LONDON--(Marketwire - Jul 5, 2012) - Since time immemorial, international traders have jealously guarded the secrets of their overseas supply chains. Knowledge of the best product sources and trading partners long served as the key competitive advantage in an industry without great barriers to entry.
With its awesome power for sharing and transparency, the Internet is changing that dynamic through unprecedented access to data on suppliers, competitors and even competitors' suppliers. One company in particular, ImportGenius.com, has made its mission to 'democratize international trade' by giving startups and big companies alike tools to research trading partners anywhere in the world.
ImportGenius.com provides comprehensive databases of international shipping records from ten countries, showing trading connections, product trends, prices paid, and many more details about the activities of importers and exporters in those regions. Access to these sensitive data about the supply chains of suppliers and customers gives a huge leg up to the company's subscribers in the import-export business. They can use the information to identify reliable suppliers, avoid fraud and learn about product trends in their industry.
Not surprisingly given the level of detail that international shipping records contain, most countries around the world do not make these data a matter of public record. However, ImportGenius.com has made its mission to identify those countries that have made them public, negotiate license agreements with the governments or private enterprises, convert them to a useful digital format, and then provide the information through a subscription web application.
Importers in the United States represent the largest market for the company's databases, but exporters in the United Kingdom also make up an important market for the firm. The addition earlier this year of import and export databases for nine economies in Latin America should lead to further growth in the UK, as businesses look to emerging economies for growth amidst the economic crises in the debt-laden developed world.
The data are expensive at around $2,400 for a one-year subscription, but the company justifies this with the simple math of what it would cost to identify a supplier or customer through more traditional methods like attending a trade show overseas, conducting site visits, and going through a more in-depth due diligence process to avoid the legions of scammers on the Internet.
By going directly to genuine shipping records, ImportGenius.com subscribers can be sure they're working with legitimate suppliers with a verifiable history of shipping goods to high quality customers. In other words, the firm offers the types of data that international traders have spent their lives scouring the globe to collect. Only now they don't have to leave their desk to get it.