Freight TSI sees sequential increase, annual decline

By LM Staff · August 13, 2020

The United States Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) saw a slight increase in June, the most recent month for which data is available, rising 0.9%, to 128.3, from May’s 127.1.

According to BTS officials, the Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments 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 airfreight.

BTS officials said that this increase was driven by growth in rail intermodal, rail carload, trucking, the largest mode, and pipeline, despite declines in air freight and water. The June increase took place against the background of growth in several other indicators.

And they added that the June increase in the Freight was the second consecutive monthly increase following three consecutive decreases. The index remained 5.7% below its pre-pandemic level in February, and 6.2% below its recent peak in January. It is now down 9.1% below its all-time high in August 2019. The index was below the levels of every month from July 2017 to March 2020 for the third consecutive month. However, it was above every level before July 2017 when the index reached 128.4 compared to 128.3 in June 2020.

August 13, 2020