The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry rose 0.3% in March from February, rising for the fifth month in a row, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

BTS' Freight Transportation Services Index for March, at 113.7, was 19.9% above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession and was 1.3% below the all-time high level of 115.2 in December 2011 (BTS’ TSI records begin in 2000.)
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 TSI is seasonally adjusted so that trends reflect changes beyond normal monthly fluctuations.

The Freight TSI increased for a fifth consecutive month in March, though more slowly than the average growth of the index in that period. There was growth across most freight modes, but seasonally adjusted rail traffic declined.
With the March increase to 113.7, the index has exceeded its 2012 range for three months in a row. March 2013 freight shipments were up 2.8% from March 2012.
For the quarter, the Freight TSI rose 1.3%, the second consecutive quarterly increase.