Glenn Hamer has been reporting from Sonora with impressions of Hermosillo and Guaymas as part of a Maricopa Association of Governments trade mission. You can read his other posts here and here.
The grand finale of the MAG trip was a visit to the Port of Guaymas. Only 410 miles from Phoenix and 312 miles to Tucson, the officials at the port referred to it as “Arizona’s port.” We learned that this is especially true for shipments connected to Arizona’s mining industry.
The goal is to dramatically increase the operations of the port and for it to relieve some of the business that goes through the congested Port of Long Beach in southern California. The Guaymas port is designated as a foreign trade zone and currently employs about 600.
Some advantages to shipping through Guaymas include cheaper labor costs and a lack of the labor problems that have plagued the Long Beach operation and other west coast ports that, from time to time, have been a drag on the U.S. economy.
The officials at the port praised the work of our U.S. senators in supporting efforts to make the port more useful for Arizona businesses. A few policy items stick out: The more customs screening and cargo clearance that can take place at the port, the better. As discussed in a previous post, reducing the Querobabi military checkpoint bottleneck is also important.
As a close to this post, I want to thank Alana Chazez Langdon of MAG for putting together a terrific agenda and to Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault, the chair of MAG’s Regional Council and vice-chair of MAG’s Economic Development Committee. It was a privilege to be part of the delegation.