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News Release
FOR RELEASE - June 25, 2019
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

American Association of Port Authorities
1010 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 684-5700

31 Ports Earn Awards In AAPA’s 2019 Communications Competition

Three ports will receive an Overall Award of Communications Excellence trophy for submitting top-scoring entries

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) … the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas … has notified 31 of its 130-member seaports throughout the Western Hemisphere that they’ve earned one or more awards for exemplary communications projects and programs as part of the trade association’s 53rd annual Communications Awards Program, which closed for entries on May 1.

The recipients of the 2019 Overall Award of Communications Excellence trophies - the top awards in AAPA's Communications Awards Program – are: Port of San Diego (Category 3), Port of New Orleans (Category 2) and Port Milwaukee (Category 1).  Each of the three Overall winners represent a different category of port, based on the size of its public relations, advertising and marketing budget.

“The Communications Awards Program judges told us that this year’s entries set a new, higher standard of excellence than ever before,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO. “This competition helps our member ports by rewarding strategic communications through peer-reviewed analyses of their programs and projects, and by showcasing best practices and lessons learned.”

He added: “When port authorities communicate strategically with their many audiences, including their communities, business leaders and policymakers, they’re better able to show their tremendous value as drivers of economic development, environmental enhancement and job creation.” 

The 2019 AAPA Communications Awards Program utilized 32 professional public relations practitioners from the Washington, D.C. area who cumulatively spent 128 hours over two weeks judging the 15 classifications of entries, ranging from advertisements, periodicals, videos and websites, to social media and overall campaigns.

Based on the number of points awarded each entry by the judges, three of the 79 entries earned an Overall Award of Communications Excellence trophy, while 24 entries earned an Award of Excellence (similar to first place), 33 entries scored an Award of Distinction (similar to second place), and 15 entries netted an Award of Merit (similar to third place). 

Overall, there were 11 port authorities with public relations, advertising and marketing budgets exceeding $800,000 a year that submitted entries as Category 3 budget ports, while 12 port authorities with communications budgets between $300,000 and $800,000 a year competed as Category 2 budget ports, and eight port authorities with communications budgets less than $300,000 entered as Category 1 budget ports.

All 75 winning entries in AAPA’s 53rd Annual Communications Awards Program have been loaded onto the AAPA Communications Awards Program web page at You can also check out the award-winning submissions from previous years’ competitions at

Those winning awards of Excellence, Distinction and/or Merit will have their award(s) mailed to their port, while each of the three Overall Award of Communications Excellence winners will receive their trophy in a special awards presentation at the 108th AAPA Convention and Expo, being held Oct. 13-16 in Norfolk, Va.

About AAPA

Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 200 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS Markit’s World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2017 totaled 4.303 billion metric tons in volume and US$2.675 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.741 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.024 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.90 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.305 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.  For more information, visit On Twitter:

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