U.S. DOT: Trucking freight tonnage increased in 2016

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 2/10/2017

The 2016 year-end numbers for freight movement from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics are in and are looking positive. The Transportation Services Index for freight climbed nearly 3 percent last year when compared with 2015.

Since the index reached a record low during the recession in April 2009, TSI has increased by 31.7 percent. In 2015, the index decreased by 2 percent for the year. With a 2.9 percent increase last year, the two-year change is an increase of 0.8 percent, according to the bureau.

August experienced the largest month-to-month decrease as a percentage with a 1.8 percent drop. That was preceded by the largest increase in July when the index surged 1.8 percent.

Freight dropped in February and March and steadily climbed through July. TSI went down in August and September before making a three-month rally at the end of the year. From September through December, the index rose 2.9 percent, the same increase for the year.

December also matched the record high with July 2016 at 124.7. The record high previous to July 2016 was set in December 2014 when TSI was 123.7.

Rail intermodal experienced the largest increase among all other modes at 6.9 percent. Truck tonnage increased by 1 percent last year, according to the Bureau of Transportation statistics. Truck and pipeline freight were the only transportation modes to experience an increase in 2015, with truck freight rising 2.5 percent.

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