February freight index reaches new all-time high

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The official freight index, which measures freight movement in tons and ton-miles, reveals February freight was up for all freight transportation modes except pipeline, leading to an increase in the index compared to January.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Freight Transportation Services Index for February rose 1.5 percent to 126.4. After adjustments from last month, this marks a new all-time high for the index, replacing the former all-time high of 125.2 set in July 2016.

The February index is 33.5 percent above the low set during the recession in April 2009. TSI records began in 2000.

Trucking freight went up to 138.4 from 137.6, an increase of less than 1 percent. Numbers from the American Trucking Associations reveal a tonnage decrease of 0.1 percent in February to 138.7 from 138.9 in January. ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys of its membership.

According to the DOT, the TSI’s upward movement comes amid similar signals in the economy. Employment, housing starts and personal income all increased in February. Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers’ Index also revealed improvement.

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