Where we came from and where we are going.

Ken Hamanaka - Founder

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, in 2011 we bought and completed our own building in El Segundo, five minutes from the airport on one side and the beach on the other.

Brigit Hamanaka - President

Brigit received a B.A. in Classics, Magna Cum Laude, from UC Irvine and an M.A. in Classical Archaeology from Bryn Mawr College in 1980. After working as an assistant editor of classical publications at the American School of Classical Archaeology Publications Office in Princeton NJ and at the Archaeological Institute of America in NY, she joined the company in 1983 and was named President in 1990. A licensed Customs Broker since 1985, Brigit has led the company through a key period of expansion, establishing the Crosswinds NVOCC, becoming an IATA agent, and joining the Global Freight Group in 1994 (later resigning in 2014), the GOAL freight network in 2013 and, most recently, the HTFN in 2014. She spearheaded the purchase and design (together with her architect sister, Les Hamanaka) of the company’s new facility in El Segundo in July 2011. In an ironic twist of fate, Brigit spent her graduate education studying ancient trade routes and today her company facilitates global trade in the modern world.

Linda Hamanaka - Vice President

Linda holds degrees in Political Science and German Studies from UC Berkeley.  While working for Senator Alan Cranston in San Francisco, she agreed to move back to Los Angeles and fill in for Brigit who was out on maternity leave with her first son in 1989.  Linda stayed and earned her Customs Broker’s license in 1992.  She is currently in charge of all things customs brokerage, Customs compliance, new and existing client maintenance, and is responsible for the company’s interactions with government agencies.