The ongoing pilot test of the Unified Cargo Processing program will be expanded to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Arizona in the coming months, creating what a press release from the office of Governor Doug Ducey calls “America’s first and only inland international air logistics and processing hub.” Under the UCP, U.S. and Mexican customs officials conduct joint inspections of cargo at several locations, including Nogales, Ariz. (imports and exports), Laredo International Airport in Texas (air cargo shipments for the automotive, electronics, and aerospace industries destined to Mexico), Otay Mesa, Calif., and San Jeronimo, Chihuahua (finished electronics shipped from Mexico to the U.S.).
The press release states that the SkyBridge Arizona service will enable e-commerce companies, manufacturers, and other commercial interests conducting business in Mexico and throughout Latin America “to more efficiently and cost-effectively transport goods between countries, while ensuring proper inspections and safety controls.” All required documents, inspections, tracking, and other services will occur at this airport, and the customs processing status will follow packages and cargo electronically to their final destinations in any city in Mexico and eventually further into Central and South America. According to the press release, this will allow shipments to the region to bypass the “cumbersome and inefficient international customs center in Mexico City.”
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