Los Angeles County – America's Gateway to the Global Economy

Our Seaports

The combined ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, together with Port Hueneme and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), are the number one customs district in the nation, handling two-way trade valued at $387 billion dollars.

Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors handle roughly 70 percent of all container traffic on the west coast. Together, they rank eighth in the world behind Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzen, Busan, Ningbo, and Guangzhou.

Port of Los Angeles Map
Port of Los Angeles
Port of Long Beach Map
Port of Long Beach

International trade is growing dramatically. In 2011, container throughput was measured at 14 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs – a standard shipping container), while by 2025 it is expected to top 32 million TEUs. This trade brought in $387 billion dollars to the area in 2011, a number that is expected to expand to two-thirds of a trillion by 2020.

Our Railways

To help accommodate this growth in international trade, the Alameda Corridor was constructed. Formed in 1989, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority was responsible for the design and construction of the Alameda Corridor freight rail "expressway" that runs from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the major transcontinental rail lines just to the east of downtown Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Rail Lines
Los Angeles Rail Lines
Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway
Burlington Santa Fe Railway
Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad

Cargo is also transported throughout the region via railways such as Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and Union Pacific. Their railroad routes make up roughly 32,000 miles and on average have approximately 200,000 daily freight cars on their system moving goods such as cars, apparel and textiles, electronic goods, raw materials, produce, and medicine just to name a few. BNSF's Hobart Yard (southeast of Downtown L.A.) is the nation's #1 intermodal container facility.

Our Airports

LAX is the #1 airport for origin and destination in the country and the sixth busiest airport in the world based on passenger traffic. In 2011, it handled nearly 62 million passengers, 16.7 million of which were international, and 1.8 million tons of cargo. LA County boasts four other major airports: Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, LA/Palmdale, Long Beach, and Van Nuys which is the busiest general aviation airport in the nation.

LAX Terminal Map
LAX terminal map

By 2020, air cargo volume at LAX is expected to reach nine million tons annually while passenger volume should surpass 78 million passengers per year.

Our Freeways and Public Transportation

Los Angeles County's transportation needs are serviced by an extensive freeway system including two major interstates that cross in Los Angeles: the East/West I-10 and North/South I-5, supported by over 1,188 freeway route miles.

The region's transportation system is also serviced by subway and several light-rail systems that have been built to serve the downtown area through North Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley and south all the way to Long Beach. There are three light-rail lines in service today, with a fourth under construction.

In addition, Metrolink, a heavy rail commuter service with 220 miles of rail in LA County alone, connects the County to much of Southern California. Amtrak's Surfliner offers 11 trains per day between Downtown LA and San Diego and is the second busiest Amtrak operated corridor.