Freight movement down in October, first time since June

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bts56_13Trucking was a drag on the overall amount of freight moved by for-hire transportation in October, according to the Department of Transportation’s monthly Freight Transportation Services Index, unveiled this week.

The amount of freight carried, as measured by the index, fell 0.7 percent from the all-time high set in September 2013, the TSI shows, breaking a three-month-long streak of increases. The decrease, says the DOT, was partially spurred by drops in air freight and rail carloads, but a decrease “particularly in trucking,” says the report in its analysis section.

The TSI read 114.3 in October and was 20.5 percent higher than the low in April 2009 and down 0.7 percent from the all-time high set in September 2013.

All 10 months in 2013 reported so far have been higher than 2012’s high, which came last December. Freight shipments year to date are up 2 percent compared to the same 10-month period last year, and shipments in October were up 5.3 percent over the same month in 2012.

The index measures month-to-month changes in freight shipments measured in tons and ton-miles, which combine to form the index.