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The Numbers

Those ubiquitous brown trucks that pick up and deliver packages worldwide have a story to tell about the manufacturing industry in the Valley and greater Los Angeles. The latest statistics from United Parcel Service of North America Inc., the global shipping and freight forwarding firm headquartered in Sandy Springs, Ga., show that the industries are benefitting from exports – but not to the usual countries. From its Los Angeles hub, UPS notes the top five small package destinations for area companies shipping packages of less than 150 pounds last year were Canada, United Kingdom, China, Australia and Mexico – all among the leading U.S. trading partners. But year-over-year growth was fastest in some unusual countries, said Noel Massie, president of the Southern California District for UPS. Brazil, for instance, grew nearly 23 percent in the number of exports from 2012, while Sweden increased by 20 percent. The Philippines went up by more than 10 percent. Part of the growth was simply the destinations did little trade to begin with, so as the worldwide economy improves they are benefitting the most. But in the case of Brazil, changes in tariffs and loosening of regulations have helped U.S. businesses get their goods into that market. “They are taking it to a normal tariff level to encourage more trade between the two countries,” Massie said. About $3 billion worth of goods is processed by UPS in Los Angeles, or 5 percent of the company’s global business last year. So far, though, the rise in exports has had little effect on employment in local manufacturing, a leading Valley industry. More than 11,000 manufacturing jobs, most in nondurable goods, were lost between April 2013 and April 2014 in Los Angeles County, according to the most recent data from the state Employment Development Department. – Mark R. Madler

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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