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BTS says freight shipments rose 1.2% in February from January

The February 2014 index level (115.2) was 21.6 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.

The Trucker News Services

4/9/2014

WASHINGTON — The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry rose 1.2 percent in February from January, rising after two consecutive monthly declines, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) released Wednesday.

The February 2014 index level (115.2) was 21.6 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.

The level of freight shipments in February measured by the Freight TSI (115.2) was two percent below the all-time high level of 117.6 in November 2013. BTS’ TSI records begin in 2000.

The January index was revised to 113.9 from 113.6 in last month’s release. The December index was also revised up.

The February rebound in the freight index was dominated by trucking and rail intermodal as the other freight modes declined or were stable, the BTS said. The unusually severe weather that hampered freight shipments in January continued in February but the demand for goods to ship increased despite the weather. The Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production Index, which had declined in the face of January’s severe weather, rebounded in February.

As for trends, the freight TSI increased after declining for two consecutive months. While still below the all-time high reached in November 2013, it is at the third highest level ever and higher than at any time prior to that month. After dipping to 94.8 in April 2009, the index rose by 21.6 percent in the succeeding 58 months.

Year to date, freight shipments measured by the index were down 1.4 percent in February compared to the end of 2013.

Freight shipments are up 14.6 percent in the five years from the recession level of February 2009 and are up 5.7 percent in the 10 years from February 2004.

February 2014 freight shipments were up 2.1 percent from February 2013.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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