Tag Archives: Holidays & Recaps

Selected, Previously Published, WorldTradeDaily.com Articles of Special Note

Included in the original vision and mission when we launched WorldTradeDaily.com last May was offering advanced technologies and databases to the trade community at large (free of charge) with the idea of expanding the understanding and innovation within the field.  Unfortunately, since “free” still requires considerable financial and technological resources to launch and maintain, this aspect of the original vision and mission have yet to be fulfilled.  The expansive database repositories and advanced technologies still represent retained CenTradeX Assets that still possess tremendous intrinsic value.  In 2012, I will attempt to better represent and promote these resources.  To those interested in learning more, I suggest the following:

Along those lines, we published a series of articles that represent the story behind WorldTradeDaily and the development of the innovative CenTradeX applications, acquired and now marketing by PIERS /UBM Global.

One of the most interesting series of articles that I developed over the last several months was an in-depth review and analysis of the Trade Intelligence providers that work with the U.S. Customs Data.  I focused on what I named the five “top tier TI providers” as as well as a cursory review of the dozen or so other “second tier” ones as well.  I dedicated the better part of a week on each, the first part of each week’s series is linked below.
Various Trade Data Sources and Value propositions offered by their products and services. Since the most likely prospects out there to purchase retained CenTradeX assets and contract my service are those who are in the business, particularly those who utilize U.S Customs data, I have dedicated many articles to them, their products and their particular strengths and weaknesses.  In fact 6 full weeks (4 articles each week) were dedicated to the players.  This is optional, but potentially valuable reading (for quick review) to understand the nuances of the value proposition that U.S. Customs data provides.

Selected WorldTradeDaily.com Articles on Trade Intelligence & Business Applications

As we near the close of 2011, I thought it apt to publish and review and recap of some of the articles that focus on particular interest areas requested by readers in the past.  One of the frequent topics is on the nature of the often referred to but usually misunderstood term, “trade intelligence”.

Another important area is how trade statistics are utilized within business to make a real difference; i.e. application.  What can you do useful and important with trade data?

First, on the nature of Trade Intelligence and understanding Trade data.  Trade Statistics present a great “big picture” but impersonal view of trade activity.  Company data sources give profiles of the “traders”, but U.S. customs data can provide a container by container, day by day in-depth “pixilated” high resolution portrait of trade, trade patterns, trade partners and many specifics of the supply chain.  Therefore, IMHO, it is the most valuable resource available in the data arsenal, especially when connected with the other types and kinds of data. Articles of interest may include:

On the various business applications for Trade Data I present links to a few of the ones I found interesting.

The exciting (and valuable) thing is to use the various types and kinds of data available to create “three dimensional” (if you will) portraits of trade.  Once you can craft such a story, the treasures of understanding and prosperity that such understanding may yield, become more evident.

Veterans Day, 11.11.11. Background, Facts & Figures, Tribute Video & Poster Gallery

From Wiki: Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world and falls on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armstice Day for November 11, 1919.  In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas man named Stephan Riod the owner of a shoe repair shop, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Riod had been actively involved with the American War Dads during World War II. He began a campaign to turn Armistice Day into “All” Veterans Day.

Veterans Day Tribute Video, created by a patriotic high schooler a couple of years ago.

From U.S. Census: Facts for Features: Veterans Day 2011: Nov. 11:

  • 21.8 million: The number of military veterans in the United States in 2010. 
  • 1.6 million: The number of female veterans in 2010.
  • 2.4 million: The number of black veterans in 2010.
  • 9 million: The number of veterans 65 and older in 2010.
  • 7.6 million: The number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2010.
  • 3: Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2010. These states were California (2 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.6 million).
  • 26%: Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree in 2010.
  • 92% :Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2010. 
  • 9.6 million: Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2010.
  • 3.4 million: Number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating.
  • 9%: Percentage of all U.S. nonfarm firms that are majority owned by veterans.
  • 75%: Percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were 55 or older in 2007.
  • $35,367: Annual median income of veterans, in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars, compared with $25,605 for the population as a whole.
An interesting page, from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, that presents (for download and viewing enjoyment) official National Veterans day posters from 1978 to 2011.   Veterans Day Poster Gallery.

