The final report of this project and all the appendices can be found by clicking the following link:

Presentation Slides

The two international port of entries (POEs) connecting the cities of Nogales, Arizona with Nogales, Sonora in Mexico are vital for the economy of these two cities as well as the surrounding region. These two POEs, the Mariposa POE and the DeConcini POE (see M and D in Figure 1) are also extremely important for trade between the United States and Mexico. For instance, one of the main economic drivers of the Santa Cruz County and Nogales is the fresh produce industry which relies heavily on these POEs as they are the principal import points for fresh winter vegetables from Mexico to the United States.

Figure 1 Map of the two POEs

Additionally, Nogales, Sonora is one of the Mexican border cities with a high level of industrial (maquiladora) development. Consequently, the increased presence of American (and foreign in general) companies on the Mexican side of the border generates the need for daily transportation of materials across international boundaries. The shipping of goods proves to be a challenging task for the Logistics and Traffic departments of these businesses because the greater the congestion at the POEs in Nogales, the less competitive these companies become and alternatives such as moving to locations with more efficient POEs may then be considered.

This project assesses the current capacity of the two POEs in Nogales, forecasts the future traffic by different modes, and builds a simulation model to visualize the results. This is an ongoing project, we currently have two interim working papers ready and several presentation slides available. We currently have finished analyzing the truck, POV (Privately Owned Vehicle) and pedestrian traffic, and we also have some preliminary results for the bus and train traffic.

Some highlights of current findings are listed as below:

  1. Different modes of traffic show very different pattern. See the figure below:Historical data
  2. The commercial traffic (mainly refer to the trucks) shows a very stable cyclic pattern from year to year.
  3. Our models show that the exchange rate between US Dollar and Mexican Peso and the US GDP have strong influence on the truck traffic.
  4. The POV and Pedestrian traffics are more sensitive to the change of the economy climate than that of the truck traffic.
  5. We build different scenarios of the forecasts. Take the truck traffic for example; the truck traffic can increase by 7.7% to 17.6% in a 5 year time span.
  6. The Bus traffic is increasing fast; however, the bus passengers are only 2.3% of the POV passengers or 2.9% of the pedestrians during the year of 2008.

The report is included under studies and reports of U.S./Mexico Joint Working Committee on Transportation Planning (

October 11, 2010

We have compared the forecasted trucking crossing volume to the actual one. The comparison can be found here.