The Freight Transportation Services Index in July at 108.3 was unchanged from the prior monthís index, according to the U.S. Department of Transportationís Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported on Sept. 14 that shipments for the month profiled remained at the second highest level since August 2008, exceeded only by March and equaled by June.
According to the data, freight shipments have increased in 18 of the last 27 months but only in eight of the last 15 months. Shipments rose 14.5% over the last 27 months, starting from the low point in May 2009 but after declining 15.5% in the previous 15 months, shipments remain below the January 2008 level. BTS reported that shipments for the month returned to about the same level as August 2008, which was the start of six straight months of decline.
In July, the freight index was 108.3, up 3.8% from the July 2010 level but holding below the July 2008 level of 109.9 and the all-time high for the month of June at 110.9 reached in 2005.
The current Freight TSI is a 14.8% increase from the recent low of 94.3 reached in April 2009. In April 2009, the index was at its lowest level since June 1997. The July level is down 4.4% from its historic peak of 113.3 reached in January 2005.
For the first seven months of 2011, freight shipments measured by the index were up 1.3%.
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 air freight.