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July 13, 2017 12:00 PM, EDT

BTS Freight Index Set Record in May

BTS freight index Brent Lewin/Bloomberg News

U.S. freight transportation put in a strong performance in May, setting a monthly record for the second time this year, according to a July 12 report from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

A part of the Transportation Department, BTS said its seasonally adjusted Transportation Services Index for freight hit 126.8 in May, reversing declines in March and April. The February reading of 126 was the previous record for TSI.

The performance of for-hire trucking was overshadowed by other modes, the report said.

“The May increase in the freight TSI was broad-based, with gains in most modes, especially water and pipeline, while airfreight and trucking were stable,” BTS said. The index looks at for-hire transportation in those four modes, plus freight rail. It does not include private trucking, courier services or the U.S. Postal Service.

The index uses freight transportation activity from the year 2000 as a base level of 100.

Since October 2012, when the freight TSI stood at 110.2, the index generally has been on the rise, adding 15.1% through May.

The record low for the freight TSI was 94.7 in April 2009 during the Great Recession.