The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry rose 0.5 percent in February from January, rising after a one-month decline, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI).
Although the February Freight TSI reading, 110.3, declined from December 2011's mark of 113.7 (which was the all-time high since 1990 when BTS' TSI records began), it was the second highest level since the early recession month of April 2008. After dipping to a recent low in April 2009 (94.3), freight shipments increased in 23 of the last 34 months, rising 16.9 percent during that period.
February 2012 freight shipments rose 3.6 percent from February 2011 and 10.5 percent from February 2009 but remain below the level of February 2008 (111.6).
Long-term trend: Freight shipments are up 1.8 percent in the five years from February 2007 and up 11.1 percent in the 10 years from February 2002 despite declines in recent years.