Freight Transportation Services Index is up for fifth straight month, reports BTS

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The United States Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recently reported that its Freight Transportation Services Index (Freight TSI) saw a slight increase in January, the most recent month for which data is available.

According to BTS officials, the Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments in ton-miles, which are then 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 airfreight.

The January reading—at 138.9—headed up for the fifth consecutive month, increasing 1.2% over December and posting a 1.7% annual gain. It also was 1.8% above January 2020’s pre-pandemic reading, at 136.5 and 2.3% below the all-time high, of 142.1, recorded in August 2019.

BTS attributed the sequential increase to seasonally adjusted increases in water, pipeline, and trucking while air freight, rail carloads, and rail intermodal declined. And it added that over the last five months of Freight TSI gains, going back to August 2021, it has seen a cumulative increase of 3.4%, which was preceded by four months of declines.

The Freight TSI is 11.0% above the pandemic low from April 2020, with January representing the 14th increase over the last 21 recorded months since then. And it is 2.3% below the record high of 142.1 set in August 2019, with gains of 14 of the past 21 months since then. The January Freight TSI is also at its highest level since August 2019.




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