FITA
 
 
  Wednesday, July 23, 2008 Issue 192 Volume 8 Number 15  
This issue sponsored by MedJet Assist

TELL A FRIEND
IN THIS ISSUE:
• AUSTRALIA
Our Featured Country
• FOUR MORE CHOICES FOR YOUR MARKET RESEARCH
Comparison of Trade Data Sources
• VISIT LONELY PLANET BEFORE YOU TAKE YOUR TRIP
Great Travel Information
• FITA CAREER HEADQUARTERS - FEATURED JOB
Export-Import Bank Senior Vice President for Small Business

Hello International Traders!

John McDonnell here with six sites to help you get a leg up on your competition in the international trade arena.

Australia is in the middle of a sustained economic upswing, and I have a site that will help you get established in this promising market. Also, I have a comparison of four sites that feature current shipping data, to help you research what your customers and competitors are importing and exporting. Finally, I have a travel site that's written by travelers, so you know you'll get the best information for planning your trip.

And don't forget -- if you'd like more information about international trade, go to FITA's Really Useful Links ( http://fita.org/webindex ), which has a link library of more than 8,000 sites related to international trade.

AUSTRALIA
Our Featured Country

The Australian economy has enjoyed sixteen straight years of expansion, and the country's budget has had a surplus since 2002. Inflation is low, consumer confidence is high, and prospects look good for continued growth. If that sounds like a country you'd like to research further, go to Austrade (http://www.austrade.com), the Australian Trade Commission site. Austrade is one of the best government-sponsored trade sites on the Web, and here you'll find lots of useful information. You can find Australian suppliers, learn about investing in Australia, read profiles of Australian industries, scan a list of trade shows & events, and lots more. Also, don't overlook the section of the site for Australian companies (click on "Go to Australian site" at the top of the home page), because it's a great source for economic profiles of countries around the world.

You'll also find plenty of good research at the Australia Mini Portal ( http://fita.org/countries/australia.html ), a feature of the FITA Web site. The Australia Mini Portal has an overview of Australia, with facts about the language, currency, climate, etc., plus more specific information about the economy, markets, taxes, labor market indicators, and tips on doing business in Australia.

Click on "Useful Links" and you'll find a variety of sources for market research, trade leads, business directories, logistics, government contacts, travel, financing, and lots more.

The Australia Mini Portal is one of many research gateways at the FITA site. To find Mini Portals for other regions or countries, just click on "Country Profiles" from within a Mini Portal, or at the FITA home page ( http://www.fita.org).

The following associations are FITA member associations. Their sites offer more resources about doing business with Australia:



top


FOUR MORE CHOICES FOR YOUR MARKET RESEARCH
Comparison of Trade Data Sources

The pace of business is speeding up, and companies who want faster information about what their competitors are doing may find it useful to subscribe to an online database with current shipping statistics. You can find this information for free by searching government databases, but it takes a long time to sift through the millions of customs documents available. Here are some fee-based services that provide useful shipping data.
  • ImportGenius (http://www.importgenius.com) has a blazing fast search engine that produces results in an easy to read format. You simply type in your search term and indicate what category (product, consignee, consignee address, shipper, shipper address, US port, foreign port, bill of lading, carrier code, vessel name) you want to search, then put in a date range, and you'll get a list of all shipments meeting those criteria. You can also add columns to the list, such as Gross Weight and Quantity, if you want more information about the shipment. If you see a shipment that looks interesting, you can click on a little magnifying glass icon and see details such as the container number, the shipper's address and phone number, and more. Information like this can be used as competitive intelligence, to find out what your competitors are importing and when. That's just one use, however -- stock analysts have also found shipping data valuable because it allows them to see the links between a company's imports and its revenues. You could also get historical data about what your biggest customers are importing and when, so you can anticipate their needs and make your sales presentation at the right time. ImportGenius has a monthly fee starting at US $99 for access to this information. It's certainly worth a look to see if this kind of information will be an asset to your competitive intelligence and sales efforts.

  • TradeMining (http://www.trademining.com) has a clean and simple interface, and its Express Search option allows you to search by date range, U.S. importer & arrival port, foreign supplier, port of lading, commodity, country of origin, and the U.S. state where the importer is located. You can click on a bill of lading number in the search results to see the complete bill of lading for that shipment. TradeMining lets you download your results into Excel, PDF, or comma- delimited formats. The Express Search option is priced competitively: a three month subscription costs $600, and this allows you unlimited searches. You can also pay $50 for one-time searches with up to 500 records in the results. For more advanced users there is the Professional Search option, which allows more customization of reports and more search results.

