Transportation news: BTS Freight Transportation Services Index falls in August

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 0.6 percent in August from July.

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The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 0.6 percent in August from July.

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 also noted that the Freight TSI at 97.6 was up 4.4 percent from the most recent low level of 93.5 in May 2009, which was the lowest level since June 1997. August’s Freight TSI is down 13.5 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 in May 2006.

While the Freight TSI is up 1.2 percent year-over-year, the BTS said it is below the level of every other August since 1997’s 94.8. January 2010, said the BTS, was the first month since July 2008 in which the Freight TSI topped the level of the same month of the previous year. And the BTS noted that the Freight TSI has beat the previous year’s level every month since January but is still below levels of recent earlier years.

The Freight TSI is down 12.7 percent since August 2005 and is down 3.1 percent since August 2000, according to the BTS.

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