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DOT For-Hire Freight Index Hits Record High

December 10, 2014

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Freight Transportation Services Index, October 2009 - October 2014. Graphic: U.S. DOT
Freight Transportation Services Index, October 2009 - October 2014. Graphic: U.S. DOT
The U.S. Transportation Department’s Freight Transportation Services Index rose 0.3% in October from September, the fourth consecutive month-over-month gain, hitting an all-time high.

The October index level of 121.8 is 28.8% above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession and is up 4.6% from October 2013.

The September index was revised to downward 121.4 from 121.5 in last month’s release.

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. 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 growth in October was led by trucking, rail and waterborne, according to the U.S. Transportation Department.

“During the month, several other indicators of related parts of the economy that often impact transportation increased,” said the DOT in a release. “Employment and retail sales both increased, as did manufacturing output, though total industrial production declined slightly. Inventories increased to reach an historic high.”

This October rise was the eighth monthly increase in 2014, however, due to the decline in June and the more substantial decline in January, the 2014 year-do-date increase has been only 2.2%, less than the 2.8% gain during same period in 2013.

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