BTS reports gains in Freight TSI

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The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recently reported that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) increased 1.2 percent from January to February (the most recent month for which data is available), following two straight monthly declines.

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 February Freight TSI at 115.2 topped the April 2009 low point of the recession by 21.6 percent. It is 2.0 percent below the all-time high of 117.6 from November 2013, but is the third-highest Freight TSI reading on record. Following the April 29 low point, BTS said that the Freight TSI rose a cumulative 21.6 percent over the next 58 months.

BTS officials said that the rebound in the Freight TSI was dominated by trucking and rail intermodal, while other modes were declining or stable, and they added that the severe winter weather impacted freight shipments in January and into February as the demand for goods to ship increased despite the weather.

On an annual basis, BTS said freight shipments in February were up 2.1 percent compared to February 2013.


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