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BTS reports Freight TSI falls 1.8 percent from April to May

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
July 13, 2011

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) dropped 1.8 percent from April to May, following a 1.0 percent decrease and a 1.9 percent increase, respectively, the previous two months.

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 said that the May Freight TSI at 105.6 is up 12.0 percent from the recent low of 94.3 in April 2009, which was its lowest level since July 1997. May’s Freight TSI is down 6.8 percent from its historic peak of 113.3 in January 2005.

The May Freight TSI is up 1.4 year-over-year but remains below the early recession level of May 2008 and the most recent May high of 111.9 from 2006, according to the BTS.

For the first five months of 2011, freight shipments are down 1.2 percent, said the BTS. And freight shipments have been up 17 of the last 25 months but are down in three of the last four months. BTS noted that shipments increased 12.0 percent over the last 25 months starting in May 2009, following a 15.7 percent decline in the previous 15 months beginning in February 2008, with freight shipments heading back to the same level as October 2008, when the amount of freight shipped was beginning to wane.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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