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Consider Tucson logistics to avoid distribution headaches

Downtown Tucson skyline is shown within a round circle. Next to it are the words Tucson is logistics ready. To the right is a photo of a modern, blue tractor-trailer truck pulled up to a warehouse bay.

Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson, LLC Blog

For smart companies, short-term headaches over logistics and distribution are making way for strategic planning in the medium and long terms to avoid the disastrous bottlenecks in the supply chain.

Logistics space in Tucson, as a major economic hub in what’s called the Arizona-Sonora super region, deserves a look as you figure out possible near-shoring and reshoring options.

Here at Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson, I was struck by a recent Los Angeles Times story about the journey one container makes from Chinese factory to Chicago wholesaler. All along the line, kinks in the system greatly extended the time it took to get board game components to the company that assembled them into product for retailers.

I found myself thinking that Tucson offers a viable alternative to offshoring. Here’s why.

Mexico-Arizona Trade

Through years of work, the Mexican state of Sonora and the U.S. state of Arizona have developed a humming manufacturing economy that benefits both sides of the border. Maquiladoras create parts and goods that cross into the U.S. at the Nogales, Arizona, border. Product is sent on its way throughout North America and beyond using Tucson’s logistics and distribution infrastructure.

Computers, electronics, apparel, chemicals, aerospace and fabricated metal are among the products that come out of Sonora manufacturing plants. Goods move through the Port of Nogales less than 90 miles south of Tucson.

Tucson serves as the administrative and service headquarters for several companies that do business in the Western Hemisphere. Caterpillar, for instance, moved its Surface Mining & Technology Division to central Tucson to be closer to their customers.

Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic development driver, works closely with governments and companies on both sides of the border to broker benefits when locating to the area for manufacturing, logistics and distribution. It helps companies negotiate public and private incentives, obtain operation permits and identify workforce development opportunities.

Port of Tucson

Tucson already has the infrastructure to accommodate a move by companies looking to establish near-shoring and reshoring operations. The inland Port of Tucson operates on more than 700 acres that includes nearly 2 million square feet for warehousing and distribution activities. The port is adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad and near Interstate 10.

The port also is within Tucson’s foreign trade zone designation and is surrounded by shovel-ready properties.

Arizona’s only inland port can easily relieve the storage issues at the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports. Several companies recognize this convenience, including Amazon, Target and HomeGoods, and use the port for distribution.

Workforce and Services

Pima Community College works hard to meet the needs of area employers. Its commercial driving training program include a certificate for driving and maintaining autonomous trucks in a partnership with transportation innovator TuSimple, which is headquartered in Tucson.

Spec manufacturing space is growing in Tucson, and more than 150 logistics providers support a variety of export-oriented sectors.

The current back-up at coastal ports shows that the best way to meet consumer demand is to bring many manufacturing and distribution operations back to the continent. Tucson logistics and distribution services are ready.

Contact Michael Coretz, +1-520-299-3400, for a complimentary consultation on how your business can move to Tucson to reduce costs and increase efficiencies.


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