Study says LA.-Long Beach economic clout covers entire nation

When Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa heads to Washington D.C. with a delegation of city officials and business leaders, he will undoubtedly be taking a copy of the new BST Associates trade impact study for the San Pedro Bay Ports.

The study – due to be released by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority and the two ports – is an update of a study first done in 1995 to gather ammunition for federal funding of the Alameda Corridor.  It resulted in the Alameda Corridor being declared a “project of national significance.”

The findings in the new study are much as they were in the first study, except more so.

The value of containerized traffic moving through the two ports in 1994 was $74 billion; in 2005 it was $256 billion, up 246 percent.

State and local taxes paid across the nation because of trade through the ports were up from $6.0 billion to $28.1 billion or 368 percent.

And full-time-equivalent jobs were up from 1.1 million to 3.3 million or 200 percent.

Here is how trade through the two ports divvies up.  The Southwest, from Colorado and New Mexico east, accounted for 32.1 percent of the L.A.-Long Beach trade, Texas and Oklahoma for 12.7 percent, the Southeast for 14.8 percent, the Northwest for 1.2 percent, the Great Plains for 7.5 percent, the Great Lakes for 21.0 percent and the Atlantic Seaboard for 10.1 percent.

Although the report is designed to quantify the economic importance of the two ports, it comes at a time that both ports are under fire over the pollution that accompanies goods movement.  Port officials have vowed to expand their operations at the same time they are cleaning up the environment, but they also acknowledge that the cost of moving goods through the two ports will be higher in the future.

By Professional Mariner Staff