The stratigraphic record stored in sedimentary basins had traditionally been interpreted in terms of tectonic subsidence, climate change and sea-level rise or fall. During the last decade, however, the fundamental control of sediment flux in creating sedimentary sequences, and thus the need to understand variations in sediment flux in order to interpret the sedimentary record, has been recognized. Sediment flux is a first-order control on the pattern and distribution of sedimentary facies in depositional basins. Consequently, basin fills reflect the sediment flux across their margins and the hinterland conditions driving the sediment flux provide evidence of dynamic geomorphic processes. In context, the drainage systems and sedimentary basin can be regarded as a ‘production line’ with the sedimentary record giving valuable insight into long-term landscape evolution and geomorphological processes illuminating the evolution of sedimentary basins. This special publication contains a set of papers on sediment supply to basins, with a focus on clastic sediments. It presents a mix of hinterland and sedimentary basin studies with a gradation from orogenic belts to the deep marine. The papers present a current perspective on controls and constraints on sediment supply, a model and empirically based driven understanding of sediment flux and the interaction of geomorphology, landscape evolution and sedimentary geology to provide a more complete picture of the Earth system.