Yes, that thread can help if your car is on a Wallenius Wilhelmsen ship because you can search by VIN. But BMW uses other shippers as well and there is no way to look up VINs to find out which ship you are on. The bottom line is the dealer/SA is lazy/uninformed/lying to the OP. The information is available to the dealer, or at least was back in late 2010 when I ordered my car. My SA provided the name of the ship, departure date from Germany, port of arrival here in the US and expected arrival date as soon as it was available to him.
Current: 2011 Space Grey E90 M3, DCT, Comp. Pkg., Conv. Pkg., everything but Cold Weather Pkg!
Gone: 2008 550, Space Grey, Sports Package, Sport Auto Transmission.
Sold: 2004 545i (U.S.), Steptronic, Silver Gray.