Apple Suppresses Freight Import Records Before iPad Launch

Posted on February 19, 2010 by

Trade Privacy LLC research concludes that Apple has blocked all of its ocean freight import records from the public.  This will make it impossible to know when the iPad is actually in the United States, and hard for us to guess on a launch date.  Of course, we already know that the Wi-Fi only iPads will be available in late March and the 3G models in April, but this will make it harder to predict any future products or product line refreshes based on freight import data.

From PRWeb:

Washington D.C. February 18, 2010 — Trade Privacy LLC, a trade data protection company, just announced that Apple Incorporated has concealed all of its ocean freight import records from public view in preperation of the iPad arrival. In 2008, after accurately predicted the arrival of Apple’s iPhone by monitoring the company’s import shipments, Apple took action to conceal their records from the public and their trade data is currently inaccessible from U.S. Customs.

As the arrival of Apple’s new iPad approaches, industry competitors as well as the media will be unable to acquire early intelligence on arriving Apple products from overseas manufacturers. Apple, well known for their operational secrecy, continues to show leadership in the technology industry by protecting the iPad and future product shipment records. According to Trade Privacy, however, many other world-class technology companies like Microsoft, Google, Samsung and Sony continue to import daily unprotected, exposing their import records (which can be viewed at Trade Privacy’s website) to customers and competitors.

In recent years, several on-line enterprises have made it their core business to provide a near real-time visibility into a company’s supply chain. These websites gather, organize and sell close to one billion import records from U.S. Customs, made available by the Freedom of Information Act, and have created a new market for business intelligence. Some websites, like, go beyond selling records and analyze company’s importing trends, selling the evaluations to manufacturers, banks and financial analysts.

“It is alarming, critical trade secrets such as manufacturer sources, quantity of goods, product descriptions, destinations, and product arrival dates are now accessible to anyone in just a few clicks on-line,” explains Andrew Park, CEO of Trade Privacy. Without protection of their import data, companies make sensitive information accessible, which Park states, “can be detrimental to their competitive stance.”

Trade Privacy surveyed over 5000 importing businesses in 2009 and Park cites, “9 out of 10 importers were unaware that their trade-secrets were for sale on the Internet.” Trade Privacy is the only company providing a trade data protection service and has protected businesses in various industries including electronics, apparel, food, hardware, and chemicals.

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