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BTS June freight index declines 0.9% in June to 119.1 from May’s all-time 120.2 high

The level of freight shipments in June measured by the Freight TSI (119.1) was 0.9 percent below the revised all-time high level of 120.2 in May 2014. BTS’ TSI records begin in 2000.

The Trucker News Services


The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, declined 0.9 percent in June from May, falling after four consecutive monthly increases, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS).

The June 2014 index level (119.1) was 25.9 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession. 

The level of freight shipments in June measured by the Freight TSI (119.1) was 0.9 percent below the revised all-time high level of 120.2 in May 2014. BTS’ TSI records begin in 2000.

The May index, the all-time high, was revised to 120.2 from 120.0 in last month’s release. 

Monthly numbers for January and March were revised down slightly.  There was a larger downward revision for September 2013, 118.1 in last month’s release to 116.8.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are 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.

The index for each freight mode declined in June with the largest decline in pipelines. The declines took place when construction spending, which often is a driver of transportation shipments, declined in June after several months of increases. Construction spending declined although there was growth in several other economic indicators. Despite the decrease, the freight index was higher in each month of the second quarter of 2014 than it was in any month of the first quarter of 2014 when weather impacted transportation.

June was the third consecutive month in which the index reached the levels that had been attained prior to the weather-related downturn in the early part of the year, even though the June index was below the level reached in the previous two months.  The index reached its all-time high level (120.2) in May 2014.  After dipping to 94.6 in April 2009, the index rose by 25.9 percent in the succeeding 62 months. For additional historical data, go to TSI data.

Freight shipments in June 2014 (119.1) were 25.9 percent higher than the recent low in April 2009 during the recession (94.6). The June 2014 level is down 0.9 percent from the historic peak reached in May 2014 (120.2).

Freight shipments measured by the index were virtually unchanged in June compared to the end of 2013.

Freight shipments are up 24.1 percent in the five years from the post-recession level of June 2009 and are up 7.5 percent in the 10 years from June 2004.

June 2014 freight shipments were up 2.8 percent from June 2013.

The Freight TSI rose 0.2 percent in the April to June period after falling 0.2 percent in the first quarter.  

The TSI has three seasonally adjusted indexes that measures changes from the monthly average of the base year of 2000. The three indexes are freight shipments, passenger travel and a combined measure that merges the freight and passenger indexes. TSI includes data from 2000 to the present. Release of the July 2014 index is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Monthly data has changed from previous releases due to the use of concurrent seasonal analysis, which results in seasonal analysis factors changing as each month’s data are added.   

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

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