DOT Freight Transport Index Rises 4.4%

Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

The Department of Transportation’s freight transportation services index rose 4.4% in September from a year ago to its highest level in more than three years, DOT said Wednesday.

The freight index improved 0.9% from August, rising to a reading of 109.6, the highest reading since July 2008.

DOT uses a baseline reading of 100 from the year 2000 for the freight TSI.

The TSI rose 1.2% in the third quarter, following one quarterly decline, and has risen in eight of the past nine quarters.

Through the first nine months of 2011, freight shipments are up 2.5% over last year, DOT said.

September’s reading is 16.2% over the index’s recent low of 94.3, set in April 2009, and is down 3.3% from the historic peak of 113.3, reached in January 2005.

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.