DOT's freight index drops 0.1 in June from May
Freight shipments in June were at the seventh highest monthly level since the early recession month of July 2008. (The Trucker: KEVIN JONES)
The Trucker News Services
WASHINGTON — The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry fell 0.1 percent in June from May, following no change in the index from April to May, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) released Wednesday.
The June 2012 index level (109.5) was 16.1 percent above the April 2009 low during the recession.
BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the level of freight shipments in June measured by the Freight TSI, 109.5, was 3.9 percent below the all-time high level of 114.0 in December 2011.
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The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation 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.
An analysis showed the Freight TSI remained stable in the second quarter of 2012, continuing a pattern of little change since January, reflecting the rate of growth in the general economy. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth slowed to 1.5 percent in the second quarter and a revised 2.0 percent in first quarter of 2012, from 3.0 percent in fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Rail and truck freight grew in June, but were offset by decline in shipments using other modes, notably waterborne freight, which may be due to the impact of low water conditions on the Mississippi River system.
Freight shipments in June 2012 (109.5) were at the seventh highest monthly level since the early recession month of July 2008 despite the 3.9 percent decline from its peak in December 2011 (114.0), which was the highest level in the 22-year history of the Freight TSI series. After dipping to a recent low in April 2009 (94.3) during the recession, freight shipments increased in 24 of the last 38 months, rising 16.1 percent during that period.
As for the long-term trend, freight shipments are up 1.1 percent in the five years from the pre-recession level of June 2007 and up 7.8 percent in the 10 years from June 2002 despite declines in recent years.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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