In shoots, polar auxin transport is basipetal (that is, from the shoot apex toward the base) and is driven by the basal localization of the auxin efflux carrier complex. The focus of this article is to summarize the experiments that have examined how the asymmetric distribution of this protein complex is controlled and the significance of this polar distribution. Experimental evidence suggests that asymmetries in the auxin efflux carrier may be established through localized secretion of Golgi vesicles, whereas an attachment of a subunit of the efflux carrier to the actin cytoskeleton may maintain this localization. In addition, the idea that this localization of the efflux carrier may control both the polarity of auxin movement and more globally regulate developmental polarity is explored. Finally, evidence indicating that the gravity vector controls auxin transport polarity is summarized and possible mechanisms for the environmentally induced changes in auxin transport polarity are discussed.