What I looked up thus far:
There are databases but these seem to cover only large public companies:
Some companies list them on their website (I think Honda does).
I found out also that imports by sea of a company are public in the US, through bills of lading. But these are not public in my locale (Canada) and cover only overseas trading by definition.
So what should I do? Do I just network until I stumble upon the right answer?
I have to admit,I don't have much of a network locally. I do the vast majority of my socializing on the internet.
I don't have a specific offer, so I'm not looking for e.g. to find out the cheapest way to buy widgets to sell on amazon.
The advice I got from a retired management consultant is to find companies that have a major account that can serve as a lifeline, so that they have an incentive to shake things up, then learn what their pain points are and go from there to define my offer. It didn't seem like a bad idea so that's what I plan to do.