Many companies label themselves as trade INTELLIGENCE providers in some fashion or form. Each and every organization, foreign or domestic, that I list below utilizes the DHS/U.S. Customs Waterborne Import Manifest (bill of lading) data as THE primary basis for their trade intelligence.
First, there is the 500-pound gorilla and industry leader, PIERS: “The STANDARD in Trade Intelligence” with products such as PIERS TI and a handful of others. They’re the standard. The (big) measuring stick.
Occupying the next rung on the food chain, you’ve got:
- Datamyne: “The best VALUE in Business Intelligence”
- Zepol: “Global intelligence that MOVES your BUSINESS” – with products like Trade IQ
- Import Genius: “A LEADING provider of intelligence”
- Panjiva: “THE leading intelligence PLATFORM”
These suppliers boast of value, motion, leadership and having a firm footing when it comes to their brand of trade intelligence.
Lastly, let’s look at the folks I label “bottom feeders” (which upon reflection I should rename in a more complementary or at least neutral fashion because, who knows, one of them could be my next business partner) who have their particular shtick.
- ImportIntel: “CUSTOM intelligence reports”
- Trade Data Channel: “US IMPORTS Trade Intelligence”
- Manifest Journal: Call Michael to discuss your “TRADE Intelligence IQ”
- Cybex: “ONE STOP SHOP for research and business intelligence”
- InfoDrive India: “Export Import Business Intelligence Information in the most USER FRIENDLY & cost-effective (CHEAP) manner”
- Trade Intelligency: “A TOP provider of Trade Intelligence”
- IE Intelligence: “World INTEGRATED import export intelligence solutions”
- IBIS Trade Intelligence: “METALS, CHEMICAL, PLASTIC (and other industry) trade intelligence”
- Trade Mining: “QUICK Business Intelligence for Trade”
- OTHER “bottom feeders” that somehow slipped out of my (inter) NET (search).
Yup, you can drop in on one of the “top”, “user-friendly”, “one-stop-(TI)shops” for some “quick”, “cheap”, “US import” trade intelligence either for a specific industry like metals, chemicals or plastics or get it “integrated” (all together) or “custom made” (sliced and diced how you like it). Or, you can just call Michael at Manifest Journal to discuss your Trade IQ personally. Maybe he’ll give you a trade IQ test. You may even qualify for Trade Mensa.
So, back to Trade Intelligence, what is it?
On one level it is simply DATA with a little tech magic:
- Presumably sifted like grain (to remove the rocks, sticks and foreign objects). Everyone gets said “grain” from the same farmer, CBP.
- Prudently classified, sorted and deposited into neat little silos (database objects called tables) hopefully guided by geeks with know how.
- Craftily shaked, baked and served up using whatever “off-the-shelf” or custom-made business intelligence software and graphics reporting solution that is “tech du jour”.
Since the same data is publicly obtainable and relatively cheap and with sophisticated BI software packages within easy reach, definitions and expectations of what constitutes Trade Intelligence is likely to change…rapidly.