If you're considering a 3PL warehouse company in Arizona this year to expand your business horizons, you're perhaps concerned about international shipping. Since Arizona doesn't have oceans along its borders, this is maybe the first time you've worked with a 3PL away from the U.S. coasts.
The good news is that Arizona has numerous ports of entry, some of which are international. However, with a number of interstate highways, you're not far away from ports in Southern California. This isn't to say Arizona may not eventually end up as a leader in world trade due to a possible relationship with Mexico and a new port.
While the above could help in the future, Arizona already gives you a convenient hub to cover the southwest United States. With Phoenix being one of the leading cities in this region, you have plenty of interstate highways nearby for entering surrounding states in one day.
Along with familiar cities like Tucson and Scottsdale, you can corner regional markets you've ignored for far too long.
Port of Tucson
This is one of the leading inland ports in Arizona in the way of intermodal and international shipping. They're positioned in a fairly close spot to the Mexican border (only 70 miles), giving you immediate shipping access south of the border. You can cross into Mexico easily from here through Nogales, Arizona.
The port is large enough to accommodate all types of warehousing and distribution needs. At 1.7 million feet in land space, they still have plenty room to grow. Having a 3PL near here can give you quick access to major highways and 50,000 feet of rail track.
Don't think that only ocean ports are Foreign Trade Zones either. Tuscon's port is an active FTZ, plus a State of Arizona Enterprise Zone to help you save money on shipping costs and taxes.
Domestic shipping through here is intermodal, and international shipping gets served through the port of Sonora, Mexico. Many ocean carriers use this port to save money by using rail services for inland shipping. China is one of those, giving you an easier portal into Asian markets.
The Future Possibilities for Shipping in Arizona
Currently, there's a push for Mexico to work with Arizona on better international shipping via an improved port along the Mexican coast. The impetus behind this is trade with Asia and finding better shipping outlets through the United States.
Arizona could eventually rival the Port of Los Angeles if this occurs. Because Phoenix and Tucson are both located near one of the nation's top trucking corridors, the benefits are already in place. Plus, Arizona is better equipped to handle all the legal issues involved with international traders.
It's one strong reason to find a 3PL in Arizona as a possibly stronger future investment.
Interstate Highways Through Arizona's Main Cities
You'll want a 3PL near many of Arizona's major interstate highways. Almost all of these highways run through the state's top cities. Interstate 17 is a good highway for reaching points between Phoenix and Flagstaff. I-17 also connects to popular highways I-40 and I-10.
The latter above is a leading interstate in Arizona because it runs east to west and can take trucks directly into Southern California ports. I-40 is in the northern region of Arizona to take you into nearby states like New Mexico or Oklahoma.
Remember that I-17 additionally gives you a direct connection from Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport for easy shipping by air.
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