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.
Tucson International Airport (TUS)
- 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 Customs and Immigration services
- 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 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.
There are many reasons for the healthy trading relationship between the United States and Mexico, including the geographic proximity, openness to capital markets, high quality and productivity standards, access to both countries’ large domestic markets and trade-friendly public policies. But perhaps equally important are the strong ethnic, cultural and social commonalities shared by many of our municipalities on both sides of the border.
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.
The Phoenix/Tucson “megapolitan area” – a term describing two or more metropolitan areas connected by transportation, business and culture – has been dubbed the Arizona Sun Corridor. This corridor, one of 10 U.S. markets expected to see most of the nation’s growth in the next 35 years, will continue to thrive as the state’s two largest cities expand toward each other.
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.
- 498 miles from Tucson
- Combined with the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach is the world’s fifth-busiest port complex.
- 413 miles from Tucson
- 324 miles from Tucson
- 806 miles from Tucson
- 559 miles from Tucson
The Southern Arizona Logistics Education Organization
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. SALEO also provides networking opportunities between representatives of the transportation and logistics industry and the users of these services.
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.