Freight Transportation Services Index, January 2009-January 2014. Credit: U.S. DOT

Freight Transportation Services Index, January 2009-January 2014. Credit: U.S. DOT

The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry fell 2.8% in January from December, declining for the second consecutive month, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Freight Transportation Services Index released Wednesday.

Despite the drop, January 2014 freight shipments were up 1.3% from January 2013 while the level of freight shipments in January 2014 was just 3.5% below the all-time high level of 117.6 in November 2013.

The index for each freight mode declined in January with the largest decline in trucking. This took place during a period of severe winter weather, which particularly hit the heavily populated parts of the country.

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.

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