Overall freight tonnage went up in January, including trucking

| 3/9/2016

Official freight numbers for January are in. The index that measures freight movement in tons and ton-miles reveals freight was up for rail intermodal and pipeline freight, but decreased for truck freight. Revisions to December’s TSI resulted in a slight monthly increase in December, changed from a decrease with the preliminary numbers.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Freight Transportation Services Index for January increased by 0.5 percent to 122.2, despite severe winter weather. January’s TSI is a 1.3 percent decrease of the all-time high of 123.8 set in November 2014.

The January index is 29 percent above the low during the recession in April 2009. TSI records began in 2000.

Rail intermodal and pipeline freight experienced significant gains. Trucking freight increased just slightly. However, American Trucking Associations’ numbers reveal a tonnage decrease of 1.4 percent in January. Air, rail carloads, and water all experienced decreases this January, according to BTS.

According to the DOT, TSI’s increase lines up with monthly increases in the Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production index, personal income and employment. Manufacturing and high inventories showed signs of decline.

Freight Transportation Services Index measures month-to-month changes in freight shipments in tons and ton-miles. This information is used to measure the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry.

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