The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) increased 1.2 percent from October to November.
This comes on the heels of a 0.7 percent decline from September to October and marks the third time in the last four months it has seen a gain.
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.
BTS said that the November Freight TSI at 116.5 is 22.8 percent higher than April 2009’s low point of 94.8 during the recession and represents an all-time high, topping September 2013’s 115.4.
And it explained that November’s increase is a return to growth, which was largely intact throughout the second half of 2013, with gains in all modes it tracks with the exception of pipeline. What’s more, it explained that growth in tonnage intensive industries such as heavy construction and oil and gas fracking produced an increase in truck tonnage, adding that both trucking and rail benefitted from growing auto production.
BTS noted that the Freight TSI has been above its 2012 range through the first 11 months of 2013, with each month topping December 2012’s high point of 112.2. And on an annual basis, the Freight TSI was up 5.2 percent in November.