Official freight numbers for December 2015 are in. The index that measures freight movement in tons and ton-miles reveals freight was down for all modes in December, except for trucking.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Freight Transportation Services Index for December decreased by 0.4 percent to 121. December’s TSI is a 2.3 percent decrease of the all-time high of 123.8 set in November 2014.
The December index is 27.8 percent above the low during the recession in April 2009. TSI records began in 2000.
Trucking tonnage went up by 1 percent. Air, rail, water and pipeline freight all experienced decreases this past December.
According to the DOT, decreases may have stemmed from weak mining, utility and manufacturing industries; decreases in the Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production index and the Institute of Supply Management Manufacturing Index; and decreasing housing starts.
Freight Transportation Services Index measures month-to-month changes in freight shipments in tons and ton-miles. This information is used to measure the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry.