The Freight Transportation Services Index, which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, rose 0.5 percent in November from October, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
This second consecutive monthly hike puts the Freight TSI at a level of 123.2, just 1.2% below the all-time high level of 124.7 hit this past July and the second highest level since December 2014.
The November index level was 30.1 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.
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. The TSI is seasonally-adjusted to remove regular seasons from month-to-month comparisons.
All freight modes grew from October except for pipeline. The November rise took place in the context of mixed signals in other economic indicators that often impact transportation – employment increased by 178,000 jobs, retail sales rose by 0.1 percent, and personal income grew by less than 0.1 percent, while the Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production index declined by 0.4 percent, and housing starts declined by 4.7 percent from October.
In the last 12 months, the index rose in eight months and declined in four months, for a total increase of 2.0 percent.
For-hire freight shipments measured by the index were up 1.5 percent in November compared to the end of 2015.