Monthly freight index up 1.9 percent

| September 13, 2012

The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry rose 0.1 percent in July from June, rising after a one-month decline, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Freight Transportation Services Index released Thursday, Sept. 13.

BTS, a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the level of freight shipments in July measured by the Freight TSI, 109.6, was 3.8 percent below the all-time high level of 114.0 in December 2011 and continued a pattern of little change since January, reflecting the rate of growth in the general economy.

However, July freight shipments were at the sixth-highest monthly level since the early recession month of July 2008. After dipping to a recent low in April 2009 (94.3) during the recession, freight shipments have increased in 25 of the last 39 months, rising 16.3 percent during that period.

July freight shipments rose 1.9 percent from July 2011 and 12.9 percent from July 2009, during the recession, but remain below the level in July 2006 (110.8) prior to the recession. Freight shipments are up 1.6 percent in the five years from the prerecession level of July 2007 and up 7.0 percent in the 10 years from July 2002 despite declines in recent years.

The Freight TSI 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 seasonally adjusted index includes historical data from 1990 to the present. The baseline year is 2000.