Cargo Anchor Awards

Logo of North Star Awards

The Cargo Anchor Awards recognize companies for business initiatives that grow cargo volume in the gateway and drive economic activity in our region.

Businesses can compete in three different categories: Importer of the Year, Exporter of the Year, and Ocean Carrier of the Year. 

Winners are selected based on measurable net contribution to increasing marine cargo volume in the gateway and related jobs generated from specific initiatives, improvements or investments.

2022 Winners and nominees were recognized at the NWSA Annual Customer Appreciation Reception held Thurs., Oct. 12, 2023 at the Boeing Museum of Flight.   

Award Categories

Importer of the Year

Recognizes importers for activities or initiatives in 2023 that delivered a measurable, quantitative increase in cargo volume growth, jobs or other economic impacts.  The winner is selected based on a net increase in cargo volume resulting from specific initiatives, improvements or investments.

Examples of activities that might qualify for recognition: 

  • Build a new import warehouse or fulfillment center
  • Shift significant import discretionary cargo to the gateway
  • Start an NWSA-centric distribution or replenishment program

Exporter of the Year 

Recognizes exporters for activities undertaken in 2023 that delivered a measurable, quantitative increase in cargo volume growth, jobs or other economic impacts.  The winner is selected based on net increase in cargo volume resulting from specific initiatives, improvements or investments.

Examples of activities that might qualify for recognition: 

  • Build or expand a manufacturing or processing facility to support exports
  • Expand into new international markets and grow export volume
  • Invest in equipment or infrastructure upgrades that can be linked directly to a quantifiable increase in export capacity and/or volume   

Ocean Carrier of the Year 

Recognizes the container carrier achieving the largest incremental increase in container volume over the previous year. 

There is no need to submit a nomination for this award. The winner will be identified based on actual cargo volume handled in the gateway and notified in advance of awards ceremony. 

Award Criteria

Winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Activities from Jan. 1, 2023 – Dec. 31, 2023.
  • Demonstrate a measurable increase in cargo volume growth, jobs or other positive economic impact through quantitative “before-and-after” data.
  • Activities are primarily privately funded; does not rely exclusively on port or other public funding.
  • Has a positive downstream effect on other customers, tenants and supply chain partners (multiplier).
  • Has recognizable potential for medium or long-term benefit for the port and the region’s citizens.
  • Nominee may be located outside of the Puget Sound (King, Pierce and surrounding counties), but activities must generate direct economic and community benefits for the region.

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