WASHINGTON — The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 0.3 percent in April from its March level, rising for the third consecutive month, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported Wednesday.
The Freight TSI has risen 4.9 percent over the last 11 months, starting in June 2009, after declining 15.3 percent in the previous 10 months beginning in August 2008, BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported. The index has increased in nine of the last 11 months.
The index started 2010 with a decrease of 1.4 percent in the first four months.
The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments 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.
The April Freight TSI of 98.1 is a 4.9 percent increase from the recent low of 93.5 reached in May 2009, when the index was at its lowest level since June 1997. The Freight TSI is down 13.1 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006.
Although the index rose 4.8 percent from April 2009 to April 2010, it still remains below the April level of all the previous years since 2000 when it was 98.0. In April 2009, following a 15.3 percent decline from April 2008, the Freight TSI was at its lowest level for April since April 1997 when it was 92.5, according to BTS.
March 2010 was the first month since July 2008 in which the Freight TSI exceeded the level of the previous year.
The freight index is down 12.1 percent in the five years from April 2005. The index is virtually unchanged in the 10 years from April 2000.
The TSI is a seasonally adjusted index that measures changes from the monthly average of the base year of 2000. It includes historic data from 1990 to the present. Release of the May index is scheduled for July 14.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at email@example.com.
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