Steve Jobs: In Memoriam: Cool Video, SJ Quotes & a Few Personal Reflections

Quotes from Steve Jobs, as compiled by various sources:

The famous, inspiring “Think Different” Steve Jobs Video.  A perfect, one minute tribute.

Personal Reflections.  I’m 57.  I’ve been suckling at the breast of technology since I was an infant.  My mother was keypunch operator and self-taught computer programmer (FORTRAN, COBOL) in the 50’s.  My first job at 6 years old was operating a monstrous tabulator standing atop a stack of key punch card boxes.  At 9 years old I was verifying key punched cards for her earning 10 cents an hour.

In the 60’s, she worked midnights at Ford Motors in rooms filled with mammoth computers, data on platters and huge tape drives.  I skipped school a lot to play video games the Ford programmers invented… long before the release of Pong.

Inevitably, I’ve always acquired and attempted to employ new technology before it was ready for prime time.

In the 80’s I purchased what was touted as the FIRST Integrated Multi-Media solution (using my entire inheritance) only to have IBM retract their promotional statement because it completely failed to live up to expectations.

Then in the 90’s after buying the first turnkey digital video editing system, I found out  (after 6 months of frustrating glitches and crashes) it was really still a “beta” release.

I’ve spent long hours in the middle of the night struggling to perform online research and international stock trades in China from Los Angeles, laboring with an incredibly slow 5600, or 14.4 kbit/s modem with the constant background screeching.

From the early 00’s throughout this last decade, I’ve attempted to utilize available technologies to develop innovative applications in the International Trade Information Industry. There is still so far to go.

So, in this last half century, I’ve gone from working with 80 column key punch cards, wherein were stored all the batch instructions for a specific data processing job…enduring several minutes for each image to download… to storing and manipulating terabytes of data at lightning speeds across continents.

Back in frontier days, the trail west was paved with the blood of the largely unrecognized pioneers who created the pathways and laid the foundation upon which modern society is built upon.

Steve Jobs is one such guy.  Certainly there are lots of people whose combined contributions can and should be credited along with his for the development of the elegant, easy to use, life enhancing technologies that we enjoy today.  Notwithstanding, Steve Job’s impact on our world cannot be thus marginalized or minimized.  Our technological world is different and better because of him.

We all love our iPods, iTunes, iPhones, iPads, iMacs, iLife, IWork, Macbooks (one and all) as well as the host of accessories and cool devices that Apple has produced over the last several decades.

As a technologist and pioneer, I deeply appreciate and respect the contribution that Steve Jobs has made to my life, our lives and technology in general.  RIP Stevie.

The Official 9-11 Memorial Opens Today at the Original WTC Site

The official 911 Memorial opens today.

In August 2006, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began heavy construction on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.  The Memorial is be located at the World Trade Center site on the former location of the Twin Towers destroyed during the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The official Mission statement of the non-profit that built and manages the Memorial is to:

  • Remember and honor the thousands of innocent men, women, and children murdered by terrorists in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.
  • Respect this place made sacred through tragic loss.
  • Recognize the endurance of those who survived, the courage of those who risked their lives to save others, and the compassion of all who supported us in our darkest hours.
  • May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance.

