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News Release
FOR RELEASE - July 24, 2020
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 254-7098

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

23 Ports Earn Awards In AAPA’s 2020 Communications Competition

Three ports receive Award of Overall 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 23 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 54th annual Communications Awards Program, which closed for entries on June 15.

The recipients of the 2020 Award of Overall Communications Excellence trophies -- the top awards in AAPA's Communications Awards Program -- are: Port ofLong Beach for its Desmond Bridge Replacement Project Mobile App entry (Category 3); Port of Everettfor its Next 100 Campaign entry (Category 2) and; Port of Redwood City for its Website Modernization entry (Category 1). Each of the three Overall Award 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 they were very impressed with the quality of this year’s winning entries, especially considering the extreme budget restrictions imposed on most ports by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Chris Connor, 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 community residents, business leaders, policymakers, customers and other stakeholders, they’re better able to show their tremendous value as drivers of economic development, environmental enhancement and job creation.”

The 2020 AAPA Communications Awards Program utilized 37 professional public relations practitioners from the Washington, D.C. area who cumulatively spent more than 180 hours over two weeks judging the 14 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 75 entries earned an Award of Overall Communications Excellence trophy, while 20 entries earned an Award of Excellence (similar to first place), 36 entries scored an Award of Distinction (similar to second place), and 12 entries netted an Award of Merit (similar to third place).

Overall, there were six port authorities with public relations, advertising and marketing budgets exceeding $800,000 a year that submitted entries as Category 3 budget ports, while eight ports with communications budgets between $300,000 and $800,000 a year competed in the Category 2 segment, and 10 ports with communications budgets less than $300,000 entered in the Category 1 budget segment. Most ports submitted multiple entries, including three with five apiece and two with 14 and 15, respectively.

All 71 winning entries in AAPA’s 54th Annual Communications Awards Program have been loaded onto the 2020 AAPA Communications Awards Program web page at You can also check out the award-winning submissions from previous years’ competitions at

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, awards earned in this year’s competitions will be mailed rather than handed out at AAPA’s annual convention. AAPA’s 109th Annual Convention and Expo, which had previously been scheduled for Sept. 13-16 in Quebec City, Canada, will now be a virtual event experience, with the dates revised to Sept. 21-23.

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 GTA Forecasting (previously known as World Trade Service), combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere seaports in 2018 totaled nearly 4.2 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.7 trillion in value. Of that combined total, seaports in Central and South America handled 1.86 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.17 trillion, while North American seaports handled 2.34 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.53 trillion.  Within North America, U.S. seaports handled 1.01 billion metric tons of international trade valued at US$1.95 trillion, while Canada’s seaports handled 380.53 million metric tons of goods valued at US$266.67 billion, and Mexico’s seaports handled 352.53 million metric tons of cargo valued at US$312.91 billion.
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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