Frequently Asked Questions

Global Trade Data

To help organizations in the mission to enhance their supply chain resilience, here is a compilation of frequently asked questions about global trade data.

Frequently Asked Questions – International Trade

The following is a list of questions we frequently hear from companies involved in international trade, and which are looking to strengthen the resilience of their supply chains as well as their competitive edge.

The Basics

What is an HTS Code?
An HS or HTS code stands for Harmonized System or Harmonized Tariff Schedule. Developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the codes are used to classify and define internationally traded goods. In most cases, in order to import or export a product internationally, the traded good must be assigned an HTS code that corresponds with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the country of import.

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What is a Bill of Lading and what data does it contain?
A Bill of lading (also known as BOL) is a legal document between the shipper of the goods and the carrier detailing the cargo being shipped, along with the origin and destination of the shipment. This document is also used as a receipt of the shipment upon delivery at the predefined destination.

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What is a TEU in shipping?

In the logistics world, TEU is an acronym that stands for twenty-foot equivalent unit that describes a multimodal shipping container whose dimensions are 20 feet long, eight feet wide and eight feet tall. One TEU can generally accommodate between nine and 11 pallets.

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What is supply chain resilience?

Supply chain resilience is a term that describes the capacity of a supply chain to 1) withstand shocks that include pandemics, armed conflicts and natural disasters; and 2) its ability to recover from these disruptions. Shocks can also be related to business challenges such as changes in consumer buying behavior, unanticipated competitive pressures, and emerging market trends.

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Practical Tips and Techniques

How do you conduct a Bill of Lading search by company?
Are you interested in what your competitors are importing to the United States, including volume and pricing information? How about to whom else your suppliers are shipping to?

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How to get leads from global trade data?
Descartes Datamyne helps companies figure out how to get leads to fill their sales pipeline from global trade data. Our Sales Lead Generator solution identifies potential buyers anywhere in the world of your specific commodities or logistics and freight forwarding services, down to company names and contact details.

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What is the source of Descartes Datamyne’s U.S. and international trade data, and how often this and the global trade database are updated?

U.S. shipment data is gathered from the Automated Manifest System (AMS), customs declarations and import-export customs statistics. Our international trade data is based on authorized government sources from each reporting country.

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What is the difference between your “Cargoes” and “Markets” data?

“Cargos” is based on our Bill of Lading data, which provides shipment information, such as importer, shipper, notify party, and commodity description. These details allow organizations to track specific cargos.

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Is Master or House BOL data more useful in my analysis?

The “House” bill of lading is issued to the shipper by the NVOCC/freight forwarder, whereas the “Master” bill of lading is issued to the NVOCC/freight forwarder by the shipping line (carrier).

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Why (and how) does Datamyne “unify” names of parties to the trade?
The U.S. Customs Automated Manifest System (AMS) allows free text entry of shipment information. Shipping lines and freight forwarders are not required to enter a single, standard version of a foreign shipper’s or a US importer’s name – and they typically don’t. As a result, many variations of company names with redundancies in addresses appear in the bill of lading data. 

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How do I calculate landed costs?
Landed cost calculations is a key step in the identification of supply chain vulnerabilities and charting a course for diversifying supplier sourcing and optimizing logistics networks. It helps to determine the total cost of doing business with a supplier (actual and potential), taking into account the value of goods, along with shipping costs, insurance and tariff treatment.

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What is the importance to denied party screening?

After an organization identifies a new supplier or buyer and confirms the business viability through landed cost calculations as part of the process to enhance supply chain resilience, the next step is denied party screening.

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