FREE SUBSCRIPTION Includes: The Advisor Daily eBlast + Exclusive Content + Professional Network Membership: JOIN NOW LOGIN
Skip Navigation LinksHome / News / Read News


Economic Indicator: Freight Shipments Rose 0.2% in April from March

June 18, 2012, 06:30 AM
Filed Under: Transportation

The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry rose 0.2% in April from March, rising after a one-month decline, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics' (BTS) Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI). The April 2012 level was 16.2% above the April 2009 low during the recession.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the level of freight shipments measured by the Freight TSI, 109.6, declined from December 2011's revised mark of 114.0 which was the all-time high since 1990 when BTS' TSI records began.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation 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 air freight.

Trend: Freight shipments in April 2012 (109.6) were at the fourth highest level since the early recession month of July 2008 despite the 3.8% decline from December 2011 (114.0 on the index), which was the highest level in the 22-year history of the series. After dipping to a recent low in April 2009 (94.3) during the recession, freight shipments increased in 24 of the last 36 months, rising 16.2% during that period.

Index highs and lows: Freight shipments in April 2012 (109.6) rose 16.2% from the recent low in April 2009 during the recession (94.3). In April 2009, freight shipments were at their lowest level since June 1997 (92.3). The April 2012 level is down 3.8% from the historic freight shipment peak reached in December 2011 (114.0).

Long-term trend: Freight shipments are up 0.4% in the five years from the pre-recession level of April 2007 and up 10.0% in the 10 years from April 2002 despite declines in recent years.

Same month of previous year: April 2012 freight shipments rose 2.0% from April 2011 and 16.2 percent from April 2009, during the recession, but remain below the level in April 2008 (110.3) prior to the recession.

The TSI is a seasonally adjusted index that measures changes from the monthly average of the base year of 2000. It includes historic data from 1990 to the present.

Read the full press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Comments From Our Members

You must be an Equipment Finance Advisor member to post comments. Login or Join Now.