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Freight TSI slips slightly from September to October, says BTS

By Staff
December 14, 2011

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) dropped 0.2 percent from September to October.

This follows a 0.9 percent gain from August to September, a 0.4 percent gain from July to August, flat growth from June to July, a 2.6 percent gain from May to June, and a 1.8 percent decline from April to May.

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 October Freight TSI at 109.4 is its second highest level since July 2008, which hit 109.9 and was followed by six straight months of declines. September’s Freight TSI of 109.6 was its highest level in three years. And after falling to a recent low level of 94.3 in April 2009, freight shipment levels have been up in 21 of the last 30 months, said BTS.

On an annual basis, the October Freight TSI reading of is up 4.0 percent compared to October 2010 and 12.4 percent from October 2009, which are all below the all-time October high of 110.4 from 2004 and 2005. For the first ten months of 2011freight shipments as measured by the Freight TSI are up 2.3 percent.

Freight shipments in October are up 16.0 percent from the recent low in April 2009 at 94.3, which were at the lowest level since June 1997 at 92.3. October is down 3.5 percent from the historic freight shipment peak in January 2005 at 113.3.

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