The Freight Transportation Services Index, which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, reached an all-time high in July. This is the third month this year the TSI has set a new record, with the previous high in May.
The Freight TSI rose 1.4 percent in July from June, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The July 2017 index level of 128.2 was 35.4 percent higher than the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.
During the first seven months of 2017, the freight index averaged 2.9 percent higher than the first seven months of 2016.
The July increase was driven by gains in trucking, pipeline and water, while rail carloads decreased and air freight and rail intermodal were stable. The increase took place against a background of growth in several other indicators in July. Employment and Personal Income both increased.
July was the third month in a row in which the Freight TSI exceeded the level of all months prior to 2017, and the fourth month in 2017 when it did. Since July 2016, the Freight TSI has reached or exceeded the level of 124.3 (which it did not reach until July 2016) in nine months out of 13, and in all months from December 2016 onward.