Transportation & Logistics
The region’s unique geography near the Mexican border and near deep water ports, as well as strong transportation infrastructure, means excellent access for trade. A southwestern location allows Southern Arizona to benefit from the deep-water ports located on the western coast of the United States and Mexico: Port of Long Beach/ Los Angeles, Port of San Diego, Port Guaymas, Port of Mazatlán and Port of Hueneme.
U.S. CBP Processing
People served within a 500-mile radius
Southern Arizona is a transportation and distribution hub that conveniently connects people and products in today’s competitive global marketplace. The region’s unique geography near the Mexico border and near deep water ports, as well as a strong transportation infrastructure, means excellent access for trade. With over 150 transportation and logistics providers, Tucson area businesses can serve over 34 million people within a 500-mile radius and over 55 million people within a 1,000 mile radius.
Road Signs and Truck Lines
Tucson is on Interstate 10, one of only three coast-to-coast interstates in the country. I-10 connects Tucson with Phoenix and Los Angeles to the northwest and El Paso and Houston to the east. Branching off I-10 near downtown Tucson is Interstate 19, which connects to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, 64 miles to the south. A convenient access connection between San Diego and Southern Arizona is available via Interstate 8, which intersects with I-10 in Casa Grande, approximately 64 miles northwest of Tucson.
On the Right Track
Southern Arizona sits on one of the most heavily-traveled rail lines in the country, the Union Pacific mainline, which primarily carries trains transporting containers to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Union Pacific also owns 26% of Grupo Ferroviario Mexicano (GFM), parent company of Ferrocarril Mexicano (Ferromex), which operates the railway running from Guaymas into Arizona.
The Ideal Location to Serve Local, Regional and Global Markets
The region’s unique central southwestern location is ideal for serving as a transportation and distribution center for Mexico, California, and other central/western states. At 64 miles from the Mexican border, 113 miles from Phoenix and within 500 miles of California, Tucson is in close proximity to major business and consumer markets – a key factor for any company. And Southern Arizona’s location in the Mountain Time Zone means same-day communication with both coasts, as well as Canada and Mexico.
Proximity to Mexico
The State of Arizona has strong business, social, and political ties with the neighboring Mexican state of Sonora and, to the south, with the states of Sinaloa and Jalisco. A location near the border gives Tucson excellent access to the growing Mexican market.
Proximity to Phoenix
Phoenix, which is one of America’s fastest growing cities and the 13th largest metropolitan statistical area, complements Tucson in many ways. Because the two cities are only 113 miles apart, companies, residents and visitors benefit from access to two major international airports, Arizona’s two largest universities, year-round professional sports teams, cultural events and proximity to the State Capitol.
Proximity to California
If it were a country, California would have the world’s eighth largest economy – Southern Arizona’s proximity to California is a major advantage for the region. This advantage gives Tucson businesses market access to clients, vendors and partners as well as world class resources and other expertise, while operating in a location with lower operating costs.
Ports for Global Access
A southwestern location allows Southern Arizona to benefit from the deep-water ports located on the western coast of the United States and Mexico. These facilities provide Tucson with access to global shipping destinations.
- Preparing for $200 million airfield safety enhancements, including upgrade of parallel runway to full commercial standards, to be completed about 2024
- Three active runways – 10,996 feet and currently 9,129 feet and a crosswind runway of 7,000 feet
- Designated U.S. Port of Entry with 24-hour CBP Processing
- Located only 10 miles from the center of the city
- Up to 5,160 developable acres
- Close proximity to east-west Interstate 10 as well as Interstate 19 to Mexico border
- Served by all major airlines – see current information at www.flytucson.com/airlines-and-flights/
The Southern Arizona Logistics Education Organization (SALEO) is one of several projects developed to promote and grow the transportation and logistics industry in southern Arizona. SALEO brings together industry experts and trade specialists to promote the potential impact of an inland port. SALEO’s objectives were born of a need to raise the awareness and importance of the value that the transportation and logistics industry brings to Southern Arizona, especially the role that the industry plays within the region’s supply chain as a catalyst for economic growth.
Southern Arizona is fast becoming a center of expertise in trade, freight transportation and logistics. The region hosts over 150 logistics providers to support export-oriented sectors such as aerospace, aviation, bioscience, environmental technologies, optics, and others.
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Susan Dumon | Vice President, Economic Development
Daniela Gallagher | Vice President, Economic Development
Transportation & Logistics Overview