DOT Freight Transportation Index Rises to Record High in August

Port of Seattle

The Department of Transportation’s freight transportation services index rose to a record high in August, DOT announced Oct. 8.

The index increased 3.8% to 120.9 in August, the highest level since records began in 2000. The previous record 120.3 was set in May.

The freight TSI increased 0.6% from July, rising for the second consecutive month, DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics said in its monthly report. DOT uses a baseline reading of 100 from the year 2000.

Truck, water and pipeline freight increased, but rail and air declined, BTS said.

“August was the third month in which the Freight TSI exceeded the levels that had been attained prior to the weather-related downturn in the early part of the year to reach its highest level ever. The increase in the index continues the return to growth after the decline in June,” DOT wrote in the report.

Year-to-date, freight shipments are up 1.5% compared with the same period last year.

“The rise in freight took place despite a decline in industrial production, but accompanied growth in personal income and in inventories of manufactured goods. Overall employment grew, as did transportation employment, although more slowly,” the report said.

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.