Freight shipments reach all-time recorded high

The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, rose 0.8 percent in November from October, according to a Jan. 14 report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). That was the fifth consecutive monthly increase. The November 2014 index level (123.2) was 30.2 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.

The level of freight shipments in November measured by the Freight TSI (123.2) reached its all-time high. The TSI records begin in 2000. The October index was revised to 121.8 from 122.2 in last month’s release. All previous months in 2014 were revised slightly upward.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one 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.

The growth in November was led by trucking, air freight, pipelines and waterborne. During the month, several other indicators of related parts of the economy that often impact transportation increased. Employment and retail sales both increased, as did manufacturing output and total industrial production. Inventories increased to reach an historic high. 

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