FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 28, 2020

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LAX BECOMES NATION'S LEADING CARGO OPERATION FOR IMPORTED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT, OUTPACES NATIONAL AVERAGE OVERALL
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has become the nation's leading port for textiles, which includes personal protective equipment. International trade at LAX this year is outpacing the rest of the country.

(Los Angeles, CA) Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has become the leading destination in the United States for imports of N95 respirators, masks and similar personal protective equipment (PPE), which are included in a trade category that has increased an astonishing 20,433% at LAX this year, according to a new industry analyst report.


Data from WorldCity, which tracks import-export intelligence for ports around the United States, shows LAX is significantly outperforming the national average in overall cargo trade in 2020, and that the airport has become the nation’s leading port for the category that includes many types of respirators and masks. So far this year, LAX has imported about $3.36 billion worth of these critical supplies, followed by the Port of Los Angeles with $3.33 billion. LAX now accounts for about 23% of these national imports so far this year, compared to 0.51% in 2019. The Port of Los Angeles now accounts for 22% of these imports nationwide. Among only U.S. airports, LAX accounts for 42% of these imports.


"LAX is consistently one of the nation’s leading airports for cargo, and we are proud that we have quickly become a critical hub for personal protective equipment and medical supplies that are distributed from Los Angeles to cities around the country," said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). "We are thankful for our cargo operators, airlines and our federal partners as we work together to tackle the global pandemic by moving goods safely and efficiently through LAX."

The increase in this PPE was so sharp in July that LAX was ranked No. 6 among more than 450 U.S. airports, seaports and border crossings, for total trade cargo. For all of 2019 and through August of this year, LAX ranks ninth. Among only U.S. airports, LAX ranks third in total trade so far this year. 

 

From January to August 2020, LAX trade totals about $74 billion, a slight decrease of about 4.31% compared to the same time last year, which greatly outperforms the national average, which has declined 13.21% so far this year.

"Airports around the country are suffering mightily from the lack of passenger traffic, but a number of them, led by LAX, are proving critical in the nation's fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ken Roberts, president of WorldCity. “From LAX's incredible increase in imports of N95 masks and other personal protective equipment, to surges in imports of plasma and blood fractions at Chicago's O'Hare, airports are doing quite well relative to overall U.S. trade."


Key categories of cargo that have increased at LAX this year include computers, cell phones, textiles, computer chips and computer parts.


Although overall LAX cargo volume decreased between 7-9% during March and April, it rebounded strongly in the third quarter and is currently 3.12% higher through the end of September as compared to the same time last year, even as the airport faces a continued decline in passenger traffic. In September, the airport reported 225,466 tons of air cargo, up 21.2% from the same month in 2019. The September numbers are the highest ever for a single month at LAX, with the prior record being 216,447 tons in October 2018.

In 2019, LAX moved a total of 2.3 million metric tons of cargo worth $118 billion. The Los Angeles Customs district, which includes the Post of Los Angeles, led the country in total trade last year with $428.23 billion worth of goods.

Click here to view an online presentation from WorldCityabout LAX’s role in global trade.

Below: Graphics by WorldCity show LAX as the country's leading port for textile materials, which includes personal protective equipment such as masks and gowns.
Top images courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports. Bottom image credit to John Fajardo.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX, the third-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States in 2019, is in the midst of a $14.3-billion capital improvement program that will touch on all nine passenger terminals and build new facilities, including an Automated People Mover (APM) train, Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRAC) facility and a 12- to 15-gate Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) addition to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

 

In 2019, LAX served nearly 88.1 million passengers and offered an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 113 destinations in the U.S. and 1,200 weekly nonstop flights to 91 markets in 46 countries on 72 commercial airlines.

 

LAX generates 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX's ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.

 

LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City's general fund.

 

LAWA is leading the aviation industry in sustainability practices, with initiatives related to water management, energy (electricity) management, air quality, recycling and natural resources management. In 2019, LAX received Level III ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation from Airport Councils International-Europe.

 

LAWA is also a leader in inclusivity, operating eight programs that provide opportunities for business enterprises including local, small, minority-owned, veteran-owned and disadvantaged firms, and working together with community partners to offer the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program, which targets local workers to make them ready for rewarding careers in the construction trades, and the Build LAX Academy, designed to prepare small contracting businesses for success when working on projects at LAX.

 

LAX was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX in 2018, and was honored as the "Most Innovative Airport for Passenger Experience" in 2019 by the American Association of Airport Executives. LAX is the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to wego.com. Other recent honors have included selection as the No. 9 Best Airport (Wall Street Journal); No. 7 Best On-Time Performance for a Mega-Hub Airport (OAG); one of "The World's Best Airports for Business Travelers" (GlobeHunters); Public-Private Partnership of the Year (P3 Bulletin); Urth Caffe, Best Airport Coffee Concession of the Year (Global FAB Awards); Innovation of the Year, Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility (ARTBA); Best Project, United Airlines Terminal 7 and 8 Redevelopment Program (Engineering News Record California); North American Public-Private Partnership Deal of the Year (IJ Global); and Innovative Transportation Solution of the Year, Automated People Mover (WTS LA).


As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request


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