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BTS reports January Freight TSI is at highest level since December 2011

By Staff
March 13, 2013

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) increased 1.2 percent from December to January, following a 1.0 percent gain from November to December.

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 January Freight TSI at 111.3 is 18.0 percent higher than April 2009’s low point of 94.3 during the recession and the highest level since the December 2011 reading of 114.0, which represents the all-time high since BTS first began collecting data in 1990. Since dropping to 94.3 in April 2009, freight shipments have gone up in 30 of the last 45 months, with a cumulative 18.0 percent increase during that span.

January is the third consecutive month the Freight TSI has seen an increase, with BTS officials saying that trucking activity showed a large increase. BTS added that January’s output was likely aided by inventory growth, with wholesale inventories up 1.2 percent in January and restocking following the drawdown of inventories during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Monthly Wholesale Trade Report.

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