The Freight Transportation Services Index rose 1.2 percent in July from its June level, rising for the fourth consecutive month, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported.

For the first seven months of 2008, the freight index advanced 4.2 percent, its largest increase for the first seven months of the year since 2002. In 2007, the index dropped 0.4 percent in the first seven months of the year.

The freight index has increased in six of the first seven months this year, declining only in March. The April index, previously reported as unchanged from March, now shows a 1 percent rise as a result of this month's downward revision of the March index. At 112.9 in July, the freight TSI was up 4.5 percent since its recent low of 108.0 in September 2007 and almost reached its historic peak of 113.1 reached in November 2005.

The freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire freight transportation industries. The index consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

The July 2008 freight TSI level was 4.1 percent above the July 2007 level of 108.4, the largest July-to-July gain since 2004.

Despite the modest gains since 2004, the freight index has increased 8.5 percent in five years and 11.6 percent in 10 years (Table 5).

The TSI is a seasonally adjusted index that measures changes from the monthly average of the base year of 2000. It includes historic data from 1990 to the present.

TSI numbers for March (Freight, Passenger and Combined) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The March Freight TSI is 108.3, revised from the 109.4 reported in the August release. The March Passenger TSI is 117.4, revised from 116.2. The March Combined TSI is 110.1, revised from 110.7. The TSI for April, May, June and July are preliminary. TSI is updated monthly with the latest four months' index numbers considered preliminary.