Skip to content

News Release
FOR RELEASE - June 5, 2018
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

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

25 Ports Earn Awards In AAPA’s 2018 Communications Competition

Ports of San Diego, Longview (WA) and Grays Harbor (WA) receive Overall Excellence trophies for submitting top-scoring entries

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)…the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas…has notified 25 of its member seaports that they’ve earned awards for exemplary communications projects and programs as part of the trade association’s 52nd annual Communications Awards Program, which closed for entries on May 1.

The recipients of the 2018 Overall Award of Communications Excellence trophies - the top awards in AAPA's Communications Awards Program – are: Southern California’s Port of San Diego (Category 3); Southwest Washington’s Port of Longview (Category 2); and the Port of Grays Harbor (Category 1), on Washington’s Pacific Coast.  Each of the three awardees represent a different category of port, based on the size of its public relations/advertising/marketing budget.

“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,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO.  “This competition helps our member ports by rewarding strategic communications through peer-reviewed analyses of their projects, and by showcasing best practices and lessons learned.”

The 2018 AAPA Communications Awards Program utilized 23 professional public relations practitioners from the Washington, D.C. area who cumulatively spent more than 90 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 83 entries earned an Overall Award of Communications Excellence trophy, while 25 entries earned an Award of Excellence (similar to first place), 38 entries scored an Award of Distinction (similar to second place), and 16 entries netted an Award of Merit (similar to third place). 

Overall, there were seven port authorities with public relations, advertising and marketing budgets exceeding $800,000 a year that submitted entries as Category 3 budget ports, while 15 port authorities with communications budgets between $300,000 and $800,000 a year competed as Category 2 budget ports and three port authorities with communications budgets less than $300,000 entered as Category 1 budget ports.

All 82 winning entries in AAPA’s 52nd Annual Communications Awards Program will soon be loaded onto the AAPA Communications Awards Program web page at In the meantime, check out the award-winning submissions from previous years on this page.


About AAPA
Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 140 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 250 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 2016 totaled 3.49 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.01 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.71 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$941 billion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.07 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:


# # #

Seaports Deliver Prosperity
Click here to find out more about AAPA's Awareness Initiative