BTS reports a new all-time high for Freight Transportation Services Index

October’s Freight TSI reading of 129.2 marks a new all-time high, topping August 2017’s 129 by 0.2%, as well as the third all-time high set over the last four recorded months and the fourth in the last six recorded months.

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The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) headed up 0.6% from September to October, following two months of sequential declines.

According to BTS officials, 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.

October’s Freight TSI reading of 129.2 marks a new all-time high, topping August 2017’s 129 by 0.2%, as well as the third all-time high set over the last four recorded months and the fourth in the last six recorded months. It was ahead of the July 2016 reading of 124.8, which was the previous high prior to 2017.

What’s more, BTS said that the four months from August to November 2017 were the four highest levels Freight TSI has ever attained. The Freight TSI was above 124.0 in every month of 2017, a level it exceeded in only two months prior to 2017.

BTS said that significant increases in trucking, rail carloads, rail intermodal, and water led the October increase of 0.6%, while air freight declined and pipeline was stable. And it added that the TSI increase took place against a background of strong results for other indicators, including: The Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production index rose by 0.9 percent in October, with increases in manufacturing and utilities. Employment rose; personal income grew and Housing Starts increased; and the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing index declined to 58.7, indicating positive but decelerating growth.

On a year-to-date basis through October, the Freight TSI is up 3.7%, and it is up 5.3% annually.  


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