Fleet Management

Freight Index Rose 1 Percent in September from August

November 10, 2010

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The federal government's Freight Transportation Services Index rose 1 percent in September from its August level, rising after a one-month decline, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the Freight TSI has risen 5.5 percent over the last 16 months, starting in June 2009, after falling 15.3 percent in the previous 10 months beginning in August 2008.

The index has increased in 12 of the last 16 months. Through the first nine months of 2010, however, the index declined 0.9 percent.

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.

The September Freight TSI of 98.7 is a 5.5 percent increase from the recent low of 93.5 reached in May 2009. In May 2009, the index was at its lowest level since June 1997. The September Freight TSI is down 12.6 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006.

Although the index rose 2.1 percent from September 2009 to September 2010, it remains below the level of every other September since 2001 when it was 97.5. January 2010 was the first month since July 2008 in which the Freight TSI exceeded the level of the same month of the previous year. The index has exceeded the previous year's level every month since January but still remains below the level of recent earlier years.

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