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DOT Freight Index Hits Third Highest Level on Record

April 9, 2014

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The amount of freight carried by the nation’s for-hire transportation industry rose 1.2% in February from January, rising after two consecutive monthly declines, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Freight Transportation Services Index released Wednesday.

February freight shipments were up 2.1% from February 2013 level.

While still below the all-time high reached in November 2013, February activity was at the third highest level ever, 115.2, and higher than at any time prior to that month. The February index level is also 21.6% above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.

Credit: U.S. DOT
Credit: U.S. DOT

The January index was revised to 113.9 from 113.6 in last month’s release while the December index was also revised upward.

“The February rebound in the freight index was dominated by trucking and rail intermodal as the other freight modes declined or were stable,” said the department. “The unusually severe weather that hampered freight shipments in January continued in February but the demand for goods to ship increased despite the weather.”

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.

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