Port of LA is Top Gateway

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
The Port of Los Angeles became the top U.S. international freight gateway by shipment value in 2003, according to a soon to be released report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. America’s Freight Transportation Gateways shows that Los Angeles’ water port handled $17 billion in export trade and $105 billion in imports, totaling $122 billion in business handled by the port.

Los Angeles handled $10 billion more than the $112 billion in freight that moved through JFK International Airport, now the second-ranked international freight gateway in 2003. JFK held the number one position on the list of international freight gateways since 1999, but was overtaken by the Port of Los Angeles last year. The top three gateways by value represent three different transportation types: water (Port of Los Angeles), air (JFK), and land (Detroit’s land border crossings).

The top 10 U.S. freight gateways serve as national and multi-state regional trade gateways, in addition to serving local markets. Those same freight gateways handle freight originating or terminating far outside their local markets. For example, 70 percent of the value of shipments passing through Detroit, originate or terminate outside Michigan. In Laredo, Texas the busiest U.S.-Mexican port, 75 percent of the value of shipments start or end outside the state.

Top 10 U.S. International Freight Gateways, Ranked by Value of Shipments: 2003 (Billions of current U.S. dollars)

1.Port of Los Angeles, CA (water)

2.JFK International Airport, NY (air)

3. Port of Detroit, MI (land)

4. Port of New York and New Jersey (water)

5. Port of Long Beach, CA (water)

6. Port of Laredo, TX (land)

7. Los Angeles International Airport, CA (air)

8. Port Huron, MI (land)

9. Port of Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY (land)

10. Chicago, IL (air)

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, America’s Freight Transportation Gateways, Table 2, December 2004. Available at www.bts.gov.

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