BTS delivers strong performance for freight transportation services index

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The Department of Transport Transport Statistics Bureau (BTS) recently reported that its freight transportation services index rose 1.3% in October, the most recent month for which data is available.

According to BTS officials, the Freight STI measures monthly changes in freight shipments in tonne-miles, which are then combined into a single index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

BTS officials said October was widespread with increases in trucking, water, pipelines and air freight, but carloads and rail intermodality declined. And he added that the increase in TSI freight came against a backdrop of mixed results for other indicators, including: the Federal Reserve Board’s industrial production index fell in October, reflecting declines in all major industrial groups; Personal income rose less than 0.1%, while housing starts rose 3.8%; and the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose 0.5 points to 48.3, indicating a contraction in manufacturing, but not as much as in September.

October’s TSI freight reading, at 138.6, is the fourth highest on record and is 1% lower than the all-time high of 140.0 set in August 2019 and represents the largest monthly increase since September 2018.

BTS said the October TSI freight reading was up 46.2% from the April 2009 reading of 94.8, during the recession, with rental freight shipments up 13 , 3% compared to October 2014 and up 4% since October 2009. Compared to October. 2018, the October 2019 Freight TSI is up 0.5%.

December 17, 2019

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BTS Freight STI
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