Monthly freight index up 0.3%, year-to-year down 2.0%

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Freight Tonnage

The Freight Transportation Services Index rose 0.3 percent in February from its January level, rising for the second consecutive month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported Wednesday, April 14.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the Freight TSI has risen 3.6 percent over the last nine months, starting in June, after declining 15.3 percent in the previous 10 months beginning in August 2008. The index, which has increased in seven of the last nine months, has started 2010 with an increase of 0.7 percent in the first two months.

The February Freight TSI of 96.9 is a 3.6 percent increase from the recent low of 93.5 reached in May 2009, when the index was at its lowest level since June 1997. The Freight TSI is down 14.1 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006.

The February Freight TSI of 96.9 is the lowest for February since February 1997 when it was 91.3. With a 2.0 percent decline from February 2009 to February 2010 following an 11.2 percent decline from February 2008 to February 2009, the index has declined 12.9 percent in two years. The freight index is down 13.3 percent in the five years from February 2005 and down 6.8 percent in the 10 years from February 2000.

The TSI is a seasonally adjusted index that measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry, including for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight. It includes historic data from 1990 to the present. The baseline year is 2000.