Monthly freight index up 1.5% in December, year-over-year up 0.4%

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Freight Tsi

The Freight Transportation Services Index rose 1.5 percent in December from its November level, rising after one monthly decline, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported Wednesday, Feb. 9. In 2010, the index increased 0.4 percent over 2009.

The December Freight TSI of 100.0 is a 6.9 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 has risen 6.9 percent over the last 19 months, starting in June 2009, after declining 15.3 percent in the previous 10 months beginning in August 2008. The index has increased in 14 of the last 19 months.

January 2010 was the first month since July 2008 in which the Freight TSI exceeded the level of the same month of the previous year; the index has exceeded the previous year’s level every month since. Still, the December Freight TSI is down 11.4 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006, and although the index rose 0.4 percent from December 2009 to December 2010, it remains below the level of every other December since 2001 when it was 97.4.

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 freight. It includes historic data from 1990 to the present. The baseline year is 2000.