Slow month for trucking leads to lower overall freight tonnage in February

| Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Official freight numbers for February are in. The index that measures freight movement in tons and ton-miles reveals freight was up for air freight, water and rail carloads. However, significant declines in truck and pipeline freight brought down the overall index.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Freight Transportation Services Index for February decreased by 0.7 percent to 122.2. February’s TSI is a 1.2 percent decrease of the all-time high of 123.7 set in November 2014.

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

Trucking freight decreased by nearly two points to 135.8 from 137.5, a 1.2 percent drop. However, American Trucking Associations’ numbers reveal a tonnage increase of 7.2 percent in February. ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership.

According to the DOT, TSI’s drop lines up with monthly decreases in the Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production index. Manufacturing activity 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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