The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, rose 0.8 percent in November from October, rising for the fifth consecutive month, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS). The November 2014 index level (123.2) was 30.2 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.
The level of freight shipments in November measured by the Freight TSI (123.2) reached its all-time high. BTS’ TSI records begin in 2000.
The October index was revised to 121.8 from 122.2 in last month’s release. All previous months in 2014 were revised slightly upward.
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,
Analysis: The growth in November was led by trucking, air freight, pipelines and waterborne. During the month, several other indicators of related parts of the economy that often impact transportation increased. Employment and retail sales both increased, as did manufacturing output and total industrial production. Inventories increased to reach an historic high.
Trend: The Freight TSI increased for the fifth month in a row in November, reaching an all-time high. The increase was a return to growth after a decline in June. This November rise was the ninth monthly increase in 2014. However, due to the decline in June and the more substantial decline in January, the total 2014 increase has been only 3.5 percent, less than the 5.2 percent increase during same period in 2013. After dipping to 94.6 in April 2009, the index rose 30.2 percent in the succeeding 67 months.
Index highs and lows: Freight shipments in November 2014 (123.2) were 30.2 percent higher than the recent low in April 2009 during the recession (94.6). The November 2014 level reached its all-time high.
Year to date: Freight shipments measured by the index were up 3.5 percent in November compared to the end of 2013.