Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) researchers attended the March 24–25 Land Ports of the Future Workshop in Laredo, Texas. TTI co-sponsored the workshop as part of TTI’s memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). Katie Turnbull, TTI executive associate director, and Juan Villa, research scientist and regional manager for Latin America, represented TTI at the workshop. Senior Research Scientist and Multimodal Planning and Environment Division Head Jolanda Prozzi and Research Scientist Mario Monsreal also participated in the workshop.
Turnbull gave an introduction and welcomed workshop participants on the morning of the first day. Villa presented the session Overview of Land Port-Related Research and Programs: Highlights from Border Wait Times Project, Border Wait Times Dashboard 2.0 — Sensor Enhanced. Workshops like this one — developed as part of the TTI–TAMIU MOA — help both institutions collaborate and share border logistical data to foster international trade.
Villa says, “This workshop was a great opportunity to showcase TTI’s border-related research experience and identify new opportunities. We were able to meet personally with multiple stakeholders from the private and public sectors not only from Laredo, but also from other border locations in Texas and Arizona, that helped us identify needs that will allow us to develop new research ideas. We’re planning to have a full-time researcher at TAMIU that will help with consolidating our presence in this region, the largest trade port of entry in North America.”
“The workshop was a great way to initiate the recently signed MOA between TTI and the Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development at TAMIU,” notes Turnbull. “Participants from agencies and organizations at the federal, state, and local levels; the private sector; and universities discussed issues, opportunities and research needs. The importance of collaboration and partnerships was stressed by all speakers.”