Freight Transportation Services Index hits new record high reading

July’s Freight TSI reading, at 139.0, followed two months of declines-with May and June down 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively- on the way to setting a new record reading, topping the previous high of 138.7 recorded in November 2018.

 

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) saw a 0.9% increase from June to July, the most recent month for which data is available, for a new all-time high.

According to BTS officials, 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 airfreight.

July’s Freight TSI reading, at 139.0, followed two months of declines-with May and June down 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively- on the way to setting a new record reading, topping the previous high of 138.7 recorded in November 2018 by 0.2%.  On an annual basis, the July Freight TSI is up 2.9%, down from a 6% annual gain from July 2017 to July 2018, with 2018 being the best year for freight levels in a number of years.  And July’s reading was up 46.6% compared to the all-time low of 94.8 recorded during the recession in April 2009. On a year-to-date basis through July, the Freight TSI is up 2.1% annually.

BTS said that July’s increase was “broad-based,” with increases in rail carloads, rail intermodal, trucking, pipeline and airfreight. Water transportation saw a slight decline.

The new record Freight TSI reading came at a time, when the index has seen gains in only four of the last eight months going back to November 2018.

 

Sept. 12, 2019

Originally published on Logistics Management