Monthly freight index down 0.8% in March, year-over-year up 0.8%


The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry fell 0.8 percent in March from February, declining after a one-month increase, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Freight Transportation Services Index released Wednesday, May 9.

March freight shipments (109.4 on the index) rose 0.8 percent from March 2011 and were at the fourth-highest level since the early recession month of July 2008 despite the 3.8 percent decline from December 2011 (113.7), which was the highest level in the 22-year history of the series.

After dipping to a recent low in April 2009 (94.3) – when freight shipments were at their lowest level since June 1997 (92.3) – shipments have increased in 23 of the last 35 months, rising 16.0 percent during that period.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight. The seasonally adjusted index includes historic data from 1990 to the present. The baseline year is 2000.

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