DOT Freight Index: Shipments Up 2.6% May to June

August 10, 2011

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The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry rose 2.6% in June from May, after two monthly declines, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' Freight Transportation Services Index.

BTS, a part of the DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that freight shipments in June measured by the Freight TSI rose to their second highest level since August 2008, exceeded only by those in March. The 2.6% May-to-June increase was the biggest month-to-month rise since November 2009.

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.

Freight shipments have increased in 18 of the last 26 months rising 1.3% in the past six months. Shipments rose 14.5% over the last 26 months, starting in May 2009 but after declining 15.5% in the previous 15 months shipment remain below the February 2008 level.

In June 2011, freight shipments returned to about the same level as August 2008, which was the start of six straight months of decline.

For the first six months of 2011, freight shipments measured by the index were up 1.3%.

Freight shipments are down 3.2% in the five years from June 2006, but up 9.9% in the 10 years from June 2001 despite recent declines.

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