BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the level of freight shipments measured by the Freight TSI, 113.7, surpassed the previous high of 113.3 in January 2005.
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.
Shipments in December 2011 (113.7 on the index) were at the highest level in the 22-year history of the series. After dipping to a recent low in April 2009 (94.3), freight shipments increased in 22 of the last 32 months, rising 20.6 percent during that period.
For the full year 2011, freight shipments measured by the index were up 6.4%, the highest full-year growth rate since 2002, and marked the third consecutive year with an increase.