Trucking freight stats for 2016 not final, but showing increase

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, January 12, 2017

Freight stats for 2016 continue to dribble in. The official freight index, which measures freight movement in tons and ton-miles, reveals November freight was up for all modes except pipeline, bringing the index up for the second consecutive month.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Freight Transportation Services Index for November increased by 0.5 percent to 123.2. July’s TSI replaced the former all-time high of 123.6 set in December 2014 before the index started to decline in August.

The October index is 30.1 percent above the low set during the recession in June 2009. TSI records began in 2000.

Trucking freight went up to 137.5 from 136.8, an increase of less than 1 percent. Numbers from the American Trucking Associations reveal a tonnage increase of more than 8 percent in October to 142.4 from 131.6 in October. ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys of its membership.

According to the DOT, TSI’s fall occurred as employment rose by 178,000 jobs, retail sales increased by 0.1 percent and personal income went up by less than 0.1 percent. However the Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production index decreased by 0.4 percent and housing starts dropped 4.7 percent.

August’s freight TSI was the largest monthly decrease since January 2014 and the first decline after four consecutive monthly increases.

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