Trade & Logistics
The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach combine to make our sea ports complex the largest in the Western Hemisphere, handling over 40% of all inbound containers for the entire United States. Over time, a sophisticated and mature logistics economy has developed around these ports, including high-capacity rail networks, endless warehousing and distribution options, and businesses that have located in L.A. County to leverage this infrastructure. Over 160,000 workers in L.A. County alone support the international trade sector.
L.A. County Trade Sector At A Glance
- Total employment in trade: Over 370,000 people employed
- $416 billion in annual two-way trade in the LA Customs District (LACD)
With millions of twenty foot equivalent (TEU) containers processed every year, the twin ports complex is one of the busiest ports complexes in the world, and can handle the largest container ships in the world. Both the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles have continued to modernize, adding robotics and other innovative container movement systems, dredging canals to support the deepest of drafts, dramatically reducing air pollution, and protecting our regional market advantages as container volumes rise.
With a strong port infrastructure, main rail lines for both the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads ensure efficient movement to and from the ports. Many rail cars utilize the Alameda Corridor, a 20-mile-long rail cargo expressway linking the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the transcontinental rail network near downtown Los Angeles. In addition, an excellent freeway and highway system allows multimodal transport and efficient origination for cross-country delivery.
Air Freight and International Business Travel
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is another key link in Los Angeles County’s international trade. While the LA/Long Beach harbors handle high volume products, LAX handles high-value products, such as medical instruments, electronics, and perishables. The airport ranks 14th in the world and 5th in the U.S. in air cargo tonnage processed, with over two million tons of air cargo valued at nearly $96.3 billion. LAX is served by 43 international carriers and all major air freight lines. In addition to freight, LAX is a world hub airport for business travelers with over 900 weekly nonstop flights to 59 cities in 30 countries.
Foreign Direct Investment and International Business
With an abundance of international activity, L.A. County is experiencing increasing amounts of foreign investment, with many European and Asian countries investing heavily in multiple industries within the County. Over 4,500 firms in L.A. County are owned or affiliated with foreign-owned parents. The LAEDC assists overseas businesses with site selection and investment in the L.A. region.
In addition, LAEDC operates an USCIS-approved EB-5 regional center to help facilitate jobs-creating projects in L.A. County and help match those investors to great opportunities. Learn more about EB-5 here.
Regional Connection: The Five County Region
The international trade engine of LA County has created opportunities in surrounding counties such as San Bernardino. Major investment in logistics, warehousing and distribution in nearby and inland counties has increased the strength of the overall trade economy in the region, providing new site selection opportunities for businesses leveraging the trade infrastructure.
How can LAEDC Help Your Organization Thrive in This Industry?
The LAEDC and affiliate World Trade Center Los Angeles publish our annual International Trade Outlook, as well as Growing Together reports that summarize LA County’s tade and investment activity with major trading partners. Learn more HERE.
- World Trade Center LA
World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA) is an affiliate of LAEDC, and its staff foster investment into LA County from international sources, for the prupose of job creation and a growing and dynamic economy. Additionally, WTCLA partners with LAEDC Business Assistance team to help local companies improve their international exports opportunities, to drive additional revenue and job creation. Learn more at our World Trade Center website, www.WTCLA.org
LAEDC’s World Trade Committee, co-chaired by Steve Olson and Les Gold, works in concert with World Trade Center Los Angeles to encourage foreign direct investment into LA County and foster exports from regional businesses to international customers.
- Leaders Engage Here
LAEDC is looking for leaders like you to support initiatives for this industry, Voice concerns about public policy and legislation, and collaborate to help this industry grow and remain vital. To get involved, please email [email protected].
- EB-5 Financing
The LAEDC’s USCIS-approved regional center helps match EB-5 investors with projects, so that low interest rate financing becomes available for those projects, enabling progress and job creation. Learn more here.
What's New in Trade & Logistics
Press Release: WTCLA Releases 2023 FDI Report of California
WORLD TRADE CENTER LOS ANGELES RELEASES 2023 FDI REPORT OF CALIFORNIA Golden State remains a critical nexus of foreign trade and investment for nations across the globe April 27, 2023 – Pasadena, … Continued...
California still leads in FDI, but 2020 saw job losses, per FDI report from WTCLA
Foreign-owned firms in California employ over 700,000 workers, which is a major source of well-paying jobs for Californians. WTCLA's latest FDI report explores the details....
WTCLA report: UK companies in California support 111,430 jobs paying $9.4m to California workers
World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA) has published a new report, United Kingdom Foreign Direct Investment in California, which finds that UK companies that have invested in establishments and operations … Continued...
UK and Los Angeles collaboration on climate action creates opportunity: WTCLA event recap
As California sees federal support for sustainability, and the UK looks to California fresh from Brexit, both see opportunity in global collaboration on climate investment and innovation. ...
Opportunities in Global Commerce: Middle Skill Jobs at LA Basin Air and Sea Ports
Center for a Competitive Workforce, has a new report about jobs in the seaport and airport industry in the Los Angeles Basin, to help community college faculty adapt programs to … Continued...
Building cross border relationships in a COVID world: Stephen Cheung on CivitasLA
Dwayne Gathers hosted Stephen Cheung for a 30-minute CivitasLA podcast, exploring the pandemic's disruption to LA's global connections and inbound investment, which are so important to jobs and a strong economy....
Recap of WTCLA Virtual Tour: Los Angeles Opportunities in Sustainability
On September 24th, World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA), LAEDC’s subsidiary, hosted “Los Angeles Opportunities in Sustainability,” a program designed to help investors explore some of the many paths to … Continued...
Overcoming challenges: stories of perseverance and assistance in LAEDC 2020 Annual Report
LAEDC’s annual report tells the stories of many businesses and their employees who have faced unprecedented crisis in 2020 and managed to move ahead. Read a few of their stories … Continued...
Foreign investment drives California manufacturing jobs, according to 5th annual FDI Report from WTCLA
Over 730,000 direct jobs in California are at foreign-owned firms, according the World Trade Center LA 2020 FDI report, underscoring how important FDI and international connections are to the state’s … Continued...
LAEDC EVP Stephen Cheung recognized by Supervisor Hilda Solis
Stephen Cheung was recognized by LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis in February, for his continuing and dedicated service to the community. She remarked that Stephen has been instrumental in economic … Continued...
- World Trade Center LA