The Freight Forwarder’s Guide to the Logistics Landmarks of Los Angeles & Long Beach
While they are two busiest ports in the United States, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are more than a hub for trade and commerce. The surrounding areas host a number of iconic transportation landmarks and logistics-oriented hotspots. If you are visiting Long Beach or Los Angeles for business or pleasure, this guide highlights areas of interest that appeal to the global logistics enthusiasts.
Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
The two busiest ports in the United States are located right next to each other in the cities of San Pedro and Long Beach, California. While they operate independently, the two seaports often work together on infrastructure and environmental projects and combined, create nearly one million jobs in the state of California.
- Port of Los Angeles: The busiest ocean freight port in the United States is located in San Pedro Bay, about 25 miles south of Downtown Los Angeles. The Port of Los Angeles is also known as America’s Port and each year handles around 180 million metric tons of cargo. The Port is 7,500 acres, which includes 43 miles of waterfront. Its top containerized imports in 2016 included furniture, auto parts, and apparel.
Port of Los Angeles
425 S. Palos Verdes Street
San Pedro, CA
- Port of Long Beach: The Port of Long Beach is the second-busiest seaport in the United States. Worldwide, it ranks as the 20th busiest port; however, combined with the Port of Los Angeles, it is the 10th busiest. Each year, the Port of Long Beach handles more than 82.3 million metric tons of ocean freight, including a variety of commodities from crude oil to electronics.
Port of Long Beach
4801 Airport Plaza Dr
Long Beach, CA 90815
Along with trade and commerce, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are also big draws for the film and television industry. Several films and television shows have been shot in the area, such as Iron Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, CSI: Miami and Criminal Minds. The two bridges in the area — the green Vincent Thomas Bridge and the Gerald Desmond Bridge — also boast appearances in film and television, and were even an inspiration for a bridge in the infamous video game, Grand Theft Auto.
The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is located 18 miles southwest of Downtown Los Angeles. LAX is the third busiest airport in the United States and the 7th busiest in the world. It processes more than 2 million pounds of air cargo and is a critical hub for international trade. It has 2.1 million square feet dedicated solely to handling cargo and 30 cargo-only airline carriers operate at the airport.
LAX’s top imports include computers, cell and landline phones and parts, computer chips, and unmounted diamonds.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices in the Southern California area enforce the laws and regulations for international trade into the United States. They also inspect cargo for any safety or security threats and collect duties and taxes owed on imports.
- Long Beach Office
301 E. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802
- LAX Office
11099 South La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Container freight stations handle LCL shipments that come in from both ocean ports. The facilities consolidate and deconsolidate shipments, as well as prepare them for truck, rail or air transport.
There are three main US Customs bonded CFSs in the area:
- St. George Logistics: This facility handles more than 30 percent of consolidated cargo coming in from both seaports.
- Imperial CFS: This facility has 300,000 square feet of warehouse space and 52 docks for truck and rail transport.
- Nova: This facility can handle 200 containers at its 260,000 square-foot facility.
There are also a number of warehouses near and around the two seaports, such as Rancho Dominquez, Compton, and Carson, as well as warehouses in the Inland Empire area, including Ontario, located about an hour away from the ports.
The millions of pounds that come through both ocean freight ports each year must be loaded and unloaded from ships and container freight stations. Per contractual obligations, this work is handled by the members of the local International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which has nearly 8,000 members with its ILWU Local 13 chapter. The ILWU was formed by Australian-born union organizer Harry Bridges, which he was the head of until 1977. The ILWU is headquartered in San Francisco, but local chapters work throughout the west coast.
Bridges is a local hero to many in the organized labor community, with several memorials and busts located in the nearby area, including Harry Bridges Memorial Park. An elementary school in nearby Wilmington, CA, is also named after him.
Contracts with the ILWU are negotiated and managed by the Pacific Maritime Association. The association works with the seaports along the West Coast but is headquartered in San Francisco.
Local Tourist Attractions
Southern California has a host of tourist attractions, from Disneyland to the San Diego Zoo. The area immediately surrounding the ports have tourist attractions that chronicle the history of the region.
- Los Angeles Maritime Museum: Los Angeles and Long Beach weren’t always hubs for international commerce and trade. The history of the area — from its origins as a tidal mudflat, to its days when the fishing industry reigned — are chronicled in the largest maritime museum on the West Coast. The museum features more than 200 models of ships and boats and artifacts from naval ships from the 20th century.
- Queen Mary: This ocean liner sailed from 1936 to 1967 before it was retired and turned into a museum and hotel at the Long Beach port. Its famous for its history as an ocean liner, a troopship during World War II, and its art deco design. It is also infamous for being haunted; Time Magazine named it one of the top 10 most haunted places in the United States.
- Ports O’ Call Village/San Pedro Public Market: The Ports O’ Call Village is a New England style village that features a host of restaurants and shops. It is located along the Port’s main channel in San Pedro. In 2016, it was announced the Ports O’ Call village would be renovated and renamed the San Pedro Public Market.
The History of Dedola Global Logistics
The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are home for many and that includes Dedola Global Logistics. The company was founded in 1976 by John Dedola, and has operated out of Southern California for more than 40 years. Dedola’s company was one of the first Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers in the logistics industry. The company is now run by Dedola’s two sons, Marc and Stephen.
“It’s been exciting working in the logistics business and seeing our local ports grow and develop,” said Marc Dedola, CEO of Dedola Global Logistics. “We look forward to the next 40 years, and watching how the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles continue their legacy as the top seaports in the United States.”