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United Fruit Company - the Trend

What trends occurred at the Port during the 20s, 30s, and 40s, and how did they affect the use of these facilities?

Great White Fleet ship unloading bananas
Great White Fleet ship unloading bananas

The Economic Trend at the Port of Los Angeles during the 1930s

The increased banana trade through Los Angeles played a big part in the economic boom for the Port of Los Angeles. This boom coincided with the decline of the oil transshipment era and added to the Port's commercial vitality. Before 1936, oil and lumber consistently topped the list of tonnage and value of goods coming through the Port. After 1936, bananas often joined the top of the lists for value.

Ship unloading bananas
Ship unloading bananas

The oil bonanza in Southern California ceased in the mid-1930s. In 1936, the last major oil deposit was found in the Los Angeles Basin along the northwest edge of San Pedro Bay. (For more on this topic, please go to the Berths 150151 and Berths 171173 links.)

Before the 1930s, quantities of bananas shipped through the Port of Los Angeles were comparatively few because coffee, sugar, rubber, and fertilizer made up the primary goods entering the Port from Central and South America.