The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) has increased for the second straight month, rising 0.3 percent from January to February
, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The index has kicked off 2010 with a 0.7 percent boost in the first two months.

The February Freight TSI of 96.9 is a 3.6 percent increase from the recent low of 93.5 reached in May 2009. In May, the index was at its lowest level since June 1997. The index is down 14.1 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006.

From June 2009, the Freight TSI index has gained 3.6 percent, after falling 15.3 percent in the 10 months prior to that.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments in ton-miles, which are then 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 February figures are the lowest for February since February 1997, when it was 91.3. From the year-ago period, the index was down 2 percent, following an 11.2 percent decline from February 2008 to February 2009.

The freight index is down 13.3 percent in the five years from February 2005. The index is down 6.8 percent in the 10 years from February 2000.

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