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Economic Impact
Study Finds Trade Moving Through Ports of Long Beach,
Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor Significantly
Impact California’s Economy

More Than $62 Billion in Total Trade Value and 886,000 Jobs
Connected to Southern California Trade Activity

A trade impact study issued by the ports of Long Beach and Los
Angeles and Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) underscores
the role of nation’s two largest container ports play as
critical economic powerhouses and job generators for both the state
and national economies.

The San Pedro Bay ports handle more than 40% of the nation’s
total containerized cargo import traffic and 24% of the nation’s
total exports. Since 1994, when this trade impact study was first
conducted, the growth in the national impact of trade for goods
being transported at the San Pedro Bay ports increased 246%, from
$74 billion to $256 billion, with $62.5 billion of that trade in

The number of direct and indirect jobs associated with the trade
activity generated by the San Pedro Bay ports increased
by 200%, from
1.1 million jobs nationally in 1994 to 3.3 million jobs
in 2005. In addition, the study conservatively estimates
that more than 886,000 jobs in California are directly and indirectly
related to international trade activities conducted through the
San Pedro Bay Ports.

“The study re-affirms the national significance of the
San Pedro Ports.
These two ports lead the way not only in cargo volumes
but in implementing forward-thinking environmental mitigation strategies
that recognize the severe health impacts on our communities of
such monumental commerce,” said Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster.

The study also assessed the economic impact of the San Pedro
Bay ports in terms of state and local tax revenues and
full-time jobs created.
State and local taxes generated throughout the nation
from this trade activity grew from an estimated $6 billion
in 1994 to more than $28 billion in 2005.

Southern California has become the primary gateway for trade
between the U.S. and the Pacific Rim. The centrally located San
Pedro Bay Ports have seen dramatic increases in trade volumes since
the last study conducted in 2000. This tremendous growth in trade
volume is due to the increase in consumer demand in the region
and nationally. A majority of the distribution centers that rely
solely on the ports to transport toys, clothing, shoes, computers,
TVs, furniture and many other goods across the nation are located
in the region.

“The report shows very clearly that the ports of Long Beach
and Los Angeles are America’s ports, supporting trade and
jobs not only in California but as far away as Kansas, Michigan,
Texas, and many other states throughout the country,” said
Long Beach Harbor Commission President James C. Hankla. “These
findings demonstrate why we need state and national support for
our critical infrastructure, security and environmental improvements.”

The Southwest Region, which in the study encompasses California,
Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah, saw the highest volume
of containerized trade in the U.S., handling more than
$82 billion of the
$256 billion of the trade generated nationally in 2005.

"This report underscores just how vital port operations
are to the local, regional and national economies,” said
Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard Steinke. “Through
strong partnerships with our many stakeholders, we can ensure that
our economic vitality continues here and across the country, while
also improving the environment and the quality of life in our communities."

The Port of Long Beach, a non-taxpayer supported department of
the City of Long Beach, and the Port of Los Angeles, a non-taxpayer-supported
department of the City of Los Angeles, are the top two container
seaports in America. Together, the ports occupy about 7,400 acres
of land, 7,900 acres of water and 78 miles of waterfront in Southern
California. With about 60 (combined) terminals serving container,
automobile, break bulk, liquid bulk and dry bulk customers, the
ports facilitate the flow of goods that sustain the entire nation.
In addition to leading the nation in international cargo trade,
the San Pedro Bay Ports are dedicated to leading the world in progressive
and aggressive environmental programs. In November 2006, at a first-ever
joint meeting of the two Harbor Commission Boards, the San Pedro
Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan was adopted. This landmark plan,
the first in maritime history, outlines a strategy for reducing
air emissions at both ports by roughly 50 percent over a five year

The 20-mile long Alameda Corridor is the first link in the national
rail system leading out of the San Pedro Bay Ports, transporting
goods to the transcontinental rail system near downtown Los Angeles
that will be moved to destinations across the United States.

"This study demonstrates the importance the Alameda Corridor
plays in linking the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles
to the rest of the nation’s goods movement network, while
at the same time providing environmental benefits to the communities
along the Corridor’s route,"
said Long Beach Vice Mayor and ACTA Vice Chair Bonnie
Lowenthal. "A strong commitment from both Washington, D.C.
and Sacramento will be needed to help improve the region’s
infrastructure while committing to a improvement in air quality."

With more than 60% of the cargo arriving at the San Pedro Bay
Ports ultimately destined for markets outside of Southern
California, the Alameda Corridor has seen 106% growth in cargo
movement over the last four years. This means a variety of importers
and exporters across the country depend on this corridor of national
significance. In 2006, the Alameda Corridor carried 19,924 trains,
an average of 55 trains per day.

This represents a 15% increase over the number of trains
which used the Corridor in 2005. In addition, nearly
5 million TEUs were transported via the Corridor in 2006,
a 32% increase from the 3.75 million TEUs moved on the Corridor
in 2005. On an average day, the Alameda Corridor carries 14,000
TEUs, more than twice the entire daily volume of cargo that is
handled by the Port of Oakland.

Click here to read the study.

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updated on
March 10, 2009
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