BTS Freight Transportation Services Index up 0.9 percent in January

By LM Staff · March 9, 2011

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) increased 0.9 percent in January, following a 1.5 percent gain in December and a 0.3 percent decline in November. The Freight TSI was up 0.2 percent in October and 1.0 percent in September.

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 December Freight TSI at 108.1 is up 14.6 percent from the recent low of 94.3 in April 2009, which was its lowest level since July 1997. January’s Freight TSI is down 4.6 percent from its historic peak of 113.3 in January 2005.

The January Freight TSI is up 6.9 percent year-over-year, but it is below the level of January 2008’s 111.8, the most recent high level for January, said the BTS. December 2009, said the BTS, was the first month since September 2008 in which the Freight TSI topped the level of the same month of the previous year. And the BTS noted that the Freight TSI has topped the previous year’s level every month since but is still below levels of recent earlier years.

BTS officials also noted that the Freight TSI has gone up 14.6 percent over the last 21 months, going back to May 2009, following a 16.8 percent decline in the previous 16 months going back to January 2008.

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