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Port of Los Angeles-San Pedro
Port of Los Angeles-San Pedro

 

The Port of Los Angeles, also called Los Angeles Harbor and WORLDPORT L.A, is a port complex that occupies 7,500 acres (3,000 ha) of land and water along 43 mi (69 km) of waterfront. The port is located on San Pedro Bay in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles, approximately 20 mi (32 km) south of downtown. The Port of Los Angeles adjoins the separate Port of Long Beach, employs over 16,000 people, and is the busiest container port in the United States. For public safety, the Port of Los Angeles utilizes the Los Angeles Port Police to fight crime and terrorism, and the Los Angeles City Lifeguards to provide lifeguarding services for inner Cabrillo Beach.

San Pedro is the home of The Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center. Major Cruise Lines offer vacation cruises to Baja California, the Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, and other destinations around the world. Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, the Cunard Line, the Disney Cruise Line, the Holland American Line, the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and Catalina Express, along with other cruise lines offer frequent sailings that make San Pedro the busiest passenger port of call on the United States West Coast. Carnival Cruise Lines departs from Long Beach, California. San Pedro remains the easy and economical place to stay before and after your cruise. Find your your San Pedro Hotel discount deal here.

Most Carnival Cruise Line Ships and some ships of the cruise lines owned by Carnival Corporation arrive and depart from Long Beach. All other Cruise ships depart from the The Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center in San Pedro. Starting on September 2011, the Carnival Spirit will be departing from San Pedro.

History

The L.A. Harbor, 1899In 1542, Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo discovered the "Bay of Smokes". The south-facing San Pedro Bay was originally a shallow mudflat, too soft to support a wharf. Visiting ships had two choices: stay far out at anchor and have their goods and passengers ferried to shore; or beach themselves. That sticky process is described in Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana, Jr., who was a crew member on an 1834 voyage that visited San Pedro Bay. Phineas Banning greatly improved shipping when he dredged the channel to Wilmington in 1871 to a depth of 10 feet (3.0 m). The port handled 50,000 tons of shipping that year. Banning owned a stagecoach line with routes connecting San Pedro to Salt Lake City, Utah and to Yuma, Arizona, and in 1868 he built a railroad to connect San Pedro Bay to Los Angeles, the first in the area.

Port of Los Angeles, 1913

View of Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach from Palos VerdesAfter Banning's death in 1885 his sons pursued their interests in promoting the port, which handled 500,000 tons of shipping in that year. The Southern Pacific Railroad and Collis P. Huntington wanted to create Port Los Angeles at Santa Monica, and built the Long Wharf there in 1893. However the Los Angeles Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis and U.S. Senator Stephen White pushed for federal support of the Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro Bay. The Free Harbor Fight was settled when San Pedro was endorsed in 1897 by a commission headed by Rear Admiral John C. Walker (who later went to become the chair of the Isthmian Canal Commission in 1904). With U.S government support breakwater construction began in 1899 and the area was annexed to Los Angeles in 1909. The Los Angeles Harbor Commission was founded in 1907.

In 1912 the Southern Pacific Railroad completed its first major wharf at the port. During the 1920s, the port passed San Francisco as the west coast's busiest seaport. In the early 1930s a massive expansion of the port was taken with the construction of a massive breakwater three miles out that was over 2 miles in length. In addition to the construction of this outer breakwater an inner breakwater was built off of Terminal Island with docks for sea going ships and smaller docks built at Long Beach. It was this improved harbor that hosted the sailing events for the 1932 Summer Olympics. During World War II the port was primarily used for shipbuilding, employing more than 90,000 people. In 1959, Matson Navigation Company's Hawaiian Merchant delivered 20 containers to the port, beginning the shift to containerization at the port. The opening of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in 1963 greatly improved access to Terminal Island and allowed to increased traffic and further expansion of the port. In 1985, the port handled one million containers in a year for the first time. In 2000, The Pier 400 Dredging and Landfill Program, the largest such project in America, was completed.

 







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