The E-Star Awards: What's the Big Deal for U.S. Exporters?

The E and E-Star awards are a big deal in the import/export business. But, if you’re just getting started, you might not be very familiar with them. Here’s what it’s all about, why they’re so important, and what you can do to become one of the few, the proud, the industrious.

What Are The E and E-Star Awards?

The E and E-Star awards are special awards given to importers and exporters for exceptional performance in the import/export industry. The idea was born after WWII. During the war, an “E” pendant was given to war plants that were exceptional in their production and efforts to help the government during the war.

Specifically, these production facilities either provided funding for the war effort, or they manufactured goods for the government. After the war, the award was shelved until President Kennedy revived it in 1961.

He wanted to be able to recognize businesses that had demonstrated excellence in the import/export business.

This was a time when exports were a major part of the U.S. economy and the award was to help encourage more businesses to strive for recognition and excellence.

Getting The Award

Today, the award is only given to those who are in the import/export business and only for those who apply for it. The E Award, for example, is only give to a business that applies for it between November and January in any year for the coming year.

In other words, businesses who apply in 2015 would receive their award in 2016. To qualify, you must have made significant contributions to increase American exports. This is not a hypothetical contribution to the industry. It must be a demonstrable accomplishment.

The main criteria for the E-Star Award, on the other hand, is a business that has already had 4 years of contributions to the expansion of the export business. On top of that, the business must have also been an E Award recipient.

Applicants must be able to measure growth, show innovation, and show sustainability in their business model. The growth must have a broad impact on the economy.

It’s a tough award to win, mainly because most businesses that get into imports/exports don’t make a substantial impact on the economy. It’s not that these businesses don’t contribute anything. It’s that they aren’t large enough to substantially change or impact the economy broadly.

Contrast this with companies that have made such contributions.

Companies That Have Won

Companies, like ISO Stainless, have made substantial contributions in the steel industry. The company focuses on steel banding and strapping systems and has proven itself over many years. In 2008, it became the first Louisiana company to earn the E Award for exports. In 2014, it was one of 8 companies in the entire U.S. to earn the E Star Award for exports.

CTC Global

CTC Global, located in California, is a company that makes transmission wiring. It sells them in 28 different countries with just 110 employees. Over 70 percent of its business comes from international sales.

Steve Smith runs a small import-export operation. He enjoys writing about his experiences in the industry. His articles can be found mainly at industrial and business websites.

Featured image credit: ShutterStock

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