BTS’ Freight Index matches all-time high level in December

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 118 views 

The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry rose 2.9% in December, compared to the same month in 2015, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Freight Transportation Services Index. December data on the index was released Wednesday (Feb. 8) and showed that it was the third consecutive month the index has risen. It rose because of increases in trucking, pipeline, rail intermodal and water while air freight and rail carloads declined.

“The December increase was driven by economic growth,” according to BTS. “The Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production index rose by 0.8% in December, with growth in both manufacturing and utilities, even as mining production declined.” The December level was 124.7, up from 121.2 the same month in 2015 and matched the index’s all-time high in July 2016.

In 2000, the index started tracking “month-to-month changes in for-hire freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index,” according to BTS. Modes of transportation included in the index are trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight. “The index remains high compared to earlier years, rising 31.7% since the low of 94.7 in April 2009,” according to BTS. The index level in November was revised to 123.5, up from 123.2.