Federal freight index saw small gain in February

The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry rose 0.5 percent in February, following a one-month decline in January, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Freight Transportation Services Index, released April 10.

BTS, part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the level of freight shipments measured by the Freight TSI, 110.3, declined from the December 2011 113.7, which was the number’s highest since when BTS’ TSI records begin in 1990.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation 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.

Shipments in February were at the second highest level since April 2008, despite the 3.0 percent decline from December 2011. After dipping to a low of 94.3 in April 2009, freight shipments have increased in 23 of the last 34 months, rising 16.9 percent during that period.