Noteworthy links to other 911 Memorials for those interested in honoring and remembering the day include:

  • CNN September 11, A Memorial. CNN.com established a special website as a record of those who died. The site was archived in August 2004.
  • Wiki. Memorials and services for the September 11 attacks. The first memorials to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks began to take shape online, as hundreds of webmasters posted their own thoughts.
  • Tear of Grief. To the Struggle Against World Terrorism (also known as the Tear of Grief and the Tear Drop Memorial) is a 10-story-high sculpture by Zurab Tsereteli that was given to the United States as an official gift from the Russian government as a memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks.
  • Tribute In Light. The Tribute in Light is an art installation of 88 searchlights placed next to the site of the World Trade Center to create two vertical columns of light in remembrance of the September 11 attacks. It is produced annually by The Municipal Art Society of New York.
  • The Rising. The Rising is a memorial located in the Kensico Dam Plaza of Valhalla, Westchester County, New York, created by architect Frederic Schwartz.

Happy Labor Day, Labour Day & International Workers’ Day

Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September.

The first Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, in Boston, by the Central Labor Union of New York, the nation’s first integrated major trade union.  It became a federal holiday in 1894, when following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with the labor movement as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.

The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties. Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays, water sports, and public art events. Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer recess. Similarly, some teenagers and young adults view it as the last weekend for parties before returning to school.

In U.S. sports, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons. NCAA teams usually play their first games the week before Labor Day, with the NFL traditionally playing their first game the Thursday following Labor Day.

Labor Day 2010 TV Spot produced by the AFL-CIO. Short and sweet.

Labour Day Labour Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

International Workers’ Day (also known as May Day) is a celebration of the international labour movement and left-wing movements. It commonly sees organized street demonstrations and marches by working people and their labour unions throughout most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries. It is also celebrated unofficially in many other countries.

World Trade Daily – Month In Review for July – Part 2

In Part 2 we continue our summary and organization of the WTD articles which appeared within the month of July.  Another of the improvements we made, in response to reader feedback, was to expand our coverage of news that is pertinent to international trade and economics. In fact we dedicated almost a third of our articles in the month of July to that objective:

These timely news articles run the gamut from trade data to IP protection to global economic recovery to world food-less-ness to BRIC country reviews.  We gather, sift, sort and review hundreds of stories a week looking for those we believe will be valuable to our readers as a “one-stop-shop” as it were for issues relating to Trade Intelligence – both in a strategic and tactical sense.

We also published several “special reports” in July that are of note beginning with an Independence Day post that included the largest fireworks display on record as well as a sobering look at the nature of financial independence or the lack thereof in July 4th Celebration of Independence: Will Financial Freedom Last?

In this special two part WTD report we outlined an EU study of most of the trade information providers throughout the world in their well crafted document.

This is a very revealing, informative and timely report that I advise everyone taking a look at.  The entire document is available for download via a link contained within the articles.

Lastly, we offer a couple of other special reports that don’t fit into a convenient (parent) heading:

We hope July’s articles were of interest and value to you.  Please feel free to offer other news sources and stories that YOU think would be important to publish.

World Trade Daily – Month In Review for July – Part 1

The month of July started with two posts recapping the previous month of June.  World Trade Daily – Month In Review for June – Part 1 and Part 2.

In July we started a new series entitled “World Trade Center Spotlight”.  Written and edited by Louisa Avery, each spotlight focuses on one of the 300+ World Trade Centers belonging to the WTCA, across the world.  Ideally, World Trade Centers epitomize what Trade Intelligence is all about: blending data, services, facilities, network, resources and people in order to better facilitate international trade.  Combined these WTCs boast of almost 1 million member companies.  Here are the ones spotlighted in July:

They’ll be more to come in August.

In conjunction with one of the WTC Spotlights on Utah, we uncovered some interesting information on the state in the following articles:

We also launched another new series entitled, “Trade Reports” in which we employ data and reports generated in part from the Prospects and StatsPlus TI Applications originally developed by CenTradeX and later acquired by PIERS/UBM Global Trade last year, as well as other sources.  During the inaugural launch of this series in the third week in July, we focused on our region, Tennessee, and the Medical Equipment sector as well as other related data stories.

