For-Hire Freight Level Up 6.3% from Year Earlier

November 30, -0001

<p><strong>Freight Transportation Services Index, January 2013 - January 2018.</strong> <em>Graphic: U.S. DOT</em></p>

The amount of freight carried by the nation’s for-hire transportation industry, fell 0.4% in January from the month before, after it reached an all-time high in December, according to newly released figures from the Transportation Department's Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI).

The level of the January gauge, 132.3, however, was the second highest all-time level, just 0.4% below the December 2017 reading, which was revised upward to 132.8 from 132. Monthly numbers for March through November 2017 were revised up slightly.

The January decline in the Freight TSI followed three successive monthly increases during which the index rose 2.8% from September through January.

January 2018 for-hire freight shipments increased 6.3% from January 2017.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in for-hire 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.

Decreases in rail carloads, rail intermodal, pipeline and water resulted in the overall January decline while trucking and air freight increased, according to the report.

The TSI decline was consistent with the Federal Reserve’s Industrial Production index, which dropped by 0.1% in January, led by a fall in mining. However, a range of other indicators, including employment, personal income and housing starts grew in January. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index fell to a reading of 59.1 in January, indicating positive but decelerating growth.

The January decline in the Freight TSI followed three successive monthly increases during which the index rose 2.8% from September through January.

 

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