Councilwoman Perry Introduces Motion to Explore Ways to Increase Los Angeles’ Capacity to Serve as Center for Import and Commerce
Seeks Report on Potential of Adding Cold Storage Facilities to Ontario Airport
Los Angeles—In an effort to boost the local economy and support the recovery of Ontario airport, Councilwoman Perry called for the Airport Department to report to the City Council on the possibility of establishing refrigerated/cold storage facilitates and commercial cargo facilities at the Ontario airport. The move would offer the airport a way to invigorate its business by handling more international shipments and create an opportunity for more cargo to make its way directly to the region.
Specifically, using the flower industry as an example, Perry’s motion highlighted the potential boon to the local economy of the addition of more cold storage options at another Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA), like Ontario.
“Over 60% of the estimated $34 billion in flowers sold in the United States annually, are coming from abroad and more than 80% of these flowers enter by air through Miami. There is enormous potential to capture this business by establishing more opportunities for flower and other importers to bring their products directly to the Los Angeles market,” said Councilwoman Perry. “Ontario airport offers us a unique opportunity to further establish ourselves as a hub for commerce for the region, creating more jobs and economic investment in our city.”
Last year, a refrigerated warehouse was established at LAX to increase the direct import of flowers and thereby reduce the overall travel time from South America to Los Angeles to only seven hours. Since the opening of the warehouse, there has been a 20% increase in direct imports of flowers from South America to the Los Angeles region.
The LAX refrigerated warehouse added approximately 15% to the refrigerated storage capacity at LAX, however, more space is needed to accommodate flowers, food, and other commodities that require cold storage facilities. LAX has limited space to expand on this type of storage, while Ontario airport has reported that since 2007, the airport has suffered a rapid decline in passengers and has cost the region an estimated 8,075 jobs and $410 million in economic impact (as reported in September of 2010). With this in mind, the development of cold storage facilities at Ontario airport could offer the region a way to recover and increase our viability as a gateway destination for commerce.
The motion was referred to the Trade, Commerce, and Tourism committee for further discussion.