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BTS reports Freight TSI is up 1.7 percent

By Staff
January 10, 2013

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) increased 1.7 percent from October to November, following a 1.9 percent dip from September to October.

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 November Freight TSI at 108.9 is 15.5 percent higher than April 2009’s low point of 94.3 during the recession and is down 4.5 percent from the December 2011 reading of 114.0, which represents the all-time high since BTS first began collecting data in 1990.

BTS officials said that November’s increase was due in part to the recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy, which led to lower rail and truck volumes in October and subsequent increases in November, which were significant.

And since April 2009, BTS said that freight shipments have risen in 28 of the last 43 months, increasing by a cumulative 15.5 percent during that time.

BTS said freight shipments are down 0.4 percent since November 2007’s pre-recession level and up 4.7 percent in the ten years from November 2002 amid declines in recent years.

On an annual basis, November shipments are flat and up 8.8 percent compared to November 2009 and below November 2005’s 112.5, which was two years before the recession took hold.

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