Brexit’s Impact on Irish Shipping

Today’s post is, I think, the first time I’ve featured the Politico on my blog. Politico is, I confess, a regular part of my daily media diet. But I never thought of it as a great publication for data visualisation. Maybe that is changing?

Anyway, today’s post highlights an article on how the Irish shipping/logistics industry could be affected by Brexit. To do so, they looked at data sets including destinations, port volume, and travel times. Basically, the imposition of customs controls at the Irish border will mean increased travelling times, which are not so great for time-sensitive shipments.

This screenshot if of an animated .gif showing how pre-Brexit transit was conducted through the UK to English Channel ports and then on into the continent. Post-Brexit, to maintain freedom of movement, freight would have to transit the Irish Sea and then the English Channel before arriving on the continent. The piece continues with a few other charts.

Brexit strikes again
Brexit strikes again

My only question would be, is the animation necessary? From the scale of the graphic—it is rather large—we can see an abstracted shape of the European coastlines—that is to say it’s rather angular. I wonder if a tighter cropping on the route and then subdividing the space into three different ‘options’ would have been at least as equally effective.

Credit for the piece goes to Politico’s graphics department.

US Steel Imports

On Thursday President Trump announced that the Commerce Department would investigate imports of steel to the United States. This falls under the Buy American campaign pledge. A lot of talk in the media is, of course, about the threat of Chinese steel to the United States. So I dug into the Census Bureau’s website and found their data on steel imports.

Well, it turns out that steel imports were already down by over 5 million tons before Trump took office. And from 2015 to 2016, China fell sharply from 7th to 10th in a ranking of our import partners. In fact the only country from whom we import significant amounts of steel to see a rise over that period was Mexico.

But we’ll probably need their steel to build the wall to keep out their steel.

I visualised the data in this datagraphic. Enjoy. And look for a later post today in the usual, light-hearted vein.

The state of US steel imports
The state of US steel imports

Credit for the data goes to the US Census Burea. The graphic is mine.

A Fishy Popularity Contest

Pardon the title, but don’t mind the graphic. Sometimes ranking charts tell the story well. The Wall Street Journal has a graphic supporting a larger article about fish. And while I am not sure that I understand the reason behind the colours, they do make it quite clear that catfish is not nearly as popular as it used to be. Unfortunately the article is behind the pay wall, but broadly it appears that the fish on the move here might be banned from the US.

Fish ranking
Fish ranking

Credit for the piece goes to the Wall Street Journal graphics department.

The International Arms Trade

One of the possible set of sanctions against Russia by the United States and European Union would impact the country’s defence industries. This chart by the Economist shows how that might not have the most impact. Most of Russia’s arms exports go to China, India, and Algeria. None of whom are the United States or European Union.

International arms trade
International arms trade

Clearly I don’t love the pie charts. I would much rather have seen segmentation within the bars. Or a full-on Sankey diagram. But, the story is still worth telling.

Credit for the piece goes to R.L.W. and L.P.