Freight index in May reaches all-time high

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, July 13, 2017

The official freight index, which measures freight movement in tons and ton-miles, reveals May freight moved upward or changed little for all modes, leading to an increase in the index compared to April.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Freight Transportation Services Index for May rose 2.2 percent to 126.8. In April, the index fell 0.6 percent after the index reached an all-time high in February at 126.4. May’s TSI sets the new record.

The May index is 33.9 percent above the low that was set during the recession in April 2009. TSI records began in 2000.

Trucking freight rose just slightly to 139 from 138.8, an increase of less than 1 percent. Numbers from the American Trucking Associations reveal a tonnage increase of 6.5 percent in May to 144.1 from 135.3 in April. ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys of its membership.

According to the DOT, the TSI’s upward movement comes despite mixed signals elsewhere in the economy. Positive growth was seen in employment, personal income and the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers’ Index. Manufacturing and housing starts declined, while the Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production index remained unchanged.

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