Another series we began in July was the WTD Editorial, based upon questions posed by our readers with questions such as: “How does WorldTradeDaily.com differ from other International Trade Information sites?”; “I’m trying to decide between several Trade Intelligence Providers products, which do you think provides the most accurate information?”; “What is the U.S. Market like for TI products?” and “Where can I obtain the U.S. Customs Waterborne Import Manifest Data?”

In World Trade Daily – Month In Review for July – Part 2 we will list the other articles appearing within the month for easy reference.

World Trade Daily – Month In Review for June – Part 2

Although, in June, we developed many articles around the suppliers, applications, shortcomings and potential dangers inherent within the U.S. Customs Waterborne Import Data, we also focused several stories on Statistical information:

Robert Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, World Trade Daily

For those who want to know more about me, my professional background and how the World Trade Daily forum came about, you can check out the rather lengthy series of articles I wrote for your edification and enjoyment.

Well, that’s enough about me.  How about you?  Several articles address how to get the most out of the site, understanding the categories and how you can participate in World Trade Daily.

World Trade Daily – Month In Review for June – Part 1.

In June, we focused a lot of attention on one particular data source, namely the U.S. Customs data.   The reason for this is that, unlike general statistical or company information which is great for strategic or market analysis, this data is transactional and comprehensive (containing details on every U.S. waterborne import shipment). It is gaining a lot of attention in the marketplace and thereby creating a plethora of competitors to the once PIERS monopoly.

Innovative data mining, reporting technologies and TI applications are offering new methods to dig out hidden treasures contained the data.

World Trade Daily

In June, we published several articles on Trade Intelligence Providers, domestic and foreign, which offer such data.

We also created a short list of the dozen or so other providers that offer access to U.S. Customs data in our article entitled, Trade Intelligence or TI: IT all depends upon how you define “IT” and “TI”.

If you want to dig deeper into the U.S. Customs Waterborne Import Manifest Shipping Data particularly to know the shortcomings inherent in the data and what to look out for, you might want to check out this three part series: (The articles were published June 28 thru 30.)

  • Part 1. The ABCs of U.S. Customs Data- Issues & Shortcomings.
  • Part 2.  The ABCs of U.S. Customs Data- Issues & Shortcomings.
  • Part 3.  The ABCs of U.S. Customs Data- Issues & Shortcomings.

We also developed several articles which testify to what many consider “confidential or top secret” information contained in trade data like U.S. Customs and the like.

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.

A Tapestry of Memorial Day Reflections Captured on Video and in Lyric

We honor the memories, losses and sacrifices of many this day through several videos.

This first video may reflect the sentiments of those who have lost loved ones to the ravages of war not only in America, but also throughout the world.  Set to a heart piercing rendition of Amazing Grace, this photo collage of chronicles survivors honoring the remembrance of their fallen loved ones… and  perhaps captures the essence intended for the day.

Wiki has complied a list of estimated war and related losses by all countries throughout recent history.  Too many tears and too much blood.

As World Trade is the subject for this blog, we honor the memories of those lost almost a decade ago, during 9/11. NINTY Countries Lost Citizens in the World Trade Center attack. It was not just an assault upon the United States, it was a travesty against our an important aspect of global connectedness – world trade and commerce. This short video depicts the recent “Tribute of Light” held at the N.Y.C. 911 memorial.  A symbol of hope, restoration and remembrance.

Visit the CNN website for their comprehensive 9/11 web memorial including information on each victim.  You can also refer to the Wikipedia list of losses by country.

Ending this Memorial post, we feature an inspiring video produced over 25 years ago, “We Are the World”, which ultimately raised over $63 million for humanitarian causes… over 70 recovery and development projects were launched in seven African nations.

Unfortunately, many times it takes devastating tragedies like famines, earthquakes, or tsunamis to remind us that we ALL belong to the same world Community… and MUST strive together to create a safe and prosperous future for our children.

This Memorial Day, let us pause to be grateful for our blessings, respectful for the sacrifices and losses of others and open hearted/open handed with our resources.