LAX Cargo

LAX is the forth busiest airport in the world, second in the United States in terms of commercial passenger volumes, serving more than 87.5 million passengers in 2018. LAX ranks 10th in the world and fourth in the U.S. in air cargo tonnage processed. LAX handled 707,833 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2018.

Air Cargo Operations, Calendar Year 2018

LAX continued its 10-year trend for increasing cargo volumes. Total air cargo at LAX increased by 2.37% in calendar year 2018 as compared to calendar year 2017. Freight volumes increased by 56,565 tons, while mail volumes were relatively flat – up by just 98 tons over last year. Domestic cargo declined by 24,253 tons or -2.66% while and international cargo was up by 80,914 tons or 5.48% over last year. Federal Express continues to be the dominant airfreight carrier accounting for 15.7% of total freight cargo, followed by both American Airlines and Delta Airlines with 4.9% each. American Airlines was also the top mail carrier accounting for 22.5% of total mail cargo.

LAX Air Cargo (in US Tons)

Bar Chart

A majority of the more than 1,930 daily flights that fly through LAX carry at least some cargo. In addition to air cargo transported in passenger aircraft, more than 30 dedicated-cargo airlines operate at LAX.

An economic study based on 2014 operations reported LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion. 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. 

Los Angeles US Customs District Continues to be Ranked #1
Los Angeles International Airport is a key transportation center for one of the world’s most dynamic economies. In 2018, the Los Angeles U.S. Customs District again ranked #1 among the nation’s 46 districts with two-way international trade valued at a record $456.25 billion. LAX alone was responsible for nearly $121 billion in exports and imports. See LA Trade Numbers for more information. 

The Southern California region accounts for a majority of the state’s multi-billion dollars in international trade. Many of the largest industrial companies headquartered in the state are located in the greater Los Angeles area. Los Angeles is a leading high-technology center for the nation in the entertainment, electronics, biomedical, computers, and aerospace industries. 

The convenience and efficiency of LAX as a major distribution center for air cargo is supported by the ready availability of vital allied services, especially for Pacific Rim traders. The LA-area cargo trade also engages more than 800 freight forwarders and 360 customs house brokers, who are in the LA area to expedite the region’s air cargo delivery. U.S. banks with international operations have offices in Los Angeles, as do foreign banking institutions. 


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