Tennessee ships $405.5 billion in goods to other states each year, 13th most in U.S.

Dec 01, 2022 at 08:00 am by WGNS News

(Tennessee Business) A recent analysis found that Tennessee ships approximately $405.5 billion in goods to other states every year, accounting for 2.8% of the country’s total. Overall, Tennessee ships the 13th most goods to other states.


The last few years have starkly shown how interconnected the world has become. The COVID-19 virus spread across borders and regions with ease, disrupting communities and economies across the globe.

One of COVID’s biggest ripple effects was the impact on global supply chains. Suppliers worldwide operated through much of 2020 and 2021 at lower capacity due to the virus’s effects. Since then, supply and demand have been imbalanced: demand for durable goods surged at a time when suppliers suffered bottlenecks, and now demand has fallen as many suppliers have caught up. Issues with shipping, warehousing, and logistics led to disruptions and delays that reached a peak in late 2021 and early 2022.

For U.S. businesses and consumers, disruptions in the global supply chain trickle down to domestic supply chains as well. As globalization has taken root in recent decades, the U.S. has lost manufacturing capacity. When it became harder to secure goods from elsewhere in the world as a result of the pandemic, businesses and consumers found that American-made alternatives were not easy to find either.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly half of all businesses in the U.S. reported domestic supply chain issues entering 2022. This figure represented significant growth even from earlier periods of the pandemic. For much of late 2020 and early 2021, the share of businesses reporting domestic supply chain issues hovered around 30%. More businesses began to face problems over the summer of 2021, and by fall of 2021, around 45% of businesses were confronting issues with domestic suppliers.

While businesses of all types have run into delays with suppliers, some industries have been hit harder than others. Information-based and service-based businesses generally experienced fewer disruptions, with the finance and insurance industry reporting the least at 7.5%. In contrast, the fields that were most likely to face issues with domestic supplier delays were those who depend heavily on physical goods and materials. Manufacturing led all categories with 70.5% of businesses experiencing supplier delays, while retail trade, construction, and accommodation and food services each had more than 60% of businesses report delays.

Challenges in the domestic supply chain can bring major economic disruptions from the sheer volume of goods shipped within the U.S. Freight businesses move trillions of dollars in goods each year, nearly 90% of which is transported by commercial trucks. For businesses that rely on shipments of parts or materials to create their own products, supply chain delays can make it difficult to provide goods to their own customers. For consumers, breakdowns in the supply chain mean having a harder time finding goods—or paying a premium to purchase them.

Several of the categories that have faced the most disruption due to supply chain issues are those that make up the highest share of shipped goods. The total annual value of motorized and other vehicles (including parts) shipped in the U.S. is more than $1.2 trillion, with electronic and other electrical equipment registering at $1.1 trillion. Difficulties securing parts like semiconductor chips have affected both of these categories, making products harder to buy and more expensive for consumers.

Within the U.S., certain locations are responsible for a higher volume of goods being shipped. Many of these states are larger in both population and the size of their economies. At the top of the list is California, which is by itself estimated to be the fourth largest economy in the world. With such a high level of economic output, California ships $1.67 trillion in goods—11.5% of the total shipped in the U.S. each year.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Commodity Flow Survey, released in 2020. To determine the states that ship the most goods to other states, researchers at Smartest Dollar calculated the total value of goods shipped, the value of goods shipped as a proportion of the U.S. total, and the most common type of goods shipped. States were then ranked according to the total annual value of goods shipped.

Here is a summary of the data for Tennessee: 

  • Total value of goods shipped: $405,479,000,000 

  • Value of goods shipped as a share of U.S. total: 2.8% 

  • Most common type of goods shipped: Motorized and other vehicles (includes parts) 

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:  

  • Total value of goods shipped: $14,517,812,000,000 

  • Value of goods shipped as a share of U.S. total: 100.0% 

  • Most common type of goods shipped: Motorized and other vehicles (includes parts)

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Smartest Dollar’s website: https://smartestdollar.com/research/states-that-ship-the-most-goods-to-other-states-2022


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