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BTS Freight Transportation Services Index up 1.0 percent in September

November 11, 2010

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) was up 1.0 percent in September, following a 0.6 percent August decline.

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 September Freight TSI at 98.7 is up 5.5 percent from the recent low of 93.5 in May 2009, which was its lowest level since June 1997. September’s Freight TSI is down 12.6 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 in May 2006.

The September Freight TSI is up 2.1 percent year-over-year, but it is below the level of every other September since 2001’s 97.5, said the BTS. January 2010, said the BTS, was the first month since July 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 beat the previous year’s level every month since January but is still below levels of recent earlier years.

BTS officials also noted that the Freight TSI has gone up 5.5 percent over the last 16 months, going back to June 2009, following a 15.3 percent decline in the previous ten months going back to August 2008. But while the Freight TSI has increased in 12 of the last 16 months, it is down 0.9 percent through the first nine months of 2010.

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