  • Zepol's TradeIQ™ (http://www.zepol.com) has simple graphics with helpful "IQ" balloons that contain tips on how to search better. You can do a keyword search or "drill down" by clicking on a category and selecting more specific search parameters. The categories include vessel, container, port, company, consignee, shipper, bill of lading number, carrier, arrival date, and commodity or product. You can really zero in on a specific company's shipping activity by searching these categories. You can vary the period searched, get historical trends, download bills of lading to PDF or HTML format, and export to Excel. The searches are fast, and the interface is easy to use, especially with the IQ balloons. Zepol does not publish its pricing information, but a representative told me it is comparable to PIERS and Datamyne. Subscriptions range from three to twelve months, or longer. All subscriptions include unlimited searches by company or product, regardless of business line; unlimited bill of lading downloads; complete access to historical data from January 2003 to one week ago; and no restrictions on trade routes or product classification. Trade IQ™ has dedicated phone and online support, and in-depth industry-specific training.

  • There's an art to getting the most out of these trade databases, and if you don't know what you're doing you'll waste time and money. One advantage The Datamyne (http://www.thedatamyne.com) has is that their account executives work one-on-one with clients in online training sessions, and even come out to your site once a year for an in-person visit, just to make sure you're getting the most from your subscription. The Datamyne has data from 42 countries and is adding more all the time. The level of detail in the shipping records varies by country, but in many cases you can get details like: product type & price; net & gross weights; freight value & insurance; taxes charged; and brand & model details. The data is updated every two days, so it is very current. You can create reports very easily, by dragging and dropping different categories on your search screen. Like the other services, you can download reports in various formats. The Datamyne has various pricing plans, depending on your needs, but the basic subscription plan starts at $550 per month. There are many options available, however, depending on the content you're looking for and the number of records. )


top


MEDJET ASSIST: PEACE OF MIND WHILE TRAVELING AND TRANSLATION ASSIST
http://www.medjetassist.com/fita

Will you be traveling 150 miles or more away from your home, or overseas? In the unfortunate event that are hospitalized, have you assessed medical transportation costs to your home hospital or to a specialty hospital of your choice? One in 30 international travelers will require emergency care, according to The Merck Manual. If you require inpatient hospitalization while traveling within the United States or worlwide, MedjetAssist provides air medical transportation and/or repatriation services. Most traditional health insurance plans do not cover transports and most other travel insurance plans and platinum card benefits will transport you only while traveling internationally and they usually restrict transports to the nearest "adequate" hospital. With your MedjetAssist membership you will be transported regardless of "medical necessity". There are no additional costs to worry about and no limits on the total air transportation expenses. Language barriers can make stressful situations even worse. Your membership also gives you translation assistance as well as other benefits. More information and special rates for FITA members are available at www.medjetassist.com/fita. Questions? Contact Kim Park at kpark@fita.org.


top


VISIT LONELY PLANET BEFORE YOU TAKE YOUR TRIP
Great Travel Information

There's still time to plan a vacation trip this summer, and one of the best places to start your research is Lonely Planet (http://www.lonelyplanet.com). This site is written by travelers, for travelers, and it's got scads of great information about every destination on the planet. Just type in a destination, and you'll get traveler's recommendations for what to do, where to stay, what to eat, and where to shop, just for starters. There are pictures, videos, maps, discussion groups, itineraries, sights, airline & hotel listings, first-person stories, insider's tips, and lots more. Lonely Planet has been publishing travel guides for a number of years, and this site is a very good way to take advantage of their expertise in the field of travel

top


FITA CAREER HEADQUARTERS - FEATURED JOB
Export-Import Bank Senior Vice President for Small Business

In the FITA Career Headquarters job seekers can now apply for jobs online and post their resume--free of charge--in an exclusive database that will be searched by hundreds of industry employers seeking employees with international degrees and/or related work experience. Featured job this week is for the Senior Vice President for Small Business for the Export-Import Bank of the United States in Washington, DC. Click here to browse more than 700 other positions!

Employers - Click here to advertise your job openings on FITA's Career HQ.

Let the jobs come to you! Employers are looking for people with international skills. Post your resume TODAY and reap the rewards of the FITA Career HQ! And with a FITA Career HQ job agent, you can decide what kind of job you are looking for and let the system do the searching for you. Simply set up specific search parameters in a Job Agent, and whenever a job is posted that matches your criteria, you'll be notified automatically via email. It's that easy!

top


Published by FITA Online, 172 Fifth Ave., #118, Brooklyn, NY 11217 USA.
Copyright © 2008 Export Entreprises SA. All rights reserved.

TELL A FRIEND