001 - Global Trade

and Illegal Flows

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

An overview of contemporary global networks and flows:

- global trade in materials, manufactured goods and services

- illegal flows, such as trafficked people, counterfeit goods and narcotics


Global network flows occur between different places which can create power vacuums.


  • To have knowledge and understanding of contemporary global networks and flows in global trade (materials, manufactured goods and services) and illegal flows (trafficked people, counterfeit goods and narcotics).

Key Terminology

            • Networks

            • Nodes

            • Flow

Define the word above by using the 'Global Interactions' textbook by Oakes Page 12.

Activity One - Describe - Core and Periphery

It is useful to review what a core and periphery is before we begin to look at what has helped to enable trade and therefore global links.

      1. By looking at the average income groups for the world using the two maps below describe where the global core and periphery is.

      2. What are the benefits of using each graph.

      3. What are the problems of using each graph.

      4. Now look at Image Three and suggest what the links are between remoteness and being in a peripheral country.

Activity Two - Watch

Now you have reviewed where the global core and periphery is it is useful to understand what has enabled global trade.

          1. Watch the two youtube clips and write notes on why global trade has increased.

          2. Now watch the third clip below and describe where the key shipping hubs and nodes are located.

              • What are the problems caused by container shipping?

Activity Three - Comprehension - Global Trade

We are now going to use Simon Oakes's textbook 'Geography. Global Interactions' Page 13 - 15 to answer the following questions.

      1. Using the image number 4.14 on page 13 describe the changes in trade flow between the years 2000 and 2010.

      2. Suggest reasons for the change.

      3. Why have areas such as South Korea or China shaped the global pattern for manufactured goods?

      4. Where are the up and coming markets for the consumption of goods expected to be?

      5. As well as goods there has been an increase in the trade of services, explain why there has been a change to tourism, financial services, online media and the online retail business.

      6. In more recent years it has been suggested that there is going to be a global downturn in world trade flows, describe the evidence for this.

Activity Four - Illegal Flows

When the words illegal trade or illegal flows are used people often think about the movement of narcotics or human trafficking, but it does the illegal movement of 'things' have to be so sinister? Overstaying a tourist visa or passing a country border without declaring that you have entered can also be classified as an illegal flow. So too can the movement of our waste such as waste caused by the increased number of electronics that are thrown away every year.

        1. Describe the flow of illicit goods using image five.

        2. Give three geographical reasons for the pattern of the flow.

        3. Could any of the points be called nexuses? If so where and how?

        4. Read Pages 60-65 of the 'Our Connected Planet' textbook and describe the different illegal flows; people, narcotics and counterfeit goods.

        5. Read Page 8 and describe the strategies which have been adopted to try and prevent illegal trafficking of goods.

Useful Resource

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime - The Globalisation of Crime

Pages 60-65 'Our Connected World' Stephen Codrington

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com