February 9, 2011 3:00 PM, EST

DOT Freight Transportation Index Rises 0.4%

Index Rose Every Month Last Year Compared With 2009
Larry Smith/Trans Pixs

The Department of Transportation’s freight transportation services index increased 0.4% in December from a year earlier, the 12th straight year-over-year gain.

The freight TSI also rose 1.5% month-to-month from November, DOT’s Bureau of Trade Statistics said Wednesday.

It rose to a reading of 100, matching the baseline reading of the year 2000, but December’s reading was the lowest for that month since 2001, when it read 97.4.

The TSI improved every month last year compared with the same month in 2009 and has improved month-to-month in 14 of the past 19 months, DOT said.

The index is 6.9% higher from its recent low of 93.5 of May 2009, when it was at its lowest level since 1997, and the reading is 11.4% off its historic peak of 112.9, reached in May 2006.

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.