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Mariposa port’s cool new additions strengthen inspection operations, supply chain

CBP Officer inspecting Vegetables for new cold storage at Mariposa
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer inspecting produce coming into the U.S.

It’s hard to keep cool at the Mariposa Land Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona, where peak summer temperatures can reach triple digits. But many of the commercial trucks that cross through the port carry delicate produce and medical products that need to remain within a strict temperature range to prevent spoilage, loss of efficacy or even compromised safety for certain medicines.

So federal and state governments, as well as industry partners, worked together to find a solution. Recently installed cold storage rooms at the Mariposa Land Port of Entry will ensure that temperature-sensitive products inspected at the port are delivered in good condition.

Occupying two dock bays, the two cold rooms provide approximately 2,000 square feet where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers can conduct their inspection operations in a secure, temperature-controlled environment. The cold rooms are equipped with sophisticated temperature control systems that can maintain the required temperature range for different types of goods.

“This is a real success story that highlights the successful completion of a public-private project involving federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as GSA’s responsiveness to industry and market needs,” said Anthony Kleppe, LPOE Program Manager. “Not only does this significantly strengthen our national supply chain, but it also helps avoid food waste, damaged products, and millions in loss annually.”

The new cold rooms not only help safeguard the quality of inbound products, but they also support the local economy by facilitating trade and reducing the risk of spoiled or damaged goods and making Nogales a destination port for the important products Americans have come to depend on.

The Mariposa LPOE is the busiest commercial port in Arizona, with $36 billion in trade crossing through its gates every year. Nogales is the primary port of entry for winter produce coming from Mexico. Last year the port processed over 5 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables entering the United States.