Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX Cargo

LAX Cargo Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the eleventh busiest cargo airport in the world, handling more than 2 million tons of origination and destination air cargo in 2006.

LAX is the major international cargo airport serving Southern California - the world’s eleventh largest economy. Asia-Pacific is Los Angeles' top regional trading partner with 582,283 tons annually valued at $45.2 billion. Europe is second with 166,190 tons valued at $13.7 billion annually.
Diverse Cargo
The products that are exported and imported through Los Angeles are as varied as the number of airlines and nations served. More than 1,000 flights depart and arrive every day carrying cargo. More than half of the air cargo at LAX arrives and departs in the bellies of passenger aircraft. This allows airlines serving LAX to offer some of the lowest airfares to travelers.

More than 50 percent of LAX air cargo activity is international in origin or destination. An estimated 79 percent of the region's air cargo is handled through LAX.

Shippers will find the most broadly based selection of airlines of any U.S. airport. Every major international air carrier serving the Pacific calls at Los Angeles, while European and Latin American air carriers fully serve LAX as well.

The most exported air commodity in terms of tonnage from LAX is vegetables, fruit and nuts with 15.1 percent of the total weight. Other leading exports are base metals and articles thereof; computer equipment; photo, science and medical instruments; paper and pulp products; chemical products; plastics and articles thereof; prepared foodstuffs; special classification provisions; and aircraft products.

Apparel is the leading imported air cargo commodity, followed by computer equipment, audio and video media, fish, office machinery, textiles, footwear, vehicles other than railway, photo, science and medical instruments and electronic components.

Japan accepts over 70,033 tons of LAX's exports annually valued at $4.1 billion. United Kingdom is next with 32,404 tons nations valued at $2.2 billion annually. Other leading nations buying U.S. exports shipped through LAX are Taiwan, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Germany, and Mexico.

China leads all nations in importing through LAX. Other Pacific Rim nations such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand find LAX a prime port of entry. The other nations in the top 10 are Australia, Germany, and Indonesia.

Extensive Airfield Cargo Network
The ever-growing number of air carriers, presently 88 passenger and all-cargo airlines, and their worldwide service area have created an extensive air cargo handling network at LAX. The airport has 2.1 million square-feet developed for cargo on 194 acres.

Four million square-feet is developed for cargo use in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

United Airlines opened an 180,000 square foot cargo building in 2002. Virgin Atlantic Airways and Asiana Airlines also opened a new cargo building with 122,000 square feet.

In 1997, Qantas opened its own 54,000 square-foot air cargo facility valued at $7 million. Mercury Air Cargo opened its new facility in March 1998. Singapore Airlines opened a new air cargo building in 1999.

Modern facilities - convenient for shippers, forwarders and airlines alike - are available in the Imperial Cargo Complex, the site of extensive development by domestic and international carriers. Major tenants include Lufthansa, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Federal Express, China Airlines, Delta, Air Canada and Cargo Services Center (a provider to several air carriers). A modern U.S. Customs headquarters serves the growing trade.

Improvements and enhancements by tenants and Los Angeles World Airports have been continually made at Century Cargo Complex, LAX's first air cargo area. American, United, Virgin Atlantic, and Asiana house their freight operations at the Century Boulevard location. Alaska Airlines, British Airways, and Southwest Airlines are located there as well.

Southern California -- The Nation's Top International Trade Center
Los Angeles International Airport is the key transportation center for one of the world's most dynamic economies. The greater Los Angeles region's international trade is valued at $200 billion, with LAX alone responsible for more than $68 billion in exports and imports.

Greater Los Angeles accounts for nearly half of the economy of California and a majority of the state's multi-billion dollars in international trade.

Many of the state's largest industrial companies headquartered in the state are located in the greater Los Angeles area. The area is a leading high-technology center for the nation in entertainment, electronics, biomedical, computers, and aerospace industries.

The convenience and efficiency of LAX as a major distribution center for cargo is supported by the ready availability of vital allied services, especially for Pacific Rim traders:
  • More than 400 freight forwarders and over 100 customs house brokers are located in the Los Angeles area to expedite air cargo.
  • More than 36 U.S. banks with international operations have offices in Los Angeles, as do 108 foreign banking institutions.
  • Excellent surface connections are available for secondary shipment of goods. Two seaports serve Los Angeles and Southern California. Railroads provide transportation to the rest of the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
  • Forty trucking firms specialize in long-haul, air freight delivery service. Another 40 offer local pickup and delivery of goods for forwarders and brokers. More than 70 small package and document delivery firms regularly use LAX.
  • Consular offices from 76 nations, trading offices from 33 countries and 35 foreign Chambers of Commerce assist the high volume of trade.