Five years: Freight Transportation Services Index, July 2009 - July 2014. Credit: U.S. DOT

Five years: Freight Transportation Services Index, July 2009 - July 2014. Credit: U.S. DOT

A measure of the amount of freight carried by the nation’s for hire transportation industry increased 0.9% in July following a one-month decline.

The U.S. Transportation Department’s Freight Transportation Services Index rose to 119.6, 26.5% above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession and just 0.5% below the all-time high level of 120.3 in May of this year. TSI records begin in 2000.

The June index was revised down to 118.6 from 119.1 in last month’s release. The May index, the all-time high, was revised up slightly while the January through April indexes were revised down slightly.

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.

All freight modes but two grew in July after declines in June with water and pipelines continuing to fall, according to the U.S. DOT. “During the month, several other indicators of related parts of the economy that often impact transportation increased,” the department said in a release. “Industrial production, led by manufacturing and construction, increased. Both shipments and inventories of manufactured goods increased. Overall employment grew, as did transportation employment.”

Year to date freight shipments measured by the index were up 0.4% in July compared to the end of 2013 while freight shipments are up 21.9% in the five years from the post-recession level of July 2009 and are up 7.7% in the 10 years from July 2004.

Compared to July 2013 July freight shipments are up 3.2%.