully we’ll now be over the 2,000 mark.”

Originally there were plans for six cold rooms at this port, but that dropped down to just two. If all goes well here, the hope is to add more cold rooms in the future.