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Port History - The Product


Post-World War II

Berth 240 with US Navy Tender in dry dock
Berth 240 with U.S. Navy Tender in dry dock

The end of World War I generally meant the end of trade restrictions. Although lumber and crude oil were the biggest commodities to pass through the Port at that time, Los Angeles featured almost all types of industry, and the resulting products passed through the Port. Soon after the war's end, many different types of commerce and business activities existed in the area. Although harbor facilities existed at the time for products, such as oil, lumber, ships, and fish, new facilities were developed to handle the growth in such products as cotton, borax, citrus crops, and steel.

Berth 240- Dry Dock
Berth 240 - Dry Dock

The Port continued to enjoy a robust international trade until the Depression years, when it witnessed a sharp decline. Despite trade restrictions, the Port rebounded during the World War II years when ship and aircraft production facilities in the harbor area worked day and night to manufacture more than 15 million tons of war equipment. (For more on shipbuilding at the Port, please go to the Berth 240 link.)

Container Ship
Container Ship


Since World War II, utilization of the Port has grown exponentially. Presently, the Port's terminals are dedicated to handling containers, automobiles, breakbulk (i.e., steel products and lumber), and dry bulk (i.e., grain, coal, and iron ore) and liquid bulk (i.e., petroleum and liquid chemicals) products. (View modern photos of the Port of Los Angeles.)