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This map shows the flow of all domestic freight between states in 2015 using data from the Freight Analysis Framework, which is a comprehensive accounting of all commercial freight movement between states by all modes of transportation. This includes freight moved by trucks, trains, planes and pipelines, but excludes foreign imports and exports and freights transported within a state.

How to read it: The arrows represent the origin and destination of goods shipped between states. Thicker and darker arrows indicate higher volume (each commodity is scaled relative to the highest volume between any two states, so arrow size isn't comparable across commodities).

Expand chart
Note: The Standard Classification descriptions can be deceptively narrow but often cover large groups of goods. Complete documentation is available here; Data: Center for Transportation Analysis; Graphic: Chris Canipe / Axios

Some relationships are head-scratchers at first glance. For instance, the Alcoholic beverages category shows an outsize role for Iowa, which is not necessarily known for its beer and wine industry. But the full category description covers "denatured" alcohol, which includes corn-based ethanol.

Some anomalies may be explained by steps within a supply chain. A manufacturer in California may ship to a wholesaler in Missouri, who then ships to a retailer in Texas. Some raw materials go through a distillery or rendering process before shipping elsewhere for sale or consumption. But then why is so much building stone shipped from Texas to Alabama?

Do you have an explanation for other state-to-state routes that look out of place? Send me an email at canipe@axios.com. I'd love to hear from you.

What else we saw:

  • Nearly 16 million kilotons of domestic goods shipped within the United States in 2015.
  • Fossil fuels are by far the most-shipped commodity within the United States. Coal, gasoline, fuel oils and natural gas represent one-third of all freight traffic in 2015.
  • Twenty-eight percent of all plastics and rubber transported in America flow out of Texas
  • The vast majority of coal in the U.S. is produced in Wyoming — not Appalachia — and shipped within the Midwest.
  • Most metallic ore comes from Minnesota, which is the highest producer of iron ore.
  • Thirty-nine percent of all pharmaceuticals shipped originated from California, Texas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. New Jersey to California represents the highest-volume state-to-state route.

Go deeper

4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats brace for staredown over paid family medical leave

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave — a key priority for progressives — will be included in President Biden’s final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. “Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.

37 mins ago - World

Poland showdown is EU's Jan. 6 moment, top official says

Didier Reynders. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Poland and Hungary have forced a moment of reflection on the European Union — similar to the one in the U.S. after the Jan. 6 insurrection, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told Axios.

What he's saying: "During many years, we have had in our minds that it was granted that if you are a member of the EU, of course you apply the rule of law; you have full respect for democracy, fundamental rights and so on — maybe with some concerns but with a real intention to adapt your legislation to be in full compliance [with EU law]," Reynders said.

The E-commerce shopping spree

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Retailers have gotten really good at selling stuff online. So much so, investors want them to separate from the business units that do just that.

Why it matters: Spinning off these crown jewels may jeopardize both the physical and e-commerce sides of the companies in the long run by breaking the benefits of hybrid operations, analysts say.