Moves to hide ocean shipping data from competitors and prying reporters, according to trade privacy group
In preparation for the scheduled March delivery of Apple's (AAPL) new iPad tablet computer, the company has blocked its bills of lading and other import records from public access, according to a report issued Thursday by Trade Privacy, a trade data protection company based in Reston, VA.
"Apple is the only major electronics company so far to have protected their import data," says Trade Privacy CEO Andrew Park. "Similar companies like Microsoft, Sony and Google continue to import with their product data exposed to the public."
Nearly a billion records filed with U.S. Customs have been made public through the Freedom of Information Act, according to Trade Privacy's press release, creating a market opportunity for business intelligence companies like ImportGenius and Panjiva that collect, analyze and resell the data.
Here's an intriguing report from ImportGenius, a search engine that gathers "competitive intelligence" by monitoring U.S. Customs records of ocean containers entering American ports.
Searching for shipments to Apple, Inc. (AAPL), employees at the Scottsdale, Ariz., company reported on Friday that they've spotted a "major spike" since mid March in ocean containers marked with a mysterious new label: "electric computers"
"They have never before reported this product on their MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 23, 2008 6:46 PM ET
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