Freight Stats Offer Glimmer of Hope

April 16, 2009
The government’s Freight Transportation Services Index rose 2% in February from January’s lowest level in five years.

As the Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) notes, the February increase was only the second since August and was the largest one-month rise since January 2008 and the fourth largest in the last five years.

While the increase was from one month to the next, there was a year-over-year decline of 6.0% from February 2008 to February 2009. The February 2009 TSI figure puts the month at the lowest level since 2003.

With January 2009 TSI figures showing a 2.3% decline year-over-year, despite the increase in February, the two-month loss has been 0.3%. By comparison, the TSI for the first two months of 2008 was up 2.9% year-over-year.

In a news release the Bureau notes that, “other than the January low of 102.7 [2000 is the base year of 100], the Freight TSI has not been this low since September 2003 when it was 104.4. The Freight TSI is down 7.4% from its historic peak of 113.1 reached in November 2005.”

The Transportation Services Index (TSI) is issued by the DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. It’s a seasonally adjusted index measuring changes from the monthly average of the base year of 2000. Included in the Index is data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterway, pipeline and air freight.

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