The Port of Los Angeles

Los Angeles' Port of Los Angeles is located in San Pedro Bay. It is a super facility that has achieved its current market position as a result of both the public and private sectors. The Port of Los Angeles' developments have produced a variety of outcomes. Some of the outcomes have both positive and bad implications for the port. In 2013, the volume of containers at the Port of Los Angeles exceeded 7 million foot equivalent units (TEU). It is the busiest port in the United States. Los Angeles is the world's fifteenth busiest port by volume. In addition, it is considered as the best freight gateway in terms of a number of shipments that pass through it. The port received record-breaking exports in 2010 and 2011 making it the largest outbound container volumes port. Some of the top trading partners of the Port of Angeles include China, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. It also has approximately a dozen pilots that include two chiefs. The pilots have professional skills and concepts about San Pedro Bay and the Los Angeles harbor. The pilots meet the ships that wait to dock at the harbor and offer necessary guidance during the steering of the vessel through the busy Los Angeles waterway to the port dock. In order to ensure public safety at the port, the Los Angeles Port Police service is used to offer security-related services. The channel depth of the Port of Los Angeles is 16 meters (Robinson 165). It has 9, 77, and 270 container terminals, container cranes, and deepwater berths (Carver 133). In addition, fire services are provided at the port by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Being one of the largest and busiest ports globally, the Port of Los Angeles deals with various import and export products. Nevertheless, there are also Customs Brokers who are engaged in initiating clearance deals at the port. This paper discusses the Port of Los Angeles. It will examine the imports and exports at the port. The countries that are present at the port will also be discussed. Finally, it will focus on the Customs Brokers and the roles they play at the port.

The Port of Los Angeles Imports and Exports

The Port of Los Angeles (PLA) is a very important player in the movements of goods into and outside the United States. This emphasizes the safety issues of the dockworkers and the transportation of the development projects. During the year 2017, there has been the significant increase in the trade of the Port of Angeles by 4.87% ((Robinson 165). This represents an increment of approximately $10 billion from the previous $201.1 billion traded in 2016. In addition, the first 9 months of 2017 led to an increase in imports and exports at the Port of Los Angeles by 6.33% and 5.97% respectively (Choi et al 223). The port is ranked at number one for the total trade carried out among about 450 border crossings, seaports and airports. By September 2017, the top 5 trading partners of the Port of Los Angeles included Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and China. The port also acts as the main destination for the import goods from Asia due to the large consumer markets in Asia and its neighboring countries (Robinson 166).

The Port of Los Angeles deals with various exports and imports. Some of the top exports of the port include Motor vehicle parts, frozen beef, cotton as well as hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, and Almonds. According to an assessment by WorldCity, it established that the total number of exports of the port accounted for 16.12% of all its total international trade (Carver 133). On the other hand, the top imports of the Port of Los Angeles included printers, computer monitors, television sets, and motor vehicle parts. All the imports of the Port of Los Angeles accounted for 17.95% of all the goods entering the country. Up to September 2017, the Port of Los Angeles realized trade deficits and surpluses with 137 and 72 countries respectively (Choi et al 224). This compares to the trade deficits and surpluses of 142 and 70 respectively that was achieved in 2016. Some of the top trade surpluses of the Port of Los Angeles in 2016 included countries such as Belgium, Singapore, and Hong Kong. On the other hand, the three trade deficits were from countries such as Vietnam, Japan, and China ((Robinson 167).

In 2016, the Port of Los Angeles carried out an international trade with the other countries globally worth $273.53 billion. Its trade deficit was $208.18 billion. Towards the last quarter of 2016, the top trading partners of the Port of Los Angeles included the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Iceland, and Canada. The total value of imports and exports during the same year period was $240.85 billion and $32.67 billion respectively ((Robinson 168).

The Port of Los Angeles Customs Brokers and their Roles

The Customs Broker at the Port of Los Angeles is a highly qualified import specialist. The Customs Brokers in the United States are certified by the Department of the Treasury. They are supervised by the U.S Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection Agency. All the Customs Brokers working at the Port of Los Angeles must have the systematic understanding of the regulations of the U.S Government and Customs Agency. They must also have extensive knowledge of the tariff schedules at the port. All the foreign-made products that represent billions of dollars in the collections of tax duty are usually formally filed annually with the Customs Service of the United States. Customs Brokers are required to file the foreign goods on behalf of the importers (Robinson 167).

The Customs Broker at Los Angeles is certified and supervised by the U.S Department of Treasury. They mainly act as the agents for various importers of foreign goods into the U.S. The Customs Broker usually offer suggestions on the technical needs of filing and preparing entry documents, importing, getting essential bonds, safeguarding the release of the imported goods as well as depositing the import tasks of the United States. They also organize for the delivery of the imported goods to the warehouse or premises of the importers. The Customs Broker usually consults with the Customs Service Department in order to establish the foundation of appraisement or appropriate rates. On several circumstances, the Customs Broker will seek essential managerial remedies on behalf of the importers in case he is not contented with the value or rate of the imported goods (Robinson 165).

The Customs Broker at the Port of Los Angeles is vital for the Customs Service of the United States. There are more than 200 laws that have to be adopted and imposed by the Customs Service. Skilled Customs Brokers at the Port of Los Angeles forms an essential resource of great benefit to the Customs. Therefore, the Customs Brokers at the port play an essential task in enhancing the movement, clearance, and entry of all the imported goods into the country (Carver 133). The Customs Brokers will continue to be in high demand provided that the movements of import and export products are governed by laws. The Customs Brokers also work on a daily basis hence they continue to offer clearance and forwarding services to their agents. They also carry out extensive research to ensure that they acquire the best possible legal duty for the shipment of any products imported through the Port of Los Angeles (Choi et al 225). The management of the customs service requires extensive skills in order to ensure the importers do not incur losses as a result of poor shipment services provided by the Customs Brokers. Regardless of the issue, the Customs Brokers are able to deal with the customs related issues. Clearance at the port might be very tough for the importers hence they require the assistance of the Customs Brokers to ensure that they receive swift and essential clearance services at the port (Sousa et al 197).

Clearing and forwarding at the Port of Los Angeles is a very complex task since it might require Customs Broker to provide official greeting on each shipment that enters the U.S. It is, therefore, essential for the Customs Broker to comprehensively determine the dutiable values and appropriate classifications. They should understand the various types of commodities imported and exported at the port that is supposed to be subjected to import permits, quotas, and other vital documentation. The import quotas regulate the volume or quantity of the different products that importers can import into the U.S within a particular period. The import quotas of the U.S might be classified into tariff-rate and absolute-rate (Carver 133). The absolute quotas normally apply to the textiles imported into the U.S and usually restrict a number of products that might enter the market of the U.S in a particular duration. In the present business environment, there are no products that are subjected to the absolute quota limitations in the U.S. On the other hand, the tariff-rate quotas allow for certain amount of imported products to enter the U.S at a relatively lower duty rates during the period of the quotas. After the end of a particular quota, it might still allow for the entry of imported products into the country however at relatively higher duty rates. Therefore, the Customers Brokers provide essential services that involve analysis of the duty rates thus allowing the importers not to pay higher duty rates for their imported products. In addition, they also provide legal advice to the importers on any of the amendments that are made to the importation and exportation of products into and outside the country (Sousa et al 196).

Majority of the Customs Brokers at the Port of Los Angeles assist customers to select the essential carriers and transportation techniques that might need the extensive evaluation of large data. In addition, they offer suggestions to the importers the most appropriate routes that could be used for the shipment of the imported or exported products. In case there is at least one destination for the goods, then there are certain estimates for the costs of products and landed costs. There are instances in which the Customs Service requires different clearing agents to clear the imported goods if they are from different destinations, however, with the availability of many Customs Brokers, the shipment and clearing of products at the port has become very easier. The port is one of the busiest hence requires extensive market analysis to establish the different techniques of clearing imported and exported products very easily. This would enable the importers not to spend a lot of money on the importation of goods (Carver 133).

The development of the Port of Los Angeles has led to numerous outcomes. Some of the outcomes have been influenced by the cultural, environmental, and social factors. Due to the ability of the Port of Los Angeles to manage more than 40% of all the imports in the United States, it has also led to a general increase in tax revenues, income, and employment (Carver 133). The development of the Port of Los Angeles has had positive effects on the trade of the U.S. In terms of environmental factors, the presence of the port in the U.S has contributed to the increased health care issues for the domestic communities that are near the Port of Los Angeles. Emissions emanating from the ship also negatively affect the environment around the Port of Los Angeles. In 2002, the Board of Harbor Commissioners (BHC) adopted a San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Program (CAAP) worth $2.8 million (Carver 133). The initiative would help to carry out the ship and terminal operations in order to minimize the polluting emissions from the equipment handling cargoes and vessels. The Port of Los Angeles set aside over $52 million together with the amount of money that was for the adoption of CAAP initiative in order to enhance the executions of the emission reductions (Carver 133).

The Port of Los Angeles had already bypassed its objectives in 2016 for the realization of emissions reductions in 2023. The swift prosperity to minimize emissions led to a decrease in the specific matter of diesel emissions that reduced nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxides by 52% and 97% respectively. In addition, there were changes to the CAAP program in order to ensure that the environmental goals of reducing the emissions were minimized effectively. Currently, the port has realized technological development that has helped it to enhance the green port technologies. In addition, the CAAP intends to enhance the port’s ecosystem. The Port of Los Angeles has undergone great developments over the past few decades and it has emerged as one of the busiest ports globally (Cantens et al 107).


The Port of Los Angeles is a key foundation of the trade of the United States, however, it still experiences some challenges that need to be addressed. For instance, the port management needs to caution individuals against the effects of trade on the development of the U.S. The port has many Customs Brokers who help importers to clear their imported products at the port. The Customs Brokers helps to ease the complexity that is involved in clearing and forwarding at the port. All the Customs Brokers have to be certified by the U.S Department of Treasury. In addition, the supervision of the Customs Brokers is also undertaken by the U.S Customs Service.

Work Cited

Cantens, Thomas, et al. “Customs, Brokers, and Informal Sectors: A Cameroon Case Study.” Policy Research Working Papers, 2014, doi:10.1596/1813-9450-6788.

Carver, Beci. “Untraffic in Los Angeles.” Critical Quarterly, vol. 58, no. 4, 2016, pp. 133–148., doi:10.1111/criq.12307.

Choi, Dong-Hoon, et al. “Study on the Job Satisfaction of Customs Officials at Port Customs - Focus on Ocean Fisheries Officials at Port Customs -.” Journal of Navigation and Port Research, vol. 39, no. 3, 2015, pp. 223–231., doi:10.5394/kinpr.2015.39.3.223.

Robinson, Elizabeth. “The Port of Los Angeles by Jane Sprague.” Colorado Review, vol. 38, no. 2, 2011, pp. 165–167., doi:10.1353/col.2011.0072.

Sousa, Nathan De, et al. “Port of Los Angeles, TraPac Terminal Development: The First Semi-Automated On-Dock Rail Facility at the Port of Los Angeles.” Ports 2016, June 2016, doi:10.1061/9780784479919.098.

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