Source: adapted from Tolley, R. and B. Turton (1995), p. 34.
- International (trade) patterns occur between nations and include entities such as trading blocks (European Union, NAFTA) or dependent territories (colonialism). These flows mainly reflects the nature of the transactional environment.
- Hinterland patterns generally occur between a service center (e.g. city or a transport terminal such as a port) and its market area. They are of regional scale and reflect the organization of markets.
- Hierarchical patterns are mostly found within the industrial or commercial sectors and include distribution related movements through a supply chain (from suppliers to customers). These flows reflects the spatial organization of distribution.