Freight index drops

Truck Lineup OdThe Freight Transportation Services Index fell 0.4 percent in May from April, declining after two consecutive monthly increases, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported July 14.

BTS reported the Freight TSI has risen 4.4 percent from June 2009 through May, after declining 15.3 percent in the previous 10 months. The index has increased in nine of the last 12 months. Through the first five months of 2010, the index declined 1.9 percent with small increases in January, March and April combined with a 3.5 percent decrease in February and the 0.4 percent decrease in May.

The May Freight TSI of 97.7 is a 4.4 percent increase from the recent low of 93.5 in May 2009, when the index was at its lowest level since June 1997. The Freight TSI is down 13.5 percent from its peak of 112.9 in May 2006.

March was the first month since July 2008 in which the Freight TSI exceeded the level of the previous year. The index has exceeded the previous year’s level every month since March but still remains below the level of earlier years. The freight index is down 12.4 percent from May 2005 and 1.8 percent from May 2000.

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. It includes historic data from 1990 to the present. The baseline year is 2000.