Ken Hamanaka, born and bred in Los Angeles, was the first Japanese-American in the continental United States to be licensed as a U.S. Customhouse Broker in 1961. With a simple list of potential clients, he was able to secure a line of credit with the bank and opened his doors for business in 1962. Toyota, Panasonic, Toshiba were among his first clients. The company he founded in 1962 continues to thrive and has been a fixture in the international trade community in Los Angeles ever since.
The company’s first office was located in downtown Los Angeles, close to the Customhouse, steamship lines and other trade professionals. When in the 1970’s the government decided to build a new facility on Terminal Island, where it already owned land and where ocean shipping was steadily growing, the company moved into new offices at 100 Oceangate Tower in Long Beach, overlooking the Queen Mary and directly across the bridge from the new customhouse in Terminal Island. Ken Hamanaka Co Inc incorporated in 1973 and soon thereafter received its corporate brokerage license.
We remained in Long Beach until 1990 when we moved to LAX to be able to handle our growing air and ocean business under one roof. And finally after 20 years of searching for the right building to purchase, we bought and completed our own building in El Segundo, five minutes from the airport on one side and the beach on the other.