Monthly freight index up 0.3%, year-to-year up 4.8%

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Global Freight

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

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the Freight TSI has risen 4.9 percent over the last 11 months, starting in June 2009, after declining 15.3 percent in the previous 10 months beginning in August 2008. The index has increased in nine of the last 11 months. The index started 2010 with a decrease of 1.4 percent in the first four months.

The April Freight TSI of 98.1 is a 4.9 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 13.1 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006.

Although the index rose 4.8 percent from April 2009 to April 2010, it still remains below the April level of all the previous years since 2000 when it was 98.0. In April 2009 following a 15.3 percent decline from April 2008, the Freight TSI was at its lowest level for April since April 1997 when it was 92.5. March 2010 was the first month since July 2008 in which the Freight TSI exceeded the level of the previous year. The freight index is down 12.1 percent in the five years from April 2005.

The Freight TSI measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air. The baseline year is 2000.