The Spoke-hub distribution paradigm derives its name from a bicycle wheel, which consists of a number of spokes jutting outward from a central hub. In the abstract sense, a location is selected to be a hub, and the paths that lead from points of origin and destination are considered spokes. Because of the efficiency (and relative inflexibility) of the model, it requires that the items (or people) being distributed must be routed through a central hub before reaching their destination.

Two industries that make use of this model are transportation and freight.