By Jessica Pacheco on behalf of the Arizona-Mexico Board of Directors
Last week, Governor Doug Ducey announced the launch of SkyBridge Arizona, an international air logistics center that will help shape the future of consumer supply chains in the United States and internationally. It’s a big deal for Arizona and it is a big deal for US-Mexico trade.
Commercial trucks and freight trains are an important part of our domestic and international supply chains, but often they are not fast enough to meet customer demand. In the era of immediate access to information and to markets worldwide, air cargo shipments are becoming essential to satisfy consumers and just-in-time manufacturing processes. With SkyBridge, products can reach markets all over Mexico in a matter of hours instead of days by other modes of transportation.
Just this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that airfreight traffic climbed nearly 9% year-over-year in November 2017 to meet the demands of the booming e-commerce industry. The existing air-cargo industry can hardly keep up and the competition is fierce.
The launch of SkyBridge is Arizona’s way of stepping up to the plate as a national leader in this sector. Arizona’s proximity to Mexico and our business-friendly environment makes our state a natural hub for air-cargo companies, large and small, eager to grow their business on both sides of the border. And, Arizona knows how to do business with Mexico.
This new project, housed at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, is the next step in addressing changing market dynamics. The capital investment and job creation generated by SkyBridge coupled with the implementation of the Customs program known as Unified Cargo Processing (UCP), a joint U.S.-Mexico effort to streamline the movement of goods between the two countries, positions Arizona as the ideal gateway for international goods delivered by air. In the Arizona entrepreneurial fashion, the UCP program was developed and tested on the Arizona border; a program that is revolutionizing how cross-border logistics operates – in a more effective, efficient and secure manner.
SkyBridge Arizona will be first significant location in the country where U.S. and Mexican customs officials will work side-by-side to streamline air-cargo transactions - moving goods faster, while supporting the e-commerce industry and strengthening our international trade relationship with Mexico.
Governor Ducey’s leadership and focus on being at the forefront of Arizona’s trade relationship with Mexico, and his entrepreneurial approach to governmentare among the primary principle attractors for these types of investments. The Governor’s foresight, collaboration, and leadership has positioned Arizona to lead the nation in the booming air-cargo industry and establish Arizona as a preferred gateway for the North American marketplace.
The bottom line: Arizona is at the frontline of innovative approaches to global logistics and meeting the needs of an increasingly interconnected world. Governor Ducey’s recognition of the importance of the relationship with Mexico and his commitment to forging relationships for Arizona businesses throughout the continent has positioned Arizona as a leader on North American trade.
Arizona’s fast-paced and collaborative action is paying-off as demonstrated by the SkyBridge announcement and a number of other unique programs including, certification of Mexican truck drivers, a corridor study that looks at the entire corridor between Arizona and central Mexico, and a binational approach to development of border infrastructure.
The best part? Once Skybridge is operational, consumers from all over Mexico will be able to tap into e-commerce, opening of millions of Mexican e-consumers to US products and companies.
The Arizona-Mexico Commission is Arizona’s premier cross-border nonprofit organization. The Arizona-Mexico Commission's mission is to improve the economic prosperity and quality of life for all Arizonans through strong, public/private collaborations in advocacy, trade, networking and information. For more information about the Arizona-Mexico Commission visit www.azmc.org.