In Brief

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Updated Jan 6, 2010

Freight Transportation Services Index rose 1.6 percent in July from its June level, the first monthly increase since February and the largest increase since January 2008, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported. Although the index is down 15.4 percent from its peak of 112.9 in May 2006, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that the month-to-month increase “is a sign that the economic recovery is beginning.”

Domestic intermodal transport gained significant market share against trucks in the second quarter of 2009, an analysis by FTR Associates shows. Intermodal’s share of U.S. long-haul (550-plus mile) movements of international and domestic containerized freight edged up by 0.1 percent to a level of 12.4 percent from the first to the second quarter. Excluding movements of international containers, the market share represented by intermodal movement of domestic equipment (domestic containers and trailers) increased by 0.3 percent to a level of 6.5 percent.

Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s Monthly Leasing and Finance Index, which reports economic activity for the $650 billion equipment finance sector, showed overall new business volume for July declined by 35.1 percent when compared to the same period in 2008. Month-to-month new business volume decreased 7.7 percent from June to July.

GE Capital Fleet Services said it identified nearly $83 million in cost savings for customers in the second quarter of 2009, and that its work with customers to maximize return on their fleet investments resulted in identified cost savings of about $183 million for the first half of 2009.