BTS reports a new record reading for Freight TSI

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The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) increased in November for the second month in a row, following two months of sequential declines.

According to BTS officials, the Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments in ton-miles, which are then combined into one index. The index 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.

With a 0.2% increase from October to November, the Freight TSI hit 130.8, which, BTS said, is a new all-time high. The October reading was revised to 130.5 from 129.2 and is the second highest reading ever recorded.

BTS said the November reading was spurred on by notable increases in trucking, rail carloads, rail intermodal, and air, while water and pipeline declined. And it added that the increase was in tandem with other strong economic indicators, including: the Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production index rose by 0.2 percent in November, with increases in manufacturing and mining; employment, personal income and housing starts, and continued manufacturing growth, as per data from the Institute for Supply Management.

November’s reading is up 38.1% compared to the April 2009 low of 94.7, which was during the recession, and it is up 5.8% annually. BTS added that For-hire freight shipments are up 16.6 percent in the five years from November 2012 and are up 18.3 percent in the 10 years from November 2007.  

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