Monthly freight index up 1.8% in November, year-over-year down 6.8%

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Updated Jan 18, 2010

Freight stackThe Freight Transportation Services Index rose 1.8 percent in November from its October level, rising after two consecutive monthly declines, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported Wednesday, Jan. 13.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the Freight TSI rose in four of the last six months, and that the index has increased 2.9 percent in six months, following three consecutive monthly increases that began in June.

The November Freight TSI of 96.2 is a 2.9 percent increase from the recent low of 93.5 reached in May, when the index was at its lowest level since June 1997. The Freight TSI is down 14.7 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006.

In the first 11 months of 2009, the Freight TSI declined 4.1 percent. This January-to-November decline was exceeded twice in the last 10 years, most recently by the 6.0 percent decline in 2008.

The November Freight TSI of 96.2 is the lowest for November since November 1996 when it was 89.6. The 6.8 percent decline in the Freight TSI from November 2008 to November 2009 was the largest November-to-November decline in the 20 years for which the TSI is calculated.

The November 2008 Freight TSI already had declined 6.1 percent from its November 2007 level, resulting in a two-year decline of 12.5 percent. The freight index is also down 13.6 percent in the five years from November 2004, and is down 7.7 percent in the 10 years from November 1999.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire freight transportation industries, including trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight. It includes historic data from 1990 to the present. The baseline year is 2000.