Fleet Management

For-Hire Freight Index Drops After Hitting Record High

December 11, 2013

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The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry fell 0.7% in October from September, the first monthly decline after three months of increases, according to a new figures from U.S. Department of Transportation and its Freight Transportation Services Index.

The October 2013 114.3 index level was 20.5% above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession and was 0.7% below the all-time high level of 115.1 in September, with records that go back to 2000.

The 0.7% decrease in October freight transportation was driven by decreases in air freight, rail carloads and particularly in trucking. During the quarter, revised gross domestic product growth of 3.6% was heavily driven by an increase in private inventories, which may have accounted for much of freight growth during the period, says DOT.

This measure remained above its 2012 range for the 10th month in a row in October. Beginning with January, every month in 2013 has exceeded the high point of 2012. After dipping in April 2009, the index rose 22.1% in the succeeding 53 months. 

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