World Trade Daily – Month in Review: Selected Articles Published in May 2011.

WorldTradeDaily (WTD) was launched on May 1, 2011 only a month ago.  As the name implies, it has been our intent to provide our readers with the “news, views and who’s who in Trade Intelligence” on a daily basis.  So far so good. We started out with a couple handfuls of readers a day and now we’re up to a couple hundred views.

For those who are just dropping in now, I thought it would be good to point out some of the more “meaty” articles we’ve published over the last month.  Being somewhat of a data geek, my selections are skewed in that direction.  I’ve always been enthralled by remarkable treasures that can be mined from seemingly base, raw trade data. I’ve spent a career (over the last decade) developing tools to unearth and refine it and taking any opportunity I get to proclaim its value and usefulness.

Trade Intelligence Starts with People

The two posts on the nature of trade intelligence are a good place to start. TI: “Trade Intelligence”, Part 1. The Genius behind Trade Intelligence is in the Question and TI: Trade Intelligence, Part 2. Questions Lead to Processes Lead to Answers Lead to Cash?  I’ve always interacted with my world by asking questions, which drives my friends crazy sometimes.  To me the basis of learning is questions.  Trade Intelligence is about translating questions into profitable application.

One of the most valuable sources of data is the U.S. Customs (DHS) Waterborne Import Manifest (Bill of Lading) Data. It tracks each and every shipment (import) into the U.S. on a daily basis and contains transactional detail on the foreign shipper, U.S. importer, products purchased and logistics involved in transporting the goods.  The post entitled TI Transformation; Data into Information into Knowledge into Intelligence into Application briefly outlines the history and suppliers of this data. U.S. Customs Waterborne Import Data: Perspective is Everything takes a satirical look at the need for innovation and perspective. While Under the Hood: U.S. Customs (AMS) Waterborne Shipping Manifest (BOL) Import Data breaks down the specifics of what can be found within the data.

Two primary vendors feature the above referenced data integrated with other company, statistical and referential datasets; namely PIERS and Datamyne.  In the post entitled, PIERS Prospects™ – Prospecting For International Buyers and Sellers we look at UBM Global Trade/PIERS’ latest product that uses Bill of Lading data along with a geo-mapping tool to help companies prospect for new clients. Datamyne recently announced their latest addition to the trade intelligence field, which you can read about in Datamyne Launches Their New Trade Intelligence User Interface- Datamyne 2.0    Many U.S. importers use this data to identify prospective foreign sources for raw materials or components as reflected in the post, Manufacturers Use Trade Intelligence to Identify Sources of Materials and Components

Getting back to basics however, the language of international trade is the Harmonized System (HS) within which all products bought or sold are uniformly classified.  Any would be importer or exporter must begin there.  Understanding the Harmonized TARIFF System and Proper Classification of Products for Import-Export.  The primary source for U.S. trade flow statistics is the U.S. Census Bureau, who slice and dice and offer the data in many ways. U.S. Census Bureau – Division of Foreign Trade (USCB-FT) Offers Many Statistical Products.  The United Nations provides global trade flow statistics for 200 countries, which you can learn about in this post.

Trade Statistics are a staple of trade intelligence applications. This post on Using Trade Flow Statistics for Market Research may give you some ideas.  If you need help finding the best markets for your products overseas, your local USEAC may be the place to turn.  Great news! SMEs get export ABCs at the DOC ITA’s local CS’s branch of the EAC… that is IF you can find your way thru the Labyrinth of Acronyms.  However, if you’re looking for the consummate TI product that integrates Trade Flow Statistics with other databases and provides intelligent tools and graphic reports, you should check out PIERS StatsPlus™ Attempts to Transform Trade Statistics Into Intelligence.

Stay connected to the latest news about Trade Intelligence

Well, those are a few of my favorites for the month.  If you want to stay current with new articles or on a particular topic or category such as TI Data or TI Suppliers /Products, you may want to fetch new articles automatically through our RSS feeds or follow us on Twitter. Stay Smart about Trade Intelligence using WTD RSS Feeds, E-mail Subscription, Twitter & LinkedIN.

We end the remembrance of May WorldTradeDaily posts with our Memorial Day article featuring several videos which may capture the sentiments of those who have lost loved ones to war or simply desire to see greater global connectedness.

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