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March 14, 2012 12:00 PM, EDT

DOT Freight Index Rises Year-Over-Year

Larry Smith/Trans Pixs

The Department of Transportation’s freight transportation services index rose 1.6% in January from a year ago but slipped from an all-time high in December, DOT said Wednesday.

The freight TSI declined 3.6% to a reading of 109.7 from December’s 113.7, which had been an all-time high.

The index uses a baseline 100 reading from the year 2000, according to DOT’s Bureau of Trade Statistics.

January shipments were the second-highest level since July 2008, despite the monthly decline.

After dipping to a recent low 94.3 reading in April 2009, freight shipments have increased in 23 of the past 33 months, rising 16.3% in that time.

The freight TSI is a seasonally adjusted monthly index measuring the output of services provided by the for-hire transportation industries, including railroad, air, truck, inland waterways, pipeline and local transit.