Fleet Management

For-Hire Freight Activity Mixed During June

August 13, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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Freight Transportation Services Index, June 2010 - June 2015. Graphic: U.S. DOT
Freight Transportation Services Index, June 2010 - June 2015. Graphic: U.S. DOT

A measure of the amount of for-hire freight movements in the U.S. posted mixed numbers for June, according to new Transportation Department figures.

The Freight Transportation Services Index fell 0.3% in June from May, falling after a single month of growth. However, June freight shipments were up 2.3% from June 2014.

Despite the month-to-month drop, the level of 121.9 is just 1.2% below the all-time high level hit in November 2014. TSI records begin in 2000.

The May index was revised down slightly to 122.2 from 122.7 in last month’s release. The April and February indexes were also revised down slightly.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. It 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 drop from May to June was due to declines in truck, water and rail intermodal shipments, according to the report. For the April-to-June quarter, the 0.6% decline was the first quarterly decline since the second quarter of 2014, and the largest decline since the third quarter of 2012.

The June decline from May also continued the trend that began after the index peaked in November 2014. The index has alternated months of increases and decreases, with the months ranging from 0.6% below the November level to 2.1% lower.

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