The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) was up 0.9 percent in March from February and was up 2.6 percent year-over-year.
The annual increase, said the BTS, is the first annual gain for the Freight TSI since July 2008.
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.
At 97.8, the Freight TSI is up 4.5 percent from its recent low of 93.5 in May 2009, which was its lowest level since June 1997. The BTS said the Freight TSI is down 13.4 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 in May 2006.
Despite the sequential and annual increases, the Freight TSI is below all previous March levels since 1997. And it is down 12.5 percent in the five years from March 2005 and down 1.9 percent in the 10 years from March 2000.
BTS said the Freight TSI index has risen 4.5 percent over the last 10 months, starting in June, after declining 15.3 percent in the previous 10 months beginning in August 2008. The index has increased in eight of the last 10 months and started 2010 with an increase of 1.6 percent in the first three months.