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BTS Freight Transportation Services Index is up in July

By Staff
September 09, 2010

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 0.4 percent in July, following a 0.2 increase in June.

According to BTS officials, the Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments in ton-miles, which are then combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

The BTS also noted that the Freight TSI at 98.2 was up 2.5 percent year-over-year. July’s Freight TSI is down 13.0 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 in May 2006.

While the Freight TSI is up 2.5 percent year-over-year, the BTS said it is below the level of every other July since 1997’s 94.8. BTS added that the Freight TSI has exceeded the previous year’s level every month since January but it is still below the level of recent earlier years.

The Freight TSI is down 11.1 percent since July 2005 and is down 0.6 percent since July 2000, according to the BTS.

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Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in July headed up 1.3 percent on the heels of a 0.8 percent increase in June. The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was 133.3 in July, which outpaced June’s 132.3 by 0.8 percent, and was up 2.8 percent annually.

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LTL carriers are rapidly investing in expensive, on-dock, three-dimensional size measurement capturing machinery, and they are hoping one day of being able to more accurately charge shippers rates based on the actual dimensions of their shipments, rather than the traditional weight-and-distance-based formula that has been in effect since the 1930s or even earlier.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recently reported that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) dipped 0.9 percent from May to June.

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