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Freight Economy

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FHWA's Roundtable on the Freight Economy: Los Angeles, California

Date: March 22, 2016

Our Host: Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce

Key Regional Transportation Facilities and Freight Hubs

HIGHWAYSI-5, I-10, I-15, I-40, I-105, I-110, I-210, I-215, I-405, I-605, I-710, US-101, US-395, SR-14, SR-58, SR-86, SR-126 and SR-138
AIRPORTSLos Angeles International, Ontario International, Bob Hope (Burbank), Long Beach Municipal, and John Wayne
WATERBORNEPorts – Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Hueneme. Marine Corridors – I-5
INTERMODAL TERMINALSHobart, Southern California International Gateway, San Bernardino, Commerce, City of Industry, Intermodal Container Transfer & Dolores yards.

Freight Facilities

Source: CalTrans, SANDAG

Stakeholders Represented by the Following:

What the future of freight will look like for the region:

Top 5 Commodities by Value 2045

Commodity Value (millions $) % of total
Electronics 767,777 23%
Precision instruments 255,171 8%
Misc. mfg. prods. 220,225 7%
Motorized vehicles 214,702 6%
Pharmaceuticals 204,437 6%
All commodities 3,335,907 100%

Top 5 Commodities by Weight 2045

Commodity Tons (thousands) % of total
Gasoline 194,247 17%
Waste/scrap 103,860 9%
Other foodstuffs 84,231 7%
Coal-n.e.c. 73,028 7%
Nonmetal min. prods. 72,865 6%
All commodities 1,123,161 100%

Trading Partners 2045

Outbound by Weight of Shipment
(thousand tons)

Trade partner Tonnage % of total
Eastern Asia 70,656 31%
California 47,428 21%
Arizona 10,792 5%
SE Asia & Oceania 10,325 5%
Mexico 9,455 4%
Total outbound 227,010 100%

Inbound by Weight of Shipment
(thousand tons)

Trade partner Tonnage % of total
Eastern Asia 65,707 18%
California 43,763 12%
Arizona 27,298 8%
SW & Central Asia 19,120 5%
Oregon 18,068 5%
Total inbound 361,975 100%

Based on FAF4.1 data with base year 2012 and forecasts up to 2045

Modal Freight Share by Tonnage, 2012 and 2045

The LA region will see multimodal freight activity grow by nearly 84% in tonnage terms and expand almost 1.5 times in value between 2012 and 2045.

The LA area’s freight activity is mostly domestic (76% by value and 85% by tonnage) but international freight is projected to more than triple by 2045 (value based).

The LA region accounted for the highest amount of freight activity among U.S. metropolitan markets, as measured by value (2012).

By 2045, Eastern Asia is projected as the top trading partner for the LA region, for inbound and outbound shipments measured in both value and tonnage terms.

In 2014, the greater LA region’s goods movement- dependent industries collectively generated close to 3 million jobs--or 33 percent of the region’s total number of jobs. These industries also contributed $291 billion, or 35 percent of the regional GDP in the same year.

The most significant freight bottlenecks in the LA region are those along the SR-60, I-105 and I-710. In 2013, SCAG developed a Comprehensive Regional Goods Movement Plan that identified the top-priority truck bottlenecks and resulted in a list of the top 50 regional priority bottleneck.

U.S. DOT, the Port of Los Angeles, and a drayage trucking company have been testing operational strategies to improve freight efficiency through the development of an advanced intermodal logistics information technology system designed to improve drayage and container handling.

The LA region has about 70,000 lane roadway miles. I-710, I-605, SR-60 and SR-91 sections have highest truck volumes, averaging 25,000+ trucks per day.

Rail is a critical sector in LA region’s economy with BNSF and UP both carrying international and domestic cargo.

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have proposed almost $2.0 billion in harbor improvements to support increased on-dock rail services.

Sources for Freight Facts: FAF, BLS, ATRI, Caltrans and SCAG

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Page last modified on August 29, 